Temples and Shrines

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...[ Click to read more ]

Hiroshima’s Ebisuko Festival 2018

Oct 29, 2018 By Matt Mangham

Across Japan, Ebisu is one of Shinto’s most popular deities. Deaf and lame, and always laughing (hence the Japanese term ‘ebisugao’ for a smiling face) Ebisu is the god of...[ Click to read more ]

Firewalking at Miyajima 2018

Oct 29, 2018 By Matt Mangham

Japan has a slew of fire rituals, the most famous of which being Kyoto’s famous Daimonji Festival. These festivals, leveraging ancient notions of purification and renewal, continue to draw people...[ Click to read more ]

Jishu Shrine, Kyoto

Myths & Legends in Kansai

Jul 27, 2018 By Justin Hanus

Japan is a country rich with mythology and fascinating tales. The Kansai region, with its many popular tourist areas and shrines to gods and kings, is no different. From folklore...[ Click to read more ]

Ikuta Shrine

The Most Popular Temples and Shrines in Kobe

Jun 26, 2018 By Justin Hanus

Japan is a melting pot of several religions in the East. There are religions that have immigrated from different parts of Asia and there are those that originated within the...[ Click to read more ]

Noh Performance

Experience a Firelit Noh Performance at Nara’s Kofukuji Temple

Apr 24, 2018 By Justin Hanus

Traditional Noh performances might occur at temples across Japan, but Nara’s Kofukuji Temple is the original home of the sacred event, and seeing a performance there is a truly unforgettable...[ Click to read more ]

Genki Festival Super Yosakoi in Harajyuku Omotesando

Aug 14, 2014 By Ray Proper

The Yosakoi Festival began in the city of Kōchi, Japan, in 1954.  The first "Yosakoi Style" festival featured 21 teams and 750 participants.  The style of festival has become extraordinarily...[ Click to read more ]