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“Feel” and experience Kyoto’s Kiyomizu Temple from afar via Tumblr

Last month we were delighted to hear that one of Kyoto’s most famous sight-seeing spots, Kiyomizudera, has an Instagram account. The thing about Kiyomizudera though, is that it’s not really just a tourist spot, it is a functioning temple serving hundreds of people every day and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site’s grandeur expands past the temple itself, to the beautiful surrounding scenery and view of the Kyoto cityscape, which can be enjoyed from the temple’s location, perched atop Mt. Otowa. Even the everyday religious events around Kiyomizudera are worthy of appreciation.

With all of this in mind, the temple has come out with an official Tumblr website, which they hope will allow viewers to not only see the temple through pictures, but to really feel and embrace its atmosphere.

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Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】

In a documentary about the making of Spirited Away, director Hayao Miyazaki is shown in his studio explaining how he wants a certain scene to look. When the dragon’s jaws are wrenched open, he says, it should look like a dog clenching its teeth, gums bared. Faced with blank stares at this analogy, he asks the animators if any of them have a dog. “I had a cat once”, offers up one young man. “A cat!” exclaims Miyazaki in despair, before whisking the entire team off to a vet’s surgery to have a closer look at some canine mouths.

Cats and dogs, as we know, are quite different, and one thing that sets them apart is cats’ contrariness. A dog’s reward is pleasing you, while a cat’s reward is pleasing itself. Getting a cat to do what you want, therefore, can be extraordinarily difficult. Unless, that is, you can manage to convince your cat that it made the decision all by itself.

From Japanese cat blog guremike, we bring you: the power of the magical cat-attracting circle. 

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On living in Japan: Five essential essays from the internet, the greatest library on earth

Ten years ago, I used to read a lot of books. Now, I read a lot of content, which is to say, blogs and online articles. But when I read something that sticks with me, even for a fleeting moment, I still want to reach for a highlighter and shade the words fluorescent yellow, so I can find that part again later. And I’m not alone in my instinctive response to treat the digital word in the same way I do printed material. There’s a reason browsers still call it a “bookmark” when we save a webpage.

There are all kinds of great English-language blogs about Japan out there. But there are also a number of stand-alone articles that, over the years, I’ve read again and again – and they still make me want to grab my highlighter and start collecting quotes. I’ve put them together into this short list, which we may think of as a small (highly subjective) foreigners-living-in-Japan canon: seminal pieces of writing from around the internet.

Some of these are very long. Some are controversial. All of them have stayed with me for some reason or another, and maybe they’ll stick with you too.

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Five of our favorite blogs about Japan

There’s a lot of information about Japan floating around on the internet, so finding a really great site can seem like a never-ending endeavor. As self-proclaimed Japanophiles, we have more than a few sites we frequent to get our daily dose of anything about our home away from home. It was hard to choose, but here are five of our favorite blogs about Japan.

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Voice actress surprises the internet with her bento making skillz!【Photos】

Is this a masterpiece in culinary art? Of course not, but it surely captures the look and feel of a titan from the series Attack on Titan. Voice actress Yuki Takao has been making and sharing her bento creations on her blog, and her unique style is starting to get some attention. Everyone needs a hobby, even famous people, and with their busy schedules, we’re sure they really appreciate the chance to relax and enjoy their time off. Yuki seems to spend it making unique bento and with food art like this, you have to wonder, what other creations has she made???

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“And the Winner is…”: A Selection of Some of the World’s Fascinating No. 1s!

Everyone knows Mt. Everest is the tallest Mountain in the world!  It is named after Colonel Sir George Everest, a surveyor who surveyed Mt. Everest in the mid 1800s.  Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach its summit in 1953.

Here are some of the world’s most fascinating Number ones!  Some of them are familiar, others not.  All  23 are number one in one way or another.  Read More