Kishiwada Castle in Japan What Will Recruit Spend Its IPO Billions On? So why is Recruit going public? The Nikkei reckons that there are rumors that Recruit wants to do some major M&As. We think we can safely rule out much of that happening in Japan. Terrie's Take Only 33 Registered Tour Guides Serving Tokyo? One way to alleviate travel language fears and to give tourists some real depth and perspective to this amazing country would be to open up the tour guiding sector so that more youthful bilinguals could get involved. Terrie's Take
The view from the Osaka Sky Observatory at night How to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka The best way to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka is to stay in a Wi-Fi enabled hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, you are more likely to get free Wi-Fi at the cheaper accommodation providers, like Hana Hostel or J Hoppers. Kombu-wrapped kamaboko from Iki Iki Toyamakan A Taste of Japan By Joan Bailey Melon-flavored ice cream from Hokkaido. Natamame (sword bean) tea from Hyogo. Mikan juice from Wakayama. Usually such unique regional items can only be savored by visiting the prefecture or city they are from. Negotiating a Promotion Negotiating A Promotion Asking for more money from an employer takes technique and those successful can come out ahead both in the eyes of their boss and in the additional pay they enjoy.'s bloggers are selected using strict criteria. All conflicts of interest are mentioned. All opinions are those of the individuals.

A Matter of Trust

By Todd Wojnowski

“Trust me.” -- It’s perhaps the least-trustworthy sentence in existence—even children know to put their guards up when they hear it. There’s something diabolical in it that we connect with Hollywood villains and used car salesmen. Directly asking people to trust you is a sure way to tip off that they probably have no reason to, probably shouldn’t.

Kishiwada Castle

By Bonson Lam

The Stone Garden in Kishiwada Castle brings together the present and the past in a symbolic way. It was designed by Mirei Shigemori; a famous architect and designer who also built the Kokuan tea house in Kyoto.

The Customer Is God Delusion

By Philip Patrick

As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.

Kyoto Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

By Tomoko Kamishima

More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.

Ramen, 2.5m Bowls a Day and Other Interesting Stats, e-biz news from Japan

There can be few more satisfying meals in Japan than a steaming (or chilled) bowl of ramen (Japanese noodle soup dish.) Pork, miso, soy, salt, curry, or vinegar flavored. Thick or thin, al dente or soft.

Agritourism, the Italian Mode, ebiz news from Japan

The recent success of the sake industry has given farmers and their minders in government hope for food exports, and for that matter agritourism -- because food brings tourists.

Dateline Tokyo Journalism Project Kicks Off, e-biz news from Japan

The idea of the program is to get more Tokyo-centric news, events, and lifestyle reportage into the international news system, and thus start increasing international awareness as the city runs up to the 2020 Olympics.

No Welfare for Foreigners Ruling Not Apocalyptic, e-biz news from Japan

Last week, foreigner-related message boards lit up in outrage over the finding of the Japanese Supreme Court, that foreigners are not entitled to receive welfare support if they get into personal financial trouble.

Falling Exports and What Comes Next, e-biz news from Japan

The Finance Ministry came out with some negative data this week, showing that the nation's exports fell 2% in June, and that the trade balance was in deficit, again, to the tune of -JPY822.2trn.