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 ]

Top Hanami Sites near Hiroshima

Mar 25, 2020 By Admin

Hanami is what the Japanese call "flower viewing,"  especially cherry blossoms (桜 sakura) with friends and family. In modern practice, hanami is enjoyed, especially by the younger generations of Japan, with copious amounts of food and drink. The practice is so popular that finding and securing a good spot in...[ 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 ]

Spring Love Harukaze Music Festival in Tokyo 2020

Feb 26, 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 ]

No Comments

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 ]

No Comments

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 ]

Chocs Away! Where to Buy Valentine’s Chocolate in Nagoya

Jan 30, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, and in Japan, that means just one thing: chocolate. Now, everyone knows that here in Japan, we do things a little differently, namely that on February 14, women are the chocolate givers, whether it be a heartfelt indication of love for their chosen partner,...[ Click to read more ]

Plum Blossom Viewing in Tokyo – The Top Umemi Spots!

Jan 27, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

  While the cherry blossom is the flower that tends to dominate the imagination of Japanese botanic appreciation, it is perhaps the plum (ume) blossom that should be the more celebrated. Reddish pink or white flowers, they are distinguishable from the sakura by their split ended petals and their strong...[ Click to read more ]

Setsubun Festivals in Tokyo

Jan 25, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

So you survived oshogatsu (Japanese New Year's) and are looking forward to the end of March and the blooming of the cherry trees, but the reality is there are at least 60 more days to go before a single pink blossom appears. While it will not bring the blossoms any...[ Click to read more ]

Setsubun Festivals in Nagoya “That Bean-Throwing Festival”

By Ray Proper

Setsubun, or "That Bean-Throwing Festival," celebrates the beginning of spring in Japan. Celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival, its association with the Lunar New Year makes this festival a sort of New Year's Eve. This association is accompanied by a special ritual to cleanse away...[ Click to read more ]