Takayama Spring Festival

Apr 01, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Located in Gifu Prefecture, and surrounded by some of Japan’s richest natural areas just below the famous Northern Alps, Takayama is somewhat isolated and distant.  This isolation allowed the city to develop its own distinct culture that combines that of nearby Edo (modern day Tokyo) and Kyoto’s into a new...[ Click to read more ]

Wisteria Festivals: Aichi’s Other ‘Hanami’

Mar 18, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

There can be absolutely no doubt that in Japan, the month of April is very much the month the cherry blossom tree. However, as quickly as it has come, the season has gone. Time has taken its toll on the delicate sakura, and the wind and rain of spring have...[ Click to read more ]

Join Amnesty International in Nagoya

Feb 26, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Nagoya is currently seeing a rise in activism. From environmental concerns to issues of social justice, all over the city groups of concerned locals and ex-pats are joining together to make the world a better place. One such group is the Amnesty International Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional). Japan Info Swap...[ Click to read more ]

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Spring Love Harukaze Music Festival in Tokyo 2020

By Jason Gatewood

We got you covered when it comes to checking out all the pink-tree goodness when it comes to cherry blossom viewing parties in Tokyo. But if you want to level-up your hanami experience this year, you can’t go wrong with the free Spring Love Harukaze concert on the weekend of...[ Click to read more ]

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Where to Enjoy Jazz in Kobe

By Justin Hanus

If you’re a jazz fan, Kobe is a place you must visit during your time in Japan. The city is arguably the origin of jazz in Japan as it was here in April 1923 that the first professional jazz band was formed. Plus, Louis Armstrong and his orchestra famously visited...[ Click to read more ]

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“Girls Day” Hinamatsuri Celebrations in Kansai

Feb 25, 2020 By Justin Hanus

If you're an expat living in Japan, it's highly likely that you will experience Hinamatsuri. This special day dedicated to girls and their families takes place every March 3rd across the country when you can expect to see ceramic doll displays, special foods and sometimes even songs. What is Hinamatsuri?...[ Click to read more ]

Top Five Hanami Sites Near Nagoya

Feb 22, 2020 By Ray Proper

"Hanami" literally means flower viewing, but it is much more than that to the people of Japan.  Hanami signals the end of another long winter's chill, and besides simply enjoying the beauty of flowers, especially cherry blossoms (桜 sakura), it means time spent with friends and family outdoors with, especially by the younger generations of...[ Click to read more ]

Watching Sumo matches in Jungyo Exhibition Tour

Feb 10, 2020 By Chiho

Watching sumo is one of the most authentic attractions in Japan. The annual grand tournaments are held only in odd months; January, May, and September in Tokyo, March in Osaka, July in Nagoya, and November in Fukuoka. You don't want to miss the tournament matches if you happen to be...[ Click to read more ]

Top Hanami Sites Near Kobe

Feb 09, 2020 By Justin Hanus

Spring is just around the corner, which for many Japanese residents means Hanami time is here again. Hanami means “flower viewing” in Japanese (from the Japanese for flower - “hana”) and, up and down the country, people gather together to spend time with each other and appreciate the beauty of...[ Click to read more ]

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Setsubun Festivals in Hiroshima – Out With the Bad, in With the Good!

Jan 31, 2020 By Hugh Cann

Each year, on the third of February, harried fathers across Japan put on paper demon masks and are pelted with roasted soybeans by their children, who cry “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi!” (Demon out, Fortune in!) until dad flees out the front door into the night air. Or turns...[ Click to read more ]