Celebrate: Emperor’s Birthday

The Japanese may not really celebrate Christmas (beyond eating lots of Kentucky Fried Chicken!) yet they do have an official day off this week, thanks to the timely birthday of their current emperor, Akihito. December 23rd is Akihito's birthday and became an official holiday called Tenno-tanjobi not long after Akihito took over the throne following the... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Shichi-go-san (Updated)

If you're in Japan anytime in the month of November, my advice to you is to hightail it to a shrine. November 15th is Shichi-go-san (literally 7-5-3), a celebration of children aged 3, 5 and 7 and you haven't lived until you've seen adorable toddlers kitted out in full kiddie kimonos. But since Shichi-go-san isn't a... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Culture Day

Happy Culture Day, everyone! Yes, welcome to the fourth of fall's many three day weekends. I'm taking advantage of this one as much as possible, with a visit to the Karatsu Kunchi (festival). So what's Culture Day all about? Well, interestingly enough, today actually celebrates the current Japanese constitution. "Now, hold on a sec ...",... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Sports Day

I have to admit, in the pantheon of official Japanese holidays, this has always been one of my least favorites. Why? No reason other than that for three straight years, I was subjected to the incessant loudspeakers of the elementary school behind my Okinawa home as they practiced for their Sports Day undokai (more on that... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Tsukimi (Moon-Viewing)

Apologies for two Celebrate posts in a row but this week is just jam-packed with holidays, it seems. 🙂  The moon comes up every night like clockwork, but tomorrow's moon is just a little more special. This year, September 19th marks the night of the harvest moon, an occasion that prompts moon-viewing parties throughout the... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Obon

What a hot, muggy, crazy week it's been! I started off this month thinking that August in Kyushu might not be so bad, certainly not as bad as August in Okinawa. Right? Right??? Unfortunately, the weather this week has been unrelenting, a constant 93 degrees or higher with humidity so thick it just sits on... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Tanabata (From the Archives)

My husband returned home this week after being away for nearly two months on a business trip. My "reward" for seven weeks of single parenting is a weekend away to explore more of Japan. (Hooray!) I'm currently up in Okayama and Kurashiki but will be back to the regular posting on Monday. In the meantime,... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Rice Planting

How do I know that it's summer in Japan? Well, for starters, the heat and humidity have definitely cranked up. While I am fairly diligent in my efforts to practice setsuden (energy saving), I must admit to having the air conditioner on all last week! Two, the seasonal monsoons season has arrived. While not nearly as... Continue Reading →

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