Japanese Festivals in April

Japanese Festivals in April

In Japan the fourth month of the year is famous for the large number of festivals which are held all around the archipelago. April is the most beautiful month in Japan: the Sakura or the cherry blossoming is one of the most important spring events of the country. Besides Sakura, the other events are beautiful and interesting as well. Most of the festivals are related to the fertility of both nature and of humans. These occasions are perfect representatives of the colorful and interesting ... [ read more ]

Cherry Blossom Forecast for Spring 2013

Cherry Blossom Forecast for Spring 2013

In Japan, cherry blossoming is the most important event of spring. Millions of people gather in the nearby parks or Japanese gardens to observe this beautiful and amazing condition of nature. Cherry blossoms, or in Japan, Sakura, are 'celebrated' by picnicking under the cherry trees. This nice, nature-loving practice is called hanami. The Japanese Meteorological Agency lets Japanese people know the Sakura Zensen, or the cherry blossom front every year; which means the movements of cherry ... [ read more ]

The Tradition of Formula One Races in Japan

The Tradition of Formula One Races in Japan

Formula One is considered to be the highest category of single-seated car racing. Starting from 1950 it attracts millions of people all around the world. It is a very expensive sport: billions of dollars are spent annually in order to organize the races. Nowadays 18-20 races are held every year, including the Japanese GP. The Japanese Grand Prix (Nihon Guranpuri) is usually organized around September or October. The Formula One made its debut in Japan in 1963. So far 39 races were held o... [ read more ]

Japanese Festivals in March

Japanese Festivals in March

Japan is a country which has dozens of great festivals. They are eye-catching not only for Japanese people, but for tourists as well. Japanese festivals combine traditional values with local customs. Some of these have their origins in Chinese culture, but by the time they had changed a lot. It is important to mention March, the third month of the year, if we are talking about Japanese festivals. As every month, it also has some very interesting traditional Japanese festivals. Some of the... [ read more ]

Spring National Holidays in Japan

Spring National Holidays in Japan

Officially, Japan has 15 national holidays every year. Most of these holidays are celebrated during spring, when nature starts to get alive again. National or public holidays are usually free days; almost everyone stays at home with their families. In Japan, when a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday is also free. When one day falls between two public holidays, that day is also free. That's how Greenery Day (4 May) became a national holiday. In the following sections you can re... [ read more ]

Japanese Festivals in February

Japanese Festivals in February

Japanese culture has a very large number of festivals. All these have traditional backgrounds and they are considered to be important events of the calendar. Japanese festivals usually celebrate life and death, but most of them are resounded joyfully. February, the second month of the year is symbolizing the approaching spring. Though everyone in Japan is waiting for the springtime, the February air is still cold and carries snow. February festivals are good ways for forgetting the crue... [ read more ]

Winter Holidays in Japan

Winter Holidays in Japan

Beside the well-known traditional festivals Japan also has national holidays. All these holidays are somehow related to past events and they are celebrated throughout the whole country. Most of these holidays are celebrated in Spring or Summer, but Winter has its holidays as well. Surprisingly, Japanese people do not celebrate Christmas, because only a minority of Japan's citizens is Christian. The most important winter holiday is New Year, but I did not include it here, because another a... [ read more ]

New Year Traditions in Japan

New Year Traditions in Japan

The Japanese New Year (or Shogatsu) is a very special holiday in Japan. It is celebrated on 1-3 January, according to the Gregorian Calendar; though in Okinawa prefecture the cultural New Year is also celebrated. It is very similar to Chinese or Korean New Year. The celebration lasts for three days, so the days following New Year's Eve are also celebrated. Although Japanese people have 'borrowed' a lot of Western traditions, they kept several ones from their own culture. The aim of my art... [ read more ]

A traveler's guide to Japanese tea ceremonies

A traveler’s guide to Japanese tea ceremonies

Japan might be one of the most modern and developed countries on the planet, but that doesn't mean that the old ways and traditions have been completely erased from Japanese culture. Many Japanese cherish their cultural heritage, and some of the are sticklers for traditions. The tea ceremony is one of the best examples of surviving cultural practices that are still very much in vogue today, and not only among the elderly, as some might think! The tea ceremony, also known as the Way of Tea, i... [ read more ]

Tips for cherry blossom viewing in Japan

Tips for cherry blossom viewing in Japan

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are one  of the most famous symbols of Japan, and quite possibly the favorite flower of many Japanese. The soft pink petals of the sakura flowers announce the arrival of spring, and the time of the year when you can spend time outside, admiring the beauty of nature. Cherry trees grow all over Japan, and while the precise time of the year when they bloom depends on the weather and the altitude, one thing all cherry trees in Japan have in common is their power to a... [ read more ]