Festival Focus: Warabi Hadaka (Chiba)

Japan has a host of unique festivals, but I'll admit my eye was caught by this particular celebration's other name … the Warabi Naked Festival. Babies, mud, men in underwear and chicken fights all seem to play a part in this harvest festival in Chiba Prefecture, a short train ride from Tokyo. The festival takes... Continue Reading →

Festival Focus: Some no Komichi

For many, February is a frigid month, a month to just grit your teeth, zip up your jacket and trudge your way through a slog of icy, sleety days and cold weather. But February in Japan makes my heart sing. From bean throwing and daruma burning at the beginning of the month to the gorgeous... Continue Reading →

Festival Focus: Kanto Matsuri

We're in June now, and that means summer is around the corner. We have a bit of a reprieve at the moment with the advent of rainy season this week (the humidity is luckily taking a backseat at the moment), but come July, the heat will be on ... and pretty unbearable, in my opinion!... Continue Reading →

Festival Focus: Daruma Kuyo (Tokyo)

Happy Setsubun, readers! Today is the unofficial start of spring here in Japan, a day that is heralded with demon asks and copious bean throwing. I have written about Setsubun before, and indeed spent part of my afternoon attending the bean throwing festivities at Asakusa's Senso-ji Temple. But before that, I also made a trip out... Continue Reading →

Festival Focus: Karatsu Kunchi

Most people rave about Japan's summer festivals (and admittedly, there are some spectacular ones) but being rather partial to the cooler weather, I am a fan of the nation's autumn festivals. Both Kumamoto and Okinawa had some exciting ones (massive tug of war, anyone?) but my favorite will always be the Karatsu Kunchi in Karatsu,... Continue Reading →

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