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Travel Tuesday: Japan

For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Japan. This series began with Brazil as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the host of the 2020 Summer Olypics will be Tokyo the capital of Japan. That is the tip of the iceberg since Japan is known for anime, kabuki, J-pop and so many other pieces of popular entertainment. It is also a country with great physical beauty and a long history. Japan has much to entice any armchair traveler, and students doing reports won't miss a beat when they use our resources.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Japan by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 4 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Climate: "Japan consists of a group of islands off the east coast of Asia; the main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The country has a hilly or mountainous terrain, with the main island, Honshu, having peaks that rise to over 3,600 meters (12,000 ft). The higher mountains in Hokkaido and Honshu are covered in snow throughout the year. The climate is humid continental throughout Hokkaido and the northeastern interior of Honshu, and humid subtropical throughout the rest of Honshu and the other islands."
  • Electrical: Most of our devices from North America can be used in Japan with no problem. "Electricity is supplied in Japan at 100 volts (V) AC. This is different from the rest of the world, which operates on either 110–120V or 220–240V. The frequency of the electric current varies by region, with 50 Hertz (Hz) in Eastern Japan (including Tokyo, Yokohama, and Hokkaido) and 60 Hz in Western Japan (including Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima). Most appliances and devices are not affected by the frequency difference, though timing devices such as clocks may be."
  • Health Care System: "Medical care in Japan is very good; in the World Health Organization’s assessment of health care systems in 191 countries, Japan ranked 10th from the top. The system is well funded and widely available, with good access for all citizens. For foreigners, access can be a bit more difficult. English-speaking physicians and medical facilities that cater to Westerners’ expectations are expensive and not widespread. Medical caregivers in Japan require payment in full at the time of treatment or concrete proof of ability to pay before they will treat a foreigner who is not a member of the national health insurance plan."
  • Tipping: "In Japan, tipping individuals in places such as hotels, restaurants, and beauty salons is not a customary practice. Most of the time, a service charge of 10 to 15 percent is added to your bill. You may tip a small amount (5 to 10 percent) if you have requested special services, or feel you have received exceptional service. However, if the service staff member refuses the tip, do not force it upon him or her, as this would be seen as an embarrassment. If you choose to tip, the tip should always be placed in an envelope, as handing someone an unwrapped tip would be considered rude."

    Language Learners: Japanese available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Japanese music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Japanese recipe, try Gomaae salad.

    Gomaae can be made with a variety of ingredients, but the most popular version is made with spinach.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 4

    1 bunch fresh spinach
    2 tbsp (30 ml) miso
    2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
    2 tbsp (30 ml) ground sesame
    1 tbsp (15 ml) sake
  • Wash the spinach well and put it with the roots first into boiling water.
  • Boil the spinach for about 1 minute. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Cool the spinach down under cold water. Press the water out of the spinach and cut the spinach into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
  • Combine the miso, sake, sugar, and sesame into a bowl and mix well.
  • Mix the spinach with the dressing and serve in small bowls.
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    Posted Tuesday August 23, 2016 09:00am

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