Koyo season is upon us, and probably the best location around Kamakura to marvel at the beauty of autumn leaves is the quiet temple of Engakuji (円覚寺). Today, we’ll stroll around the temple complex and discuss some of the history of the Shogunate of Kamakura and Zen Buddhism.
Category Archives: Culture
The Gundam Moves!
In Japan, early spring is the best time of the year to move around, since it’s the only period of the year that the sky is clear from clouds and rain. The highlight of the season is obviously the cherry blossoms, but what to do if they haven’t bloomed yet? You go to the GundamContinue reading “The Gundam Moves!”
The hidden Japanese art of Onsen
What my years in Japan have taught me is that after a tiring hike, there is always a hot spring at the foot of the mountain to relax and freshen up. The abundance of volcanoes in the country is related to the numerous natural hot springs all over the country. And the Japanese people makeContinue reading “The hidden Japanese art of Onsen”
Omiyage, meibutsu; there’s a bit of everything
I am pretty sure that everyone knows what a souvenir is. Do you happen to know what an omiyage is? Omiyage (お土産) is basically the japanese version of a souvenir. Traditionally, when someone from work or the lab goes on a trip, regardless if it is for business purposes or casual vacation, it is common to bring back small gifts for the team.
Things you find in Japanese countryside (Hint: Spirits)
As you maybe already know, the Japanese people worship a weird mixture of shamanistic Shinto as well as Buddhist gods. Along with the dozens of gods with large names and long titles usually ending in -kami (神) or -mikoto（尊） (like Amaterasu Omikami or Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto), there are myriads lesser spirits. Japan has a lot of water.Continue reading “Things you find in Japanese countryside (Hint: Spirits)”
Little X of Japan
I guess every country is proud of its own traditions and culture, that’s what annual festivals and cultural heritage preservation endeavors are for. Similarly, expats tend to create small communities in their new countries that try to resemble the original as much as possible, in order to feel more at home. But what happens whenContinue reading “Little X of Japan”