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Kyoto sightseeing tour: exclusive temple tours, meditation lessons, and incense making

The most zen part of our self-guided Kyoto tour.

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Starbucks Japan’s newest Frappuccino is the only date we need this Valentine’s Day

A cool beverage that knows how to treat you right.

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Starbucks blends Japanese and Western flavours together in new Frappuccino

An East-Meets-West fusion promises to excite the taste buds this winter.

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Starbucks opens outside Imperial Palace with a Frappuccino you can’t get anywhere else in Japan

A very Japanese Frappuccino for a very Japanese location.

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Starbucks has…a hamburger option on the menu in Japan?

Surprise find leads to even more surprises.

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Starbucks adds a Matcha & Coffee Cream Pop to the menu in Japan

We try an elusive green tea cake made with marshmallows.

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We try the Starbucks drinks that are only available at two stores in Japan

Are these exclusive beverages worth the trip out to get them?

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Cosplayers let loose behind the scenes before the World Cosplay Summit championships

Every year the city of Nagoya plays host to the World Cosplay Summit (WCS), a large-scale competition between cosplay representatives from around the world. Teams of two from 20 different countries are all brought to Japan to take part in this life-changing opportunity. The championship finals will be held on the outdoor stage of Oasis21 on Saturday, August 3, starting at 7 p.m. Japan time. Tickets are available, though they are not required to watch the event. In fact, you don’t even have to be in Japan to watch this year’s world-class cosplay performances. It’s been announced that for the first time Niconico Douga will be stream the entire event on the World Cosplay Summit’s official channel.

But you know, not everything to do with the WCS involves competition. Cosplay itself is about bringing together people of similar interests and building a sense of community between those who like to dress up as Japanese characters. These cosplay teams must prepare not only as performers but as representatives of cosplay culture in each of their respective countries. Before the finals even take place, teams must take part in a week’s worth of parades, photo shoots, and official meetings. it’s a good thing there are some opportunities to relax worked into the schedule as well.

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