Welcome to the Gaijin Life blog

Gaijin life is  my first blog, in this blog I want to share my passion for the wonderful country of the rising sun.

Here you can learn about anyaspect of Japan. Places to visit, dishes to eat , little things that can help you  and personal experiences of my freinds and me.

I hope you will enjoy this blog.

Email: gaijinlife@ymail.com

Twitter: @agaijinlife


I dedicate this blog to all my friends supporting me and to my mom and best friend that past away in 2008 after losing the battle against cancer.


“Bento and Kyara-Ben” Character Designed Lunch Box

The Japanese people often take their home made “bento”, take out lunch boxes, to school, work and picnics.

A “bento” usually made with rice, fish, meat, and vegetables, and it is nutritiously balanced.

And since the Japanese people care if their “bento” look pretty, making “bento” is like an art project.

There are various “bento” accessories sold at stores. You can sometimes find a whole rack with bento stuff!

The mothers of kindergarten children love to make “kyara-ben (character bento)”, for their children.

“Kyara-ben” food is decorated anime/manga characters, or animals.

There are even “kyara-ben” contests, where mothers make incredibly cute food art to complete.

Not only do people make “bento” at home but “Bento” are also available at many places such as bento stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, and train stations.

From Japanstyle2010


Traditional japanese house

Picture of the day

May 05th 2010


These are picture taken not far from my house in kobe, I do pass in front of this house a lot and always loved the wall so I had to make it the pic of the day!

Kobe Sanomiya

Picture of the day

May 03, 2010


Nice city and mountain view taken near Sanomiya in Kobe

Ikea Japan

If you’re a gaijin living in Japan, going to shop at Ikea should be on your to do list, in the first week of your arrival in Japan. Why? Simply because you will be able to find a lot of product and furniture that you might need to comfortably live in Japan at a price that will not kill your wallet on the spot.

Ikea was introduced in Japan in 1974, the company launched a franchising deal in 1974, only to beat a retreat in 1986. The exact reasons of the retreat are not clear but it is mostly said that it was because the japanese housing market really did not match the company products.  The Ikea CEO said; ” He attributed IKEA’s failure two decades ago to the fact that the company was not ready for the demanding Japanese market — and that Japanese customers were not ready for the do-it-yourself style that defines IKEA.”

20 years past and extensive reasearch were done by the Ikea corporation, to first understand the Japanese life style and also the Japanese needs.

So with all that the first modern Ikea store was open in Funabashi in 2006 followed by the seconde one in Yokohama also in 2006 and 3 other location in 2008: Kobe port island, shin-Misato Saitama and Tsuruhama. All stores are a massive 40,000 m2 which in Japan is incredibly big for a store.

IKEA in Kobe

A view from my house

Picture of the day

May 2nd 2010

This a view of a Chinese buddhist temple, taken from the balcony of my house in Kobe

Kobe Ikuta jinja and Sourakuen

Picture of the day for

May 1st 2010

This is Kobe Ikuta Jinja on the first day of the Golden week 2010


 Kobe Sorakuen


Gan-ban-yoku: Hot Stone Spa

Hot stone spa, a bath without water has been popular among Japanese women.

Hot stone spa is called “gan-ban-yoku” in Japanese and it’s a bath towel sized stone slab made of granite or silica, and slab commonly embedded into a hard floor.

The bather wears gown or whatever comfortable and lies on the stone bath.

The temperature of the bath is between 40 to 42 degrees centigrade, which is not so hot but body gradually gets sweaty and improves the circulation; therefore, it’s said that gan-ban-yoku has detoxification effect and helps to lose weight.

Since gan-ban-yoku became popular about five years ago, a lot of  gan-ban-yoku spas have appeared in Japan.

Some hot stone spas provide beauty treatments or yoga classes too.

This is a gan-ban-yoku from a Japanese style hotel in Hakone.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BABE_Unsss&hd=1

From Japanstyle2010