Things to do in Tokyo Over the Holiday Season

Nov 28, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

It's that time of year again... You've set the toilet seat warmer on 10 to keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nether parts, the local Starbucks is blasting "Last Christmas" by George Michael for the 53,347th time, and every fast-food chain and convenience store is touting its selection of fried...[ Click to read more ]

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Winter Illumination in Hiroshima

Nov 27, 2019 By Matt Mangham

Seasonal illuminations are a big deal in Japan. From the famous Kobe Luminarie, donated by the Italian government following the Great Hanshin Earthquake, to light festivals in Osaka, Sendai, Nagoya and elsewhere, a chilly stroll through an enchanted scene of colored lights has become a prominent feature of winter in...[ Click to read more ]

Chichibu Night Festival Near Tokyo

Nov 26, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

Located about 2 hours northwest of Central Tokyo, Chichibu is a small mountain community that is popular for weekend getaways thanks to it being the home of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park and a very picturesque and historic area. Celebrating some of that history is the Chichibu Yomatsuri night festival. This is...[ Click to read more ]

Toyohashi Zoo & Botanical Park – Non Hoi Park

Nov 25, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Toyohashi Zoo & Botanical Park is a fun-packed day out for all the family, with animals, rides, beautiful spots, and flowers from all over the world. Also known as 'Non Hoi Park' (it means something like 'hey, hey!' in the local Higashi-Mikawa dialect) it is a zoo, botanical garden, amusement...[ Click to read more ]

What is the ShichiGoSan Ceremony?

Nov 24, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

Traditionally held on November 15, the Shichigosan (七五三, literally 7-5-3) ceremony is a rite that originated around 750 AD in the Heian period to celebrate the passage into middle childhood for children in Japan. Back in those times, it was considered a blessing from the gods if a child made...[ Click to read more ]

Get a Sugar Rush at the Aichi Sweets Marathon

Oct 29, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Are you too keen on candy to run a marathon? Do you need sugary enticement to get you to that finishing line? Then the Aichi Sweets Marathon in Moricoro Park is right up your, um, running track. While gobbling down sweets mid-run may seem like a major contradiction, the Sweets Marathon...[ Click to read more ]

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Dream Yosacoy Festival

By Jason Gatewood

Yosakoi dancing started in Kochi in Shikoku around 1954 as a way to celebrate postwar reconstruction, building spirit, and teamwork. Blending traditional Japanese dance and costume motif with modern music, thumping chants, contemporary fashion, hairstyles, it’s known throughout Japan as one of the most energetic sights to behold at any...[ Click to read more ]

The Nipponbashi Street Festa in Osaka

Oct 18, 2019 By Justin Hanus

Back in 2005, Osaka was not nearly as popular a tourist destination as it is today. The city decided to host a cosplay and otaku festival called Nipponbashi Street Festa to improve things, and it was a huge success. In the first year, 130,00 tourists came to see the festival,...[ Click to read more ]

Scouting in Nagoya

Sep 28, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

When Lord Baden Powell published the first edition of 'Scouting for Boys', a guidebook of survival techniques he learned during the Second Boer War and adapted for Britain's youth he sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Although the Scouting movement has become very different to what he may have imagined it to be (I'm...[ Click to read more ]

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Nagano Ebisuko Fireworks Festival, Where It’s All Going off This Autumn

Sep 27, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

For most of Japan, the coming of autumn marks an end to the almost nightly banging, crashing and gunpowder-scented air of the fireworks festivals. Yes, there may be a few straggling events at the beginning of September, but that is pretty much it. But then, in late November, when the air...[ Click to read more ]