Horsing Around at Tado Festival in Mie

Apr 16, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Japan has so many strange, eccentric and exciting festivals every year that it is sometimes difficult to keep track. However, few festivals are exciting and dramatic as Ageuma-Shinji, held every year in Tado, Mie. Also known as Tado Festival, Ageuma-Shinji has been held in this sleepy little town since the Nanboku-chō...[ Click to read more ]

Ten Nagoya Suggestions for the Ten Days of Golden Week (Part One)

Mar 28, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

You may have noticed, that people are starting to get excited about Golden Week. Of course, people always get excited around Golden Week, when some public holidays combine to make an extended block of time off, but this year it's even better. With Emperor Akihito abdicating this year, another holiday...[ Click to read more ]

Iwate’s Great Buddha of Morioka

Mar 22, 2019 By Jade Brischke

Nara has one 15m high, Kamakura has one 13m high, and the city of Morioka, the capital of Iwate Prefecture, has one 10m high...What am I talking about?  A Daibutsu (大仏), or Big Buddha, of course! It comes as quite a surprise that a city not typically on the tourist...[ Click to read more ]

Do You Know Nags? Nagoya’s Hidden Gems – Part 3

Feb 27, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Whether you have been here for a few weeks or know the city like the back of your hand, Nagoya is a city that is full of surprises. New restaurants and bars pop up all the time, and you can be strolling down a familiar street and suddenly notice a...[ Click to read more ]

Must See Shrines and Temples of Nagoya

Feb 26, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Japan is served by two predominant religions: Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto is a form of ancestor worship and is the traditional religion of Japan - though it was codified in the eighth century it had been around for many centuries before with evidence that it was around during the pre-historical...[ Click to read more ]

Aqua Net Ferry from Peace Park to Miyajima

Feb 25, 2019 By Matt Mangham

Two of the best things about Hiroshima are its rivers and its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Miyajima. Unfortunately, many visitors to the city take no more than a passing, sidelong glance at the rivers, and board crowded trains to the JR Miyajimaguchi station to take one of the...[ Click to read more ]

Things are Hotting up at Toba no Himatsuri Fire Festival

Jan 28, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

Aichi sees a fair number of harvest festivals around the start of the Chinese New Year, with communities praying that their crops in the coming year will be bountiful and generous. However, very few of them are quite as, without wanting to seem disrespectful, terrifyingly crazy as The Toba no...[ Click to read more ]

Toyokawa Inari – One of Japan’s Big Three Inari Shrines

Jan 25, 2019 By Mark Guthrie

About 75 minutes from Nagoya, in the Mikawa Bay region, you can find Toyokawa Inari, one of the most unique and unusual places of worship in the area. Along with Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari and the Yutoku Inari Temple in Saga Prefecture, Toyokawa Inari is considered one of Japan’s 'Big Three' Inari...[ Click to read more ]

Setsubun Festivals in Tokyo

By Jason Gatewood

So you survived O-shogatsu (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 closer, did you...[ Click to read more ]

Setsubun Festivals in Nagoya

By Ray Proper

  "That Bean-Throwing Festival" 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...[ Click to read more ]