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 →

Manhole Monday: Karatsu

Though the Culture Day weekend was a bit of a bust weather-wise this year, my family and I did manage to make it up to Karatsu (about a two hour drive from our home in Kumamoto) for their annual autumn festival, the Karatsu Kunchi. The streets were packed and we had to park a good... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Eisa

Obon in Okinawa ended yesterday, a week after that of mainland Japan, but I am sure the echoes of eisa music can still be heard around the island. Eisa is considered a Bon dance, meaning a dance that is performed during the Obon season to honor the spirits of the ancestors. In modern-day Okinawa, however,... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Yukata

The heat is on here in Japan. The rainy season has passed and temperatures are ramping up in the land of the rising sun. Typical summer activities are in full swing - the kids are all out catching cicadas, the fireworks displays are lighting up the night skies, and girls everywhere are shaking out their... Continue Reading →

Experience: Itako Iris Festival

For most of Japan, June is the rainy season. But with the seasonal showers come the indigo blooms of irises. My favorite color being purple, I'm rather partial to these delicate flowers. There are plenty of places around Japan where one can catch a glimpse of irises in bloom but one of the best I... Continue Reading →

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