Winter Attractions in Tokyo

Dec 26, 2019 By Jason Gatewood

Wintertime around these parts usually means either taking in some winter sports like skiing and snowboarding or soaking in one of the numerous hot spring onsens around the countryside surrounding the metropolis. But there are a few other things you can check out around Greater Tokyo in the cold part of...[ Click to read more ]

Hiroshima New Year’s Traditions: Hatsumode and the Tondo Festival

By Hugh Cann

There are two main events or traditions marking the beginning of the new year in Japan. Auspiciously, the first visit of the year to the shrine called Hatsumode, and followed later in the month by the Tondo festival. Hatsumode The first visit of the year to a shrine or temple...[ Click to read more ]

Hatsumode in Nagoya – Shrines to Visit for New Years

Dec 24, 2019 By First Admin

Oshogatsu, or New Year, is the most important holiday in Japan. Businesses shut down January 1 to January 3, and families gather to spend time together.  The New Year Lottery numbers have been announced, New Year cards have been exchanged, and most places around Japan start looking like ghost towns. Sometime during...[ Click to read more ]

Japanese New Years’ Traditions

By Jason Gatewood

New Year is the main holiday of the year in Japan, and the country shuts down for several days as people take time off to spend time with their families and relax. As with Christmas celebrations in the West, numerous customs and traditions are observed at New Years. Here are...[ Click to read more ]

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Hatsumode in Tokyo – Shrines to Visit for New Years

By Mark Guthrie

Celebrating New Year in Japan is all about 'firsts.' Perhaps the most important ‘first’ is the first trip to a shrine, a tradition called hatsumode. While this can be done at any time, usually over the first three days of the year, the most dramatic time will be at midnight...[ Click to read more ]

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 ]

Yokogawa: The Old Hiroshima Neighborhood

Nov 20, 2019 By Admin

Yokogawa, in the west of Hiroshima, has been my neighborhood since 2014. I was introduced to it via a friend who said she thought it would suit my arty, creative personality. She said lots of quirky and interesting people live here and she was right. The area has a very...[ Click to read more ]

Christmas in Japan

Nov 10, 2019 By Ray Proper

While less than 1% of the population of Japan identifies themselves as Christian, Japanese families still look forward to and enjoy Christmas festivities in their own distinctly Japanese way. Encouraged by businesses and the power of the global entertainment industry, people in Japan largely celebrate a non-secular version of Christmas complete with lights...[ Click to read more ]

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New Year Countdown Parties Near Nagoya 2019

Nov 03, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

New Year is an important time in Japan, but things are celebrated a little differently here then they are back home. You are no doubt already clued up on Japan's New Year traditions, it's New Year's foods, and the shrines to visit for Hatsumoude in Nagoya. But did you know...[ Click to read more ]