Yabusame (Horseback Archery)

Horseback archery has an interesting place in Japanese culture. It is now a purely ceremonial event that can be seen across the country. I was fortunate enough to discover that a small Yabusame association chapter held a competition just up the street from a local station, so I went with some friend to see this […]

Read More Yabusame (Horseback Archery)

Sayama Tea Festival 2019

Out in Saitama Prefecture is Sayama City, a proud producer of tea for Japan. They’re pretty niche, though, producing less than 1% of all tea for the nation. Regardless, they have a strong tea tradition which is on display during the annual Sayama Tea Festival, which we were fortunate enough to take part in this […]

Read More Sayama Tea Festival 2019

Namahage

If you think Krampus is the only tradition involving frightening figures teaching children to be good people, think again! On the peninsula of Oga on the main island of Honshu in Japan, there are the terrifying Namahage, who come in search of troublesome children and… uh… lazy wives to bring good fortune to the households […]

Read More Namahage

Sendai Tanabata Festival

Tanabata can fall on one of two sets of dates: Either July 7th or August 7th. One or the other depends on if you follow the solar calendar or the lunar festival. In the northern part of the main island of Japan, an area called Tohoku, there are three famous summer festivals that fall around […]

Read More Sendai Tanabata Festival

Akita Kanto Festival

Akita prefecture is known for its Akita dogs, Namahage, and the Kanto festival. Not to be confused with the Kanto Region (which encompasses Tokyo), these Kanto are large poles that carry a large number of lanterns. They require great balance and strength to handle, and when held expertly, provide a stunning sight for onlookers. Every […]

Read More Akita Kanto Festival

Gekkeikan Sake Museum

Gekkeikan is a very popular sake brand in Japan, and near Kyoto in Fushimi, you can visit a very nice little museum they’ve put together to show visitors the process of making sake, a bit of sake history, and an exhibit dedicated to the history of the Gekkeikan brand.

Read More Gekkeikan Sake Museum

Himeji Castle

One of the most famous castles in Japan, Himeji Castle is one of the best-preserved castles in all of Japan. Its white figure looms over the otherwise normal town of Himeji, bringing in tourists from all across the world to marvel at its splendor.

Read More Himeji Castle

Kawagoe Million Light Festival

Japan has no shortage of festivals, especially not in a city with lots of history and culture like Kawagoe. Towards the end of July, the city strings up lanterns and other lights all along the historic Coedo (Kurazukuri) district to celebrate the Million Light Festival (Hyakuman Matsuri – 百万灯 まつり ).

Read More Kawagoe Million Light Festival