What is kintsugi?

It’s safe to say that kintsugi is one of the more obscure Japanese arts. I’ve had blank stares even when I mention it to Japanese friends or experts in Japanese culture. So, what is kintsugi? It’s the art of repairing pottery, usually with lacquer and gold – hence the name, which literally means “joining with […]

New LinkedIn Group about Japan

Anybody using LinkedIn? Recently I’ve been finding it a good way to meet other people working with Japan, so much so that I started a new LinkedIn group called “Untapped Japan”. There have already been a few lively discussions, about inbound tourism to Japan, eCommerce, start-ups. The idea was to create a forum for sharing […]

The Shikoku Pilgrimage

This – believe it or not – was the first article I ever wrote about Japan. Still one of my favourites, and definitely the one that took the most effort to prepare. I wrote about the 1200km I walked to complete the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage. That was some time before I started working as […]

Time for Sake Tourism?

There are about 1300 sake breweries in Japan. How many of them actively welcome Japanese tourists? Not many. How many of them welcome foreign tourists? Even fewer. It’s common sense for wineries and whiskey distilleries to open their doors to visitors. It’s good PR, supports local tourism, and gives them a chance to make some […]

Speechwriter gives a speech

For a speechwriter, writing speeches is definitely easier than giving then – at least for me. I’ve penned my fair share of speeches, but I’ve only delivered a few, and very rarely in Japanese. Giving a presentation in Japanese for Dentsu PR in Tokyo earlier this year was one of the most terrifying experiences of […]

Philip Harper – Sake Brewer

Philip Harper was introduced at the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation in London as “a very unusual man”. That’s a bit of an understatement. He’s the only non-Japanese toji, or master sake brewer, working in Japan today. As Harper told the packed room, he came to Japan 25 years ago from Cornwall to teach English, stumbled into […]

Urban Farming in Tokyo

Some VERY urban farming! Tokyo’s Roppongi must be one of the most urban places in the world, so I was a little surprised to be invited to a rooftop rice-planting event there. Mori Building have held the event every Spring for a few years now. And as you can see, this year’s event was pretty […]

“Sakura saku”

I thought I’d start off this blog with a traditional Japanese symbol of new beginnings – cherry blossom. I took these photos for an agency in France to advertise sakura tea. As the cliche goes, WeDoJapan is all about building bridges between the UK and Japan. On this blog I aim to share some information […]