The Best Of Savvy Tokyo For 2016

What Our Readers Enjoyed The Most

By The Savvy Team
December 30, 2016

These were the 10 most-read Savvy Tokyo stories of 2016.

A lot can happen in a year. Before we embrace 2017, all fresh and new, let’s take a look back at what was hot on our site over the past 12 months. In 2016, we posted a lot of seasonal topics and introduced several brand new series, including our weekly event guide, a fitness series and personal stories, such as one Canadian woman’s journey of adoption and fostering in Japan.

As we went through the analytics, we noticed that our readers were mostly captivated by our “top” selections of fascinating places and things to do in Tokyo, while a piece on how Japan teaches its children independence made it the No. 1 story — not just for this year, but for the entire history of Savvy Tokyo!

Below are the 10 most-read Savvy stories for 2016 in order of popularity.

1. How Japan Prepares Its Children for Independence

Kate Lewis was told by her two-year-old son’s kindergarten that he would attend a field trip (his very first one) and the parents were not invited. She looked into how an experience like this teaches Japan’s children independence from a very early age.

2.Watch 100 Years of Japanese Beauty Trends in One Minute

This amazing video by shows 100 years of Japanese beauty trends — from the kimono styles of the early 1900s to the post-war era and ending with Harajuku kawaii — in a single minute. A fascinating look at the beauty trends that have been popular in Japan over the last century.

3. Tokyo’s Top 5 Shopping Districts

Fashion contributor Linda Haberberger guides you through Tokyo’s best known shopping districts, from Ginza to Omotesando and everything in-between.

4. 7 Free Apps to Make Life Easier in Japan

Whether it’s navigating the urban jungle, communicating with Japanese colleagues or finding the best spot for your date — useful mobile apps can make your life that much easier and so much more fun. Here is an article that focuses on seven smartphone apps available in Japan that will make your experience here smoother and more entertaining.

5. Shibuya’s Top 5 Souvenir Shops

Shopping in Tokyo can be the ultimate experience, but when it comes to buying gifts, deciding what to pick up can be a little daunting — especially if time is limited. This article introduces five unique shops in Shibuya, where you will find a treasure trove of mementos—from the traditional to the not so.

6. They’re Men Born As Women, And Yes, You Can Call Them Onabe

The term onabe — the female equivalent of the older and more established expression okama — is used for transgendered people who were born women, but live as men. Our contributor L. F. Keehn visits two onabe bars in Tokyo to see what’s behind the scenes and hear what their owners and staff members have to say about life.

7. Tokyo’s Top 5 Onsen-Style Spas

A guide to some of Tokyo’s best onsen-style spas to heat and heal you in the cold winter season.

8. Tokyo’s Top Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots

Hanami (flower viewing) is an essential Japanese experience. A spiritual metaphor for the beautiful but fleeting nature of life; and above all, a chance to get outside and eat, drink and be merry under the cover of beautiful pink and white blossoms. This article lists some of Tokyo’s most famous and pleasant venues for the experience.

9. Coping With Weight Gain In Japan

Kyoto, Japan - April 8, 2013: Portrait of a geisha approaching a tea house on Hanama koji lane in the Gion district of Kyoto. The Geisha in Gion are the highest ranked in Japan.

What to do when you find your body suddenly changing without warning? How do you cope in a foreign country when you become foreign to yourself? And where the heck can a gal find whole grain bread here? Our foodie expert Anisa Kazemi answers these and other delicate questions on a subject many of us have dealt with after arriving in Japan.

10. Joshiryoku: How is Girl Power Defined in Japan

Literally translated as “girl power,” the Japanese word joshiryoku is somewhat different from how the term is perceived in other parts of the world. The article looks into those cultural norms as they are perceived here in Japan.

What were your favorite Savvy Tokyo stories for the year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!


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