In the quiet winter evenings of Kobe, there exists a tradition that transforms the city into a luminous canvas of hope and remembrance (and creates some long, twisting and unexpected lines in front of the Lexis Japan building!). Every December (moving to January in 2024), the Kobe Luminarie, an enchanting festival of lights, adorns the cityscape, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe.
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday……The regular crowd shuffles in…..There’s an old man sittin’ next to me…..And he starts belting out Enka songs from the 1970s…. We all know Karaoke (and many of us curse it every time we go out), but did you know it was born in Kobe? Find out about the (sometimes) enchanting world of karaoke in Japan, its origins, cultural significance, and enduring popularity.
It’s not often we can start a blog with a direct quote from a student, but I couldn’t say no to this one. So what IS the deal with that awesome cat thingy you see? Read on for all you need to know about the Maneki Neko!
Living abroad as an international student in Kobe is an adventure that brings both excitement and challenges. For those who choose Kobe, Japan, as their study destination, the experience becomes uniquely enriching. Nestled between the Rokko Mountains and the Seto Inland Sea, Kobe is a city that effortlessly blends traditional Japanese culture with a modern international flair. In this bustling metropolis, every day is an opportunity to explore, learn, and grow, making it an ideal home for students seeking a multicultural experience.
Japan, a land of ancient traditions and modern marvels, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. Lexis Japan’s very popular Teen Activity Program is a summer course that provides the chance to not only learn the intricacies of the Japanese language but also dive deep into the rich cultural heritage of the country (and have heaps of fun at the same time!). Lexis Japan’s Teen Activity Program in Kobe is more than just a language course; it’s a journey that offers young learners an immersive and unforgettable experience in one of Japan’s most captivating cities
Japanese food is good. I mean, really good. There aren’t many places in the world you can’t find a Japanese restaurant nowadays, and of course – the best of it is in Japan itself. While many Japanese foods are celebrated for their exquisite flavors and meticulous preparation, there are however certain delicacies that might challenge your palate somewhat….. We asked our students which Japanese foods they may have struggled with….
Kobe has always been a ‘city of villages’, with each district and area offering something entirely unique and different. It’s a city that rewards patient exploration…make sure you make the most of it during your time at Lexis Japan!
There’s something special about Kobe Beef. Learn more about where it comes from, bovine massages, beer and happy cows!
The fascinating 2000 year journey of hiragana
Kotowaza … or how to sound a bit clever in Japanese (but be careful…. even monkeys fall from trees!)
Want to sound a bit clever in Japanese…? Drop a few kotowaza into your conversations!
It can be harder than you think to capture a glimpse of ‘old Japan’, but Takayama really is something special.
Tying yourself in knots – learning hayakuchi kotoba tongue twisters (and a fun one for the experts!)
For pronunciation and fluency in Japanese, there’s nothing better than hayakuchi kotoba!
No matter where you are in the world, there’s no better ice-breaker than a chat about the local sports team! Kobe has a long and rich history when it comes to sports, with many of its teams enjoying a loyal and passionate fan base. Here’s a quick read to prepare you for Monday morning banter!
Kobe is a vibrant port city located on the coast of Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. Known for its historical significance and scenic beauty, Kobe has also emerged as a hub for international trade, with many multinational companies setting up operations in the city.
Live like a local? EAT like a local! All about “Meibutsu” (名物) (and 5 great must-try Kobe specialities)
Have you heard the word ‘meibutsu’ before? “Meibutsu” (名物) is a Japanese word that refers to a local specialty or a famous product of a certain area. Listing meibutsu seems to come very naturally to Japanese people…name almost any city or region and they will quickly reel off the well known specialities of the area..
Here’s a simple list of the ten kanji that you really need to know (and can teach yourself…even if it’s on the plane to Kobe)!
One of the attractions of Kobe is that there’s so much nearby – 20 minutes by train will transport you to the madness of downtown Osaka, while the historical temples of Kyoto are less than an hour away. But many Lexis students tell us that it’s the ‘lesser known’ attractions of Kobe that were the highlight of their stay. Here are some favourites that you really must check out!
Too much study and not enough play? Insanely keen instant ramen gourmet? Ready for a quirky weekend activity? Don’t miss the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum.
I was talking to a couple of Lexis Japan students the other day, and they shared with me their mission for their time in Japan…..to try each and every flavour of Kitkat. This is no simple task! Did you know about the Japanese KitKat obsession?
“Aisatsu” (挨拶) is a Japanese word that refers to greetings or formal expressions of politeness and respect.
Below are some very simple words and phrases to get you started in communicating at home.
Did you know that you can prepare for the JPLT at Lexis Japan? The JLPT has long been the ‘standard’ Japanese language test. Read on to see if it’s time to take on the challenge!
Is there anything more Japanese than relaxing in an onsen under the stars? Say what you will about studying in Japan, but there aren’t that many places where it’s perfectly acceptable to strip down in front of your classmates and share around a bottle of warm sake!
One of our most popular day trips from Kobe is to Himeji (of particular interest to James Bond fans!). Himeji Castle is a criminally under-visited attraction, easily accessible in about 45 minutes by train from Kobe. It’s not often you can live out your ninja fantasies and explore your 007 fetish on the same day…
Coming to Kobe? Kobe is known throughout Japan as a ‘city for foodies’. While you can find the finest of Michelin dining in Kobe, it’s down at street level that the food scene really takes off. Here’s our recommended bucket list of ‘must tries’ for your stay, with a preference for the cheap and the cheerful!