The pink extravaganza of Kanamara Matsuri

Do you see this shrine? It looks pretty innocent, right? Just another Hachimangu shrine, nothing out of the ordinary. It has luxurious wooden decoration, sake donations next to the main hall, and a nice sign for Shichi-go-san, the children’s ceremony. It bears the name ‘Wakamiya Hachimangu’ (若宮八幡宮).[If you are here for the pink coats, skipContinue reading “The pink extravaganza of Kanamara Matsuri”

The dampened cherry blossom season of 2021

[Featured image: Signs prohibiting entry to the cherry blossom platform, banning hanami picnics during the state of emergency in Tokyo] Early spring is known as hanami season in Japan. Although translated as ‘cherry blossom viewing’ in English, the word 花見 (=hanami) literally means “to watch (見) the flowers (花)”. However, by now the term refersContinue reading “The dampened cherry blossom season of 2021”

A day in Yokosuka: Let’s head to Kanagawa’s Hollywood

Two weeks ago, the day of Setsubun (Feb. 3rd) marked officially the start of spring. Since then, more and more trees are blossoming up. Today’s focus is on Ume (梅), the early bird blossoms of the Japanese plum. Most people are familiar with blossoming Sakura, the Japanese cherries, but in my opinion, Ume are superior,Continue reading “A day in Yokosuka: Let’s head to Kanagawa’s Hollywood”

An autumn day in Tamagawa Jinja

[Published on Nov 15th, 2020.] Since we are all trying to ‘stay home’, the themes that I can write about naturally diminish. Since the only interesting thing I have done in a while is to walk to a shrine close to my house, I am going to talk about it. Tamagawa Sengen Jinja (多摩川浅間神社) wasContinue reading “An autumn day in Tamagawa Jinja”

Tsukimi: The mid-autumn celebration of the moon

The most important celebration of early autumn in Japan is Tsukimi (月見). Although in the modern era it has been reduced to special tsukimi-burgers in MacDonalds, it is originally a harvesting festival with roots from China. The name of the festival is a portmanteau of tsuki = moon and mi = observe and basically refersContinue reading “Tsukimi: The mid-autumn celebration of the moon”