Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

People walking through the Shibuya scramble
Carp streamers at Tokyo Tower commemorating Children's Day
MUJI store in Portland, Oregon

MUJI: Is Japan's "Brand-less" Brand Taking Over the World?

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 12, 2019 • Tagged with business, economics, stores, travel, tourism

With stores popping up globally, copycats abounding in China, and even a hotel in Ginza, MUJI is on a roll. What's the secret of its success?

Dude getting a tattoo

Unseen Japan Kaiwa 3: Tattoo Blues - Japan's Tattoo/Tourist Problem

Video   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 09, 2019 • Tagged with tattoos, tourism, travel, culture, hot springs

How deeply ingrained are cultural attitudes against tattoos in Japan? We sat down again with YouTuber Misaki to talk about her experiences in Japan - and how her thinking shifted after moving to America.

Drowning in a Sea of Trees: Understanding Aokigahara, Japan's "Suicide Forest"

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  March 21, 2019 • Tagged with society, psychology, health, mental health, travel

Why has Aokigahara, a forest full of legend and history, gained notoriety as a haven of death? (TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive material)

Photo of AirBnB ad in Japanese subway

Is AirBnB Japan Back From the Dead?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 14, 2019 • Tagged with travel, business, economy, money, technology

The popular service took a nosedive after a new law passed last year. Listings have returned - but should travelers be concerned?

Hot spring (onsen) in Japan

Defying Taboo, Japan's "Hot Springs Prefecture" Welcomes Tattooed Tourists

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 07, 2019 • Tagged with travel, hot springs, onsen, tourism

A prefecture in Japan tackles a longstanding aversion to tattoos in a bid to put tourists at ease.

Man with power assisted leg

As Tourism Skyrockets, Japanese Airline Equips Baggage Handlers with Power Suits

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 13, 2019 • Tagged with business, economy, tourism, travel, airline, tech, technology, robotics

Cyborg baggage handlers? An influx of foreign visitors forces one airline to find an inventive way to handle the load.

A pool. At night.

Night Pools: Japan's Hottest New Instagrammable Attraction - And a Good Way to Beat the Heat

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  August 17, 2018 • Tagged with news, tourism, travel

Night pools have been gaining in popularity the past few years - and with the hot weather, that trend is only increasing.

Woman soaking in footbath

Hakone's Curry Bread and Footbath Combo is Selling Like Hotcakes

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  August 05, 2018 • Tagged with news, tourism, travel

A unique combination of mouth-watering Japanese bread and natural foot massage is packing them in at a bakery in the popular tourist destination of Hakone. Toyo Keizai magazine looks at why this one-two punch has proven ridiculously popular.