The Best Of Savvy Tokyo For 2020

Our top articles that got us through the year

By The Savvy Team
December 30, 2020
Careers, Savvy News

What a year! Before we usher in a better and brighter 2021, here’s a look at what articles were popular on Savvy and helped get us through the past 12 months.

Our running theme on SavvyTokyo for 2020 was #StayAtHome, where we posted a lot of fun and convenient activities to try at home during the pandemic. We introduced numerous home delivery and pick up services, and provided ways to get through the tough times both physically and mentally. We also posted a lot of seasonal topics and introduced a new series, Savvy Sips, where home bartender Lauren Shannon shares her cocktail creations with our readers.

As we digested the analytics this year, we noticed that our readers were most captivated by several topics that we can all relate to: relationships, balanced lifestyle, things we love about Japan and our survival guides to get through the coronavirus pandemic. 

From January to December, here are the most-read Savvy stories of each month. Enjoy!


Seijin No Hi: Celebrating Japanese Youth’s Rite of Passage

Our year started off strong as we introduced one one of the most important national holidays in Japan, Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day) when 20-year-olds officially bid goodbye to their childhood. As well as discussing why the event is one of the most colorful and picturesque of the year, we also looked into the debates and prospective changes for it in coming years. 


In Japan, One Size Does Not Fit All Women

Louise George Kittaka discusses Japan’s societal pressures on women to adhere to strictly defined parameters of appearance. Find out why Japanese women are conforming to societal ideals and see what Japanese role models are breaking the norms and exercising their right to love themselves just as they are.


Coronavirus Outbreak: Japan Top 5 Useless (But Funny) Alternative Mask Ideas

Top 6 Useless But Funny Masks Coronavirus Lead

It seems crazy now to think back to the start of the year when shops were cleared of supplies, especially that whole toilet paper panic. Another very important coronavirus item that became crucial all year long were masks. The Twitter community in Japan did not disappoint when everyone was looking for alternatives to regular masks. We chose five of our favorite useless but funny mask ideas.


6 Fun At-Home Workouts To Keep You Mentally and Physically Fit

#StayAtHome Start Fresh

As gyms shut down around Tokyo and fitness classes were canceled, many worried how they were going to stay in shape during the pandemic. Luckily, Erika Van’t Veld was here to help with six great home workout ideas to keep us fit. From beginner level yoga, rajio taiso (radio calisthenics), to the more upbeat Zumba and intense bodyweight workouts, she provides us an at-home workout for people of all ages and all fitness levels. 


‘Corona Divorce’ Threatens Marriages As Life Amid Virus Exposes Couples’ Values

‘Corona Divorce’ Threatens Marriages As Life Amid Virus Exposes Couples’ Values

With everyone confined to quarters in spring, frustration turned to resolve. Many decided to separate from their partners whose values—circumstances showed them—were incompatible with their own. Kirsty Kawano looks at the environment that caused many couples to split for good during this year’s pandemic. 


3 Health Tips I Learned In Japan That Helped Me Lose 18 Kilos

3 Health Tips I Learned In Japan That Helped Me Lose 18 Kilos

Revamped from the original article of 2017, Katheryn Gronauer shares how she lost 40 pounds (18 kg) by looking at three main practices Japanese women do in their daily lives, which, as she finds, can have a major impact on our health and figure. 


Eating Like A Local: A B-Kyu Gurume

Eating Like A Local: A B-Kyu Gurume

What is B-Kyu Gurume? Where is it and what should you try? Explore Japan’s favorite affordable comfort foods with Hilary Keyes and her two unique recommendations at the end.


Yurei: Japanese Ghost Tales That Will Keep You Up At Night

Yūrei: 7 Japanese Ghost Tales That Will Keep You Up At Night

With many stuck indoors even during the hot summer months, ghost tales that sent chills down our spines were just what we needed—for those of us who could handle it, at least. Madina Baygelova introduces us to internationally famous legends about revengeful and spiteful Japanese ghosts. Take a peek, if you dare.


Exploring A Creative Outlet With Kaila Ocampo

Exploring A Creative Outlet With Kaila Ocampo

For our monthly Savvy Spotlight feature introducing foreign and Japanese women making waves in the city, Kathryn Wortley interviews Kaila Ocampo. The Filipina entrepreneur discussed the story behind Rainbowholic, her Saitama-based kawaii (cute) stationery and lifestyle products business.


12 Breathtaking Onsen Resorts To Visit This Autumn

Best onsen to visit this autumn in Japan

One of the best ways to enjoy autumn is having a quiet onsen experience far, far away from the crowded atmosphere of Tokyo. These 12 hot spring resorts offer the ultimate refreshing experience: from unique baths and stay plans to exquisite cuisine and breathtaking scenery. These are spas you’ll want to soak in forever.


Dating Apps In Japan For 2020: What’s Worth It And What’s Not?

Online Dating In Japan: What Apps Are Worth It And What Aren't?

Most foreign women living in Japan that want a serious relationship need to put in more legwork than they might otherwise overseas. Shyness combined with language and cultural barriers plus the not-so-little matter of a global pandemic made dating an even more stressful situation than it typically is this year. That’s where Hilary Keyes came in, with a list of dating apps she ranked their convenience with the help of 15 international women living in Japan. 


Japanese Anti-Sexual Violence Ad, #ActiveBystander, Becomes Online Hit

Japanese Anti-Sexual Violence Ad, #ActiveBystander, Becomes Online Hit

In our top year-end article, Kirsty Kawano looks into one of Japan’s most striking public awareness social media commercials. The #ActiveBystander campaign against sexual violence was made by two Japanese women and is racking up views online and understanding from viewers. Follow Kirsty as she takes a deeper dive into the making of the campaign. 

What were your favorite Savvy Tokyo stories for the year? What stories would you like to see more of on the site in 2021? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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