Go! Go! Nihon blog

Tag: tradition

Life in Japan
Golden Week holidays in Japan are one of the most anticipated and busiest holiday seasons of the year. Japanese workers typically don’t get many paid vacation days and many don’t take those days, even when...
News
The sakura, or cherry blossom forecast for this year has already started to roll in. The Japan Meteorological Corporation releases its forecast each year around January to give an indication of when it thinks the...
Japanese Culture
Kabuki is one of the great performing arts, with a long, rich history and origin that dates back over 400 years. Throughout history, kabuki in Japan has gone through a lot of transitions and reforms....
Japanese Culture
Why should the living get to have all the fun anyway? Every 7th month of the year, Japan celebrates Obon お盆, one of the biggest holiday periods of the year. But what is Obon? In short,...
Life in Japan
The month of July in Japan is notoriously hot and humid. But there are many great things to see, do, and add to your Japan summer itinerary. From ancient festivals, delicious food, and rare opportunities...
Japanese Culture
If you’re living in Japan and have a calendar at home, you may have noticed that there is some additional information under the date in black or red letters. This is the traditional Japanese six-day...
Japanese Culture
When you think about spring in Japan, surely the first thing that springs to mind (no pun intended) is the cherry blossoms that draw large crowds of locals and tourists alike. The tradition of hanami...
Japanese Culture
In Japan, the Western holiday of Valentine’s Day was popularized in the 1950’s. There’s also a follow-up holiday called White Day (ホワイトデー) on March 14, which was invented as a day for men to give gifts and...
Japanese Culture
Celebrating the new year in Japan is a fantastic experience. Unlike many western countries you traditionally don’t shoot fireworks during New Year (except maybe at Disneyland).  Rather, it is customary to place a shimekazari (しめ飾り)...
Japanese Culture
Have you ever visited a temple or shrine in Japan and seen large amounts of wooden plaques hanging on display at the temple grounds? These wooden plaques, so called ema (絵馬), have a long history...
Japanese Culture
In Japan, New Year’s is the most important holiday of all. Celebrating the Japanese New Year, or Oshōgatsu (お正月)  in Japanese, means spending time with family and loved ones while eating lots of food and...
Only in Japan
The Shintō 神道 religion is an integral part of Japanese life, informing much of the culture, beliefs, and ways of life that are practiced in modern-day Japanese society. Originating in Japan, Shintō revolves around nature,...
Learn Japanese
Do you want to go to Japan to study, but not sure if it’s for you? Applying for a language course and making the move to Japan can be a bit intimidating, especially if you...
Life in Japan
Sports are a huge part of life in Japan. It’s so important that there’s even a public holiday each year to promote sports and an active lifestyle. From centuries-old traditional sports to modern sports exploding...
Food&Drink
Fierce samurais, rich feudal lords, heavenly emperors, and you can bet even the farmers on the rice field have shared a toast of Japanese sake (酒) with the deities. The alcoholic beverage from Japan has a...
Japanese Culture
What are those interesting-looking, red Daruma dolls anyway? You’ve likely seen them in Asian restaurants around the world or hiding just about everywhere in Japan. But few know the interesting and somewhat dark history behind their...
Japanese Culture
You might not be familiar with the term “Ukiyo-e”, but there’s a good chance that you have seen the famous Great Wave of Kanagawa. This beautiful piece was created as a woodblock print and alongside...
Japanese Culture
Shibori is a Japanese tie-dyeing technique that has been used for centuries. Famous for its blue dye, shibori is the result of experimentation with more interesting approaches to textile production, rather than just colouring clothes...
Japanese Culture
A lot of what you hear about the Japanese work culture tends to focus on one thing: the long, unrewarding hours and the overwork. But there are actually so many unique aspects of Japanese work...
Japanese Culture
The Japanese kimono is a quintessential garment and despite changing fashion over the years, it’s still seen as an icon of Japan. Literally meaning ‘worn thing’, it’s had a prominent place in the history of...
Food&Drink
Breakfast in Japan is quite different from what most people are used to, especially if you come from the western part of the world where breakfast food is very distinguished from the other meals of...
Japanese Culture
Japanese green tea (茶, cha) is a very important part of Japanese culture and the accompanying ceremony is one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement. The Japanese tea ceremony is called sadō (茶道) or...
Japanese Culture
Japanese calligraphy is one of the most well known and popular of the traditional arts of Japan. It’s called shodō (書道) in Japanese, which literally means way of writing. Shodō has a very long history....
Food&Drink
Japanese sweets are as beautiful as they are delicious. Japanese traditional sweets, wagashi (和菓子), are an art practice in and of themselves and are designed to stimulate all five senses. As a culture with a...
Japanese Culture
Early in spring every year families with daughters celebrate Girls’ Day in Japan. It’s referred to as Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) in Japanese, which means doll festival. And for this reason it’s also known as Dolls’ Day....
Food&Drink
The world of Japanese hot pot (鍋物 nabemono or 鍋 nabe) is vast and rich. The word is a combination of kanji which means “cooking pot” (鍋, nabe), and “thing” (物, mono). Simply put, the...
Only in Japan
What could be so interesting about the randoseru? It’s just a Japanese backpack, right? It seems like a pretty standard concept. Children around the world cram them full of books and throw them over their backs...
Only in Japan
With the New Year around the corner, why not take a chance and grab a lucky bag in Japan? Fukubukuro (福袋) or lucky bag is a tradition on New Year’s Day in Japan where merchants...
Japanese Culture
Sending postcards from your visit abroad is a must, particularly when visiting Japan where you can find original and very special postcards. In fact, there’s an endless variety of types, colours, shapes and motifs for...
Japanese Culture
The concept of Japanese hospitality, otherwise known as omotenashi (お持て成し), has come to light recently. Though translated simply as hospitality, the word omotenashi has a meaning deeply rooted in the Japanese psyche. It’s not simply...
Life in Japan
Japan is at the top of many people’s bucket lists – and for good reason. It’s a beautiful country with kind people, delicious food and a remarkable culture. If you’re looking for a memorable study...
Only in Japan
You probably know the most famous Japanese dog in the world called “Hachiko,” but are you familiar with his breed, the Akita Inu? I will introduce it to you through my knowledge and experience as...
Japanese Culture
Japan’s new era has begun and it’s called Reiwa (令和). It technically began back on the 1st May when Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne and his son Naruhito ascended it and this means there is...
Japanese Culture
Japanese folklore encompasses a wide variety of mythical monsters yōkai (妖怪), some scary, some lucky, and some a bit more on the mysterious side. Amongst these is the Tanuki (狸), or Japanese raccoon dog. It...
Japanese Culture
If you’re out and about in the summer in Japan you’re like to see people beautifully dressed up and enjoying the warm weather. But what is the yukata (浴衣), when do you wear it and most...
How to
It’s been a long day and you just want to get in the bath and have a nice long soak. But wait, while having a bath might seem like a relatively straightforward task, it’s not...
Learn Japanese
Are you familiar with the saying “kill two birds with one stone”? Well, it turns out that it’s quite the universal phrase and even exists in Japanese too. This Japanese proverb is written as: 一石二鳥...
Japanese Culture
The Sumō Tournament is an event that is famous around the world. A martial art that is all about brute force and using your weight to beat your opponent. But what exactly is it made...
Life in Japan
When imagining what life looks like in Japan, everyone has their own idea of how things are, but what about reality? We are taking some time to interview one of Go! Go! Nihon’s students, Matthew, who...
Japanese Culture
If you’ve been into a Japanese home or even just seen some pictures of one, it’s likely that you will have seen a kotatsu table proudly taking centre stage in the middle of the living...
Life in Japan
Visiting Japan during spring hopefully means you will be able to experience the bloom of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms (桜 sakura). In Tokyo these pink and white beauties typically bloom between late March and...
Japanese Culture
As every culture has its ghosts and ghouls, so too do the Japanese in the form of yōkai (妖怪). Made up of two kanji that represent “bewitching; calamity” and “apparition; mystery; suspicious,” they also come...
Learn Japanese
If you’ve ever come across any manga or anime, you’ve probably already heard people referred to as –san, –chan, –sensei, or maybe even –kun. These are Japanese honorifics and they are used in the same...
Food&Drink
Celebrating New Year’s in Japan isn’t complete without taking part in the traditions, including enjoying a traditional Japanese New Year’s meal. Called osechi-ryōri (お節料理), this meal is all handmade, with each piece thoughtfully added with...
Japanese Culture
Dragon Ball, Naruto, Cardcaptor Sakura… these manga (漫画, まんが) are known throughout the world and have brought Japanese comics fame across the international scene. A genuine institution, Japanese manga have a unique style that sets...
Japanese Culture
Tattoos in Japan have a long history, winding past the forbidden image it has in present Japanese society. It’s an integral part of the country’s culture, and its unique style separates itself from western tattoos....
Japanese Culture
When you think of Japanese music, more often than not modern J-Pop will spring to mind as the popularity of idol groups spreads around the world. However, there’s a rich and varied history behind Japanese...
Japanese Culture
There are a total of 16 Japanese public holidays. They can range from the typical New Year’s and National Foundation Day, to the more specific Coming of Age Day and the Emperor’s Birthday. Here you...
Learn Japanese
When you’re in Japan, you’ll hear a variety of apologies in many situations. Respect for others is a valued virtue in Japanese culture, and apologizing plays a large part of it. As you may know,...
Only in Japan
When you first move to Japan, there’s a lot of things that need arranging but the first step is to set up your new home. There’s everything from sorting bills to buying a lot of...
Food&Drink
The Japanese bento box is a big part of the wonderful complexities of Japanese food culture. It’s an affordable and popular meal option for many in Japan that you should definitely try when you’re visiting...
Only in Japan
You may be very familiar with what’s inside Japanese houses or you may have never stepped foot into one. Japanese houses are notorious for being small, but many seem to be filled with many household...
Food&Drink
Many people in Japan eat tonkatsu, katsudon (カツ丼) or a variation of it before a sports game or a school test. This is because “katsu” is a homophone of the word katsu (勝つ), “to win,”...
Japanese Culture
It’s early morning, and by luck, you’ve come on a day everyone seems to be busy doing anything else. Walking up the steps, you glance to your sides and notice two large fox statues, keys...
Learn Japanese
Many Japanese words and phrases are hard to translate into different languages, including English. As an English speaker, you may not have a specific greeting for before and after a meal, or before and after...
Japanese Culture
Origami (折り紙), which in Japanese literally means “folding paper”,  is thought to have originated in Japan but is a part of many Asian cultures, such as Chinese. Through various forms of folding, a flat sheet...
Japanese Culture
You may have seen or read Memoirs of a Geisha. You may have seen the girls with painted-white faces in Kyoto. You may think you know what a geisha is or you may have no...
Japanese Culture
Spring may best be symbolized by sakura, or cherry blossoms in Japan. Cherry blossoms also symbolize the beginning of the year for many, as the Japanese school year and fiscal year start in April, just...
Japanese Culture
Shintō and Buddhism are Japan’s two major religions, with Shintō recorded as far back as the 8th century, although its existence has probably been much longer. Buddhism was brought from China in the 6th century,...
Japanese Culture
Bonsai (盆栽) is a beautiful art form in Japan that aims to blend horticultural skills with Japanese aesthetics. Its two kanji—bon (盆) meaning basin or tray and sai (裁) meaning planting—literally translate to “planted in...
Only in Japan
The Japanese bow is an important feature of the culture, and there is a lot of meaning in its usage. Japanese culture places heavy emphasis on respect, and bowing is one of the primary ways...
Food&Drink
Ask anyone what foods come to mind when they think of Japan, and sushi will almost certainly be the first item on the list. What many people don’t know is that this quintessential Japanese dish...
Japanese Culture
Where the crosswalk goes from red to green and as many as 2,500 people hustle and bustle across the intersection each and every time, at Shibuya Station sits a bronze dog statue. Stoically waiting for...
Food&Drink
Traditional Japanese cuisine is known as washoku (和食). The kanji characters forming the word is comprised of 和 (wa), meaning Japanese, or harmony, and 食 (shoku), meaning food or to eat. Wa is one of...
Japanese Culture
You may have noticed Go! Go! Nihon’s mascot, the cute cat with its paw in the air, waving at visitors from its spot next to the logo (at least to most Westerners it’s waving, but...
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Who we are

Go! Go! Nihon Live and Study in Japan!

In 2009, after meeting and studying at a Japanese language school together, Davide and John start working on a project that will make the process of living and studying in Japan much easier. The idea for Go! Go! Nihon is born. The service and website is launched with Italian, Swedish, and English language support. There is an immediate positive reception to the service and the first long-term students start the October session that year.