Since the early 2,000s there has been an extravagant rise in popularity over Korean Pop (K-Pop) on an international scale. Perhaps the most major contributor to the expansion of K-Pop popularity around the world being PSY, when his hit song Gangnam Style was released. Two other major contributors to the K-Pop craze that have paved their ways into international mainstream media around the world are BTS and BlackPink.
Sweet Bean, a seven-time nominated film with ranges of ratings from 7.3/10-9.8/10, as well as 4/5 stars given by critics and up to 5/5 stars by normal viewers, is a film that not many have seen outside of Japan, but is one of director Naomi Kawase’s most well-received films, besides Still the Water and Suzaku. Sweet Bean, a tale of unlikely friendships and patience, materialized over a delectable Japanese sweet, formed from bean paste and pancakes (Dorayaki), with an underlying story that gives way to an insight of a disconcerting piece of Japan’s past, takes its viewers on a simultaneously heartwarming yet heart-wrenchingly emotional an hour and 53 minute excursion. Directed by Naomi Kawase, a four-time Palme d’Or competitor with her visually beautiful films that often have an underlying message on the unspoken bonds made between man and his environment, Sweet Bean (also known as “An”) does just that, but with food serving in nature’s place.
For a thousand years there have been tales of a creature that roams the dark woods alone, a creature so dangerous and terrifying that not even the bravest of our countrymen dare to go near the edge of the mystical forest that was sprouted and grown from the deepest sorcery of black magic. Everyone tells the tales of the evilest being known to mankind keeping a watchful eye on our small town that resides just a mile away, waiting for any unlucky soul to enter, whether it be man, woman, child, or animal, and those of whom have dared to enter the inhospitably cursed woodland in the past have vanished without a trace, never to return, be heard from, or seen again, for they had entered the territory of the most dreadful being to ever walk this earth, which only goes to prove that the tales are true, and that everyone shall stay away if they value their life.
Have you ever had the desire to study abroad or take a quick trip to the wonderful country that is Japan? Or perhaps you’ve thought about starting life anew in a foreign country that offers a historical culture intermixed with the advancing new-age technology of the 21st century. If this is the case, then this may be the article for you! Before booking your flight, packing your bags and heading off on a fantastic journey that is sure to stay in your memories for the rest of your life, here’s 20 pieces of advice and general things that you should know before traveling to Japan.