Savvy Tokyo’s Most Loved ‘Life In Japan’ Articles of 2023

Happy New Year To Our Readers! With Love, From The Savvy Team

By The Savvy Team
December 31, 2023
Savvy News

What a year! We can't believe it's the end of 2023. Before we leap into 2024, let's take a moment to revisit and showcase our most loved articles of the past year.

Here are our top articles for each month of 2023. Click the links to give each of the ones you missed a read.


The Savvy Tokyo Guide To Marriage And Divorce in Japan

The Savvy Tokyo Guide to Marriage in Japan© Photo by iStock: shirosuna-m

The year commenced with many readers seeking insights into the intricacies of getting hitched and unhitched in Japan. To those who tied the knot this year, a big congratulations! For those navigating the path of divorce, we hope you found solace and are embarking on a new chapter with renewed strength. All the best!


An Introduction to Japanese Herbs

An Introduction to Japanese Herbs© Photo by iStock: Promo_Link

Living in Japan, it’s always so wonderful to learn more about the cultural ingredients that make up so many of the tasty dishes we’ve come to love (or working towards loving). Our writer Elizabeth Sok did an exceptional job highlighting a variety of seasonal ingredients in Japan for each of the seasons this year. From balcony gardening tips to an insightful series on Japanese fish and wagashi (Japanese sweets), Elizabeth’s contributions enriched our culinary knowledge.


Buying Randoseru: Japanese Elementary School Bag Guide

Buying Randoseru: Japanese Elementary School Bag Guide© Photo by iStock: itakayuki

Parents with little ones starting school in Japan, this one’s for you. Whether they started this year or will be in the new year, or coming years ahead, understanding the nuances of the Japanese school culture is a great way to prepare yourself, as well as your little ones. Explore more of our articles about Japanese elementary schools in preparation for this significant stage in your child’s life.


5 Trending Japanese Makeup Products for Spring 2023

5 Trending Japanese Makeup Products for Spring 2023© Photo by iStock: K-Angle

Our fashion and beauty expert, Tabitha Wilders did an amazing job keeping us in the loop with all the Tokyo trends for this year. Her 2023 spring and summer fragrance article and summer shoe trend article were also popular reads of the season. We look forward to the trends of 2024, don’t forget to keep an eye out for them!


Tokyo’s Summer School & Camp Programs For 2023

Tokyo’s Summer School & Camp Programs For 2023© Photo by Laurus International School of Science

Summer programs provided Tokyo families with great options to make the most of the hot vacation months. Our summer school and camp program listing ranked high with many parents finding ways to keep their kids entertained over the summer break. We’ll update the list for 2024 so keep note for the upcoming summer.


Here’s How To Bug Proof Your Japanese Home This Summer

Here’s How To Bug Proof Your Japanese Home This Summer© Photo by iStock: nicoletaionescu

We’re glad to know that our guide on bug-proofing homes resonated well during the summertime. Whether you revisit it in the summer of 2024 or prepare in advance, these tips will help you combat the inevitable challenges of Japanese humidity.


Sun Protection Culture: Japan vs The West

Sun Protection Culture: Japan vs The West© Photo by iStock: mari_matayoshi

This comparison of Japan and the West’s sun protection culture was one of our biggest articles of the year! Exploring cultural differences is always intriguing, and we’re thrilled to have readers who share this curiosity.


Portrayals of Duality: Hafu in the Media and Popular Culture

Portrayals of Duality: Hafu in the Media and Popular Culture© Photo by iStock: ArthurHidden

With more and more international relationships blossoming in Japan, a rise in dual-raced children becomes inevitable. Our hafu (child of one ethnic Japanese parent and one non-ethnic Japanese parent) articles are always eye-opening to read. It’s fascinating to hear the voices of Japanese people who never seem to fully fit in—​​an experience expats can also relate to. In this top article, Jane Pipkin, a hafu writer, explores hafu representation in Japan. For a more personal hafu story, Tabitha Wilders discusses the ups and downs of being “half Japanese” in Japan in her article from 2022.


Letters from Japan: “Married Men”

Letters from Japan: “Married Men”© Photo by iStock: Tero Vesalainen

Our resident “Love in Japan” columnist, Hilary Keyes, continued her insightful “Letters from Japan” series this year. Every month she answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. If you would like to ask a question or get some advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to her via our official Ask Hilary email (


Tokyo Fashion Subculture: Japanese Streetwear

Tokyo Fashion Subculture: Japanese Streetwear© Photo by iStock: LeoPatrizi

We introduced several new series this year that quickly picked up popularity. Our “Tokyo Fashion Subculture” series, spearheaded by Jane Pipkin, hit it off from the get-go! In each article, Jane delves into a fashion subculture that has made Japan the fashion powerhouse it is today. Japanese Streetwear, the Shibuya Gyaru and Lolita have been covered over the past few months. This series will continue through 2024 so stay tuned for more!


Showa Dreamscape: Nostalgic Tourism in Retro Tokyo

Showa Dreamscape: Nostalgic Tourism in Retro Tokyo© Photo by iStock: gyro

Uuh, reminiscing the past. Although not everything was perfect looking back, we completely understand why there are so many things to feel nostalgic about. If you missed it, check out this “Showa Dreamscape” article to discover some of Tokyo’s best neighborhoods and eateries that offer a glimpse into Japan’s unique retro culture and its embrace of nostalgic tourism.


5 Seasonal Getaways in Kanagawa Prefecture

5 Seasonal Getaways in Kanagawa Prefecture© Photo by iStock: joel-t

As the year comes to an end, we understand that many Tokyoites seek a peaceful holiday escape. Our writer Laura Pollacco thought the same and provided us with a list of Kanagawa getaways that provide a breath of fresh air. If you’re still undecided for the first few days of 2024, it’s not too late to head on out to Kanagawa for a more peaceful celebration of the new year.

Savvy Tokyo’s Most Loved 'Life In Japan' Articles of 2023© Photo by iStock: yukinco

The Savvy Team wishes all of our readers a wonderful holiday and a fantastic year ahead. A huge thank you to our brilliant staff, talented contributors and each and every one of you lovely people who continue to support us through your loyal readership.

With new people joining our team and a rapidly growing community of users in Japan and overseas, we’re looking forward to 2024 and all of the excitement it’s going to bring! Stay tuned for more of the content you enjoy, as well as several upcoming projects to help women and their families live their best lives in Japan.

We’re always looking for new contributors too, so if you have any writing experience or want to submit something on spec about life in Tokyo, get in contact with us! As always, if you’d like to give feedback or have any suggestions for the site, or simply want to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to reach out via our Contact Form.

Happy New Year everyone!

With so much love,

The Savvy Team

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