Visiting a Shinto Shrine on New Year’s Eve in Akan

On New Year’s Eve, many people in Japan brave the snow to visit Shinto shrines and pray for good fortune in the coming year. Ruthy Kanagy invites us to experience the tradition through her eyes, from making an offering to warming up with grilled mochi and a cup of hot, sweet sake.

Cultural Values of Japan

Every culture transmits values to its youth, first in the context of family, and then through the educational process. Living abroad expert Ruthy Kanagy discusses the core values of Japanese culture and the diversity that can be found throughout the country.

Gender Roles in Japan

Author Ruthy Kanagy discusses the traditional roles of men and women in modern Japan, as well as the careers that some Japanese women choose to pursue.

Moving to Japan with Children

Author Ruthy Kanagy talks about her experience moving to Japan as a young child and the challenges that children face in a new country. She also shares the perspective of Rhae Washington, a single mom who made the move to Japan with her two-year-old son.

How to Move to Japan with Pets

When deciding to move to Japan, you may want to bring your favorite cat, dog, or other pet with you. Author Ruthy Kanagy goes over the basics of what it takes to move to Japan with pets.

Housing Options in Japan

In Japan, as in New York and San Francisco, space is at a premium in concentrated urban areas. Author Ruthy Kanagy explains the difference between a Japanese apaato (apartment) or manshon (mansion), as well as the styles of housing available in Japan, from traditional to western.

Popular Festivals in Japan

Almost every town and city in Japan has its own matsuri (festival) celebrating the new year, changing seasons, or a historic event. Author Ruthy Kanagy gives an overview of some of Japan’s more well-known festivals.

Studying Abroad in Japan

Many universities in the United States have study abroad and exchange programs with universities in Japan that include housing, language studies, and cultural activities for three months to a year. While the options for studying abroad in Japan are too numerous to give a complete list, here are descriptions of several popular programs.

Thinking About Living Abroad in Japan?

The appeal of living in a different country—as opposed to being a tourist—is that you can go beyond fascination with cultural differences and perceived mystique. Author Ruthy Kanagy introduces the reality of what it means to make the move to Japan.