Setsubun is an annual festival celebrated widely both in private homes and public areas that at first glance seems to consist of equal parts charm and eccentricity. Can you imagine wearing a plastic devil-mask while the rest of your family gleefully pelts you with dried beans? This is a key part of the Setsubun celebration!
This may come as a surprise to you (it will not, I’ve mentioned it too many times), but it snows a lot where I live.
Found at the southwestern tip of Honshu, Yamaguchi is a largely non-urban prefecture with a relatively small population, that nevertheless has left an enormous mark on the history and politics of Japan.
Like much of the temperate climates of the world, Autumn in Japan is marked by cooler weather, changing leaves, and the harvest of summer’s planting.
Japanese culture holds a deep respect for seasonality. From the reflection of seasons in traditional Haiku, to the waves of seasonal foodstuffs celebrated in markets across the country, marking the changes through the year is taken very seriously here.
Obon (お盆) is a Japanese Buddhist festival, held in the summer, during which people honor their ancestors and departed loved ones. It is believed that during Obon, the spirits of the dead revisit their families.
While Edo Wonderland theme park in Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture is a replica of an Edo-era town, the city of Kawagoe in Saitama has the real thing! In Kawagoe, which can be reached from Tokyo via the Tobu Tōjō Line from Ikebukuro or via the Seibu-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku, there is an old commercial district […]
This is the 2nd part of our two-part introduction to Japan’s most famous summer festivals. In Part 1 we looked at the best festivals held in July. Below is the run-down for the August matsuri season.
Summer is the season for festivals in Japan. When a matsuri (festival) comes to your neighborhood the night resounds to the beat of taiko drums, and people put on colorful yukata (a light cotton kimono) before promenading through yatai (street stalls) where delicious treats and carnival games await. Every town has its own special matsuri, […]