hot-water bottle

It will keep you warm in bed.





Most Japanese enjoy bathing

If you ever go to visit a family in Japan and stay over night with them, it is important that you learn how Japanese people bathe beforehand.

It is Japanese custom that all members of the family use the same bath water each night and therefore it is important to be completely clean before entering the bath.

Because it takes time for all the member to have a bath in turn, Japanese bath system panel has a button for reheating the bathwater.

It also has a timer setting to have the bath ready.
You can choose when and how much hot water hearted for you to bath.


Tokyo Metro

Many foreigners who visit Japan are surprised by announcements by railways and metros reminding you not to forget to take your umbrella when you get off the train.

Now Tokyo Metro is putting up a notice board announcing that as end of the year approaching there might be delays of trains due to congested traffic and they ask everyone for their patience in advance!


More Christmas Illumination

More Christmas Illumination in Tokyo.


Proof of a train delay

Many people commute by train and when train get delaied, people get work late.
Railway company issue proof of the train delay so people can justify why they are late for work.


D51 steam locomotive with X'mas decoration

D51 steam locomotive with Christmas Decoration.
Santa is the driver.
Do you see him?


Barber's pole

A barber in Shibuya.
Like many western countries barber's pole awaits for customers in front it's shop.



Tokyo Broadcasting System, Incorporated


football fans

One of the most popular sports in Japan is football (soccer).


OizumiGakuen, the birthplace of Japanese Animation

At Oisumi Gakuen Station, the conductor of the famous galaxy express 999 will meet you.


Street Performers

Street Performers announcing sales.


Christmas Decoration in Roppongi

In front of Suntory Museum of Art, you see the decoration.


One evening in Shibuya

Office area in Shibuya.


Ginkgo trees

It is getting colder everyday and leaves are begin to change their colors.
This is an picture of an avenue lined with ginkgo trees at Keio Univ. Hiyoshi Campus.



Many foreign friends who left Japan after spending sometime there told me they were going to miss being served a oshibori, or a wet hand towel served at any restaurant before you eat.

Not only can you clean your hands, you can use it to entertain people by doing origami with it.


The Maneki Neko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Maneki Neko (literally "Beckoning Cat"; also known as Welcoming Cat, Lucky Cat, Money cat or Fortune Cat) is a common Japanese sculpture, often made of porcelain or ceramic, which is believed to bring good luck to the owner.

The sculpture depicts a cat (traditionally a Japanese Bobtail) beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed—many times at the entrance—in shops, restaurants, pachinko parlors, and other businesses.

Some of the sculptures are electric or battery-powered and have a slow-moving paw beckoning. In the design of the sculptures, a raised right paw supposedly attracts money, while a raised left paw attracts customers.

To Americans and Europeans it may seem as if the Maneki Neko is waving rather than beckoning. This is due to the difference in gestures & body language recognized by Westerners and the Japanese, with Japanese beckoning by holding up the hand, palm out, and repeatedly folding the fingers down and back up, thus the cat's appearance.

The Maneki Neko made specifically for Western markets will have the cat's paw facing backwards, in a beckoning gesture more familiar to Westerners.


Local folk song

In a Izakaya in Tokyo, or a tavern, owners entertain customers with local folk songs.


Cat Cafe

The housing situation in large cities in Japan makes it difficult have pets.
Many cat lovers in cities go cat cafes hoping to spend some time with them.
Cats are cats no matter they live.
Visiting cat cafe is no guarantee for seeing them.
They come and go・・・or never come if they don't feel like it.
So what cat lovers do at cat cafe while waiting those capricious creatures?
They look at photo books of cats, read books on cats and eat cat curry.



Shiisa is a legendary creature in Okinawa.
They are the placed on a gate, a roof, or a hill in a community because they are believed to protect the house, the dweller or the community and invite luck.


Coming Soon!

At Kabuki-za, tiles of the Kabuki that will be performed soon will be shown with a picture of the each story.


willow & ghost

In the tales of old Japan, ghosts usually appear under a willow tree.

The leaves and bark of the willow tree have been used as pain killer from ancient time in many parts of the world so it is thought to have mystical power and that may be the reason why ghosts and willow tree are related.


Christmas Decoration

We have start seeing Christmas decoration in many places in Tokyo.

This is one of them but you feel like you would be sucked into UFO if you go underneath the lights.


The Lions became Japan Series champions

The Japan Series is a Baseball championship series for professional teams.

This year the Saitama Seibu Lions captured Japan Series crown.

Seibu Group has department stores and many enjoy a special sale to celebrate the teams victory. At the entrance, you see a sign with the team mascot and the letter V for victory.


Name for a newborn Baby

Parents give great consideration to the names they bestow upon their children, using names to express their hopes and dreams for the child's future,as well as their expectation for the kind of person they wish the child to become.

When parents decide on a name, a parent (usually the father) write it on a piece of washi and the unveiling of the name to their family and friends.
The first letter 雫 consists of 雨(rain) 下(down)and it means a drip of water.
The second letter 希 means a wish or a hope.
The mother ocean is born from a drip of water. A drip of water gather together with its friends to form river and run into the Ocean.
The name reflect the baby's parents wish for her to become someone who can turn both happiness and sadness into pabulum to live with first class water drips.


A gallery in a Underground Passage in Ginza

There is a gallery in a underground passage in Ginza.
They exhibit may kinds of 2-dimensional works of art.
Sometimes they have paintings and other times photos.
Now they are exhibiting works of Japanese calligraphy.


Manneken Pis from Brussel

Manneken Pis is very well known in Japan is often used when one needs to attract people's attention.
The photo was taken at JR Hamamatsu-cho Station.
You see a Shinkansen (a bullet train) passing behind the boy, right?
He was serving for traffic safety this time.



Kabuki-za is a theater especially for Kabuki.

It is going to be closed and rebuilt due to decrepitude and and out of concern for weak quake resistance.

Many wants to keep the building and prefer it to be renovated (not rebuilt!) because it is a tangible cultural properties.

I personally hope that the building will be preserved somehow if its' renovation does not solve the issues of safety.


Japanese Tradition

I wonder if those who have almost no exposure to Japanese culture will understand this.



Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan has created an original froshiki to promote the use of it.
Furoshiki is used as recyclable wrapping and therefore is earth friendly.
When you order your kanji name at our website, you will get one for yourself. ;)



【Definision fromWikipedia】
Yosakoi (よさこい) is a unique style of dance that originated in Japan. Yosakoi started in the city of Kochi in 1954, as a modern rendition of Awa Odori, a traditional summer dance. As of 2005, yosakoi-style dancing has spread throughout much of Japan. The style of dance is highly energetic, combining traditional Japanese dance movements with modern music. The choreographed dances are often performed by large teams. Along with a number of professional yosakoi schools and town dance teams, yosakoi is also a popular event during the sports festivals held by Japanese elementary, junior, and senior high schools. Yosakoi participants include men and women of almost all ages – sometimes within a single team. In the dialect of Tosa province (modern-day Kochi Prefecture), "yosakoi" means "Please come at night."


Funny-Tshirts, funny tattoos

You may have seen a non-English speaker wearing T-shirts saying " I am a instant sportsman in the city."

I hear Japanese people seeing a person from non-Kanji culture having his neck tattooed 足 (meaning 'feet'), his breast tattooed 不景気(meaning bad economy), or her arm tattooed 喪(meaning 'period of respect for a deceased).

It it is written on T-shirt, all you have to do is to change, but if you have funny words tattooed, it won't be easy to undo it.

Consult to those who understand Japanese before you have kanji tattoo!


Our Website

We finally have our website!
We will work with you to develop a kanji version of your namethat reflects your character and lifestyle. A name lasts a lifetime. We craft a hanko (a personalized ink seal) out of highest quality water buffalo's horn bearing the your name in kanji.
Please visit our website for further information
or please e-mail us at arigatou@hankomark.com ;)


Kanji 1

As you may know kanji, chinese characters, are used in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
But did you know they are not all the same.
Each country simplified kanji in their own way, though most of them are similar enough.
In1991, scholars representing each country got together and agreed to unify the character style to avoid the confusion caused by the difference. The 8th conference was hold last year and the effort is moving forward though slowly.
Sharing character style might reduce the confusion but do not eliminate them completely.
"愛人(愛 means love. 人 means person.)" in Japanese mean "extramarital partner", "girl friend/boyfriend" in Korean, and "marital partners" in Chinese.

Golden Week


Kyoto in April4

If you don't have time to visit Kyoto soon, rent "Maiko Haaan!!!" It is a fast-paced screwball comedy about a Japanese business man obsessed with Maiko. It is written by the extremely talented Kankuro Kudo.
Maiko Haaan!!! (literally 'Miss Maiko' -- 'han' is the honorific 'san' in the Kyoto dialect) stars comedian Sadao Abe as the business man who dumps his office worker girlfriend (who eventually apprentices as a Geisha in order to win him back) when he got transferred to a branch office in Kyoto so he can pursue his dream of playing a 'strip baseball' drinking game with a real Maiko. His quest exposes all sorts of traditional class divisions and contradictions in Japanese society that still exsits. Along the way Abe runs afoul of an arrogant baseball player (Shinichi Tsutsumi) and the two engage in a ferocious competition that makes the movie very funny.



Kyoto in April 2

There are 27 universities in the city of Kyoto and many other vocational schools.

Population of the city is about 1.47million so colleage students make up large part of the population.

School year starts in April in Japan.
University courses end around February and those who graduate from colleage start moving out and thus the city gets gradually quiet. In April new students move in to start their college life and the city is vibrant again.

The synchronicity of the cycle of school life and nature makes Cherry blossoms even more special to us.


Kyoto in April

Hi! from Enough Heart Shrine staff in Japan.

Who we are and what we do will be revailed soon ;)
We are planing to give you a small piece of interesting infomation on Japanese culture everyday.
Starting today we are posting some photos my boss took in Kyoto at the begining of April.

Did you know that cherry trees in Washingon DC were sent to the U.S. as a symbol of friendship in 1912 by the then mayor of Tokyo?

We hope these photos that we are posting also works as such.