The Deadliest Food in Japan: Mochi

You thought it was pufferfish (fugu), didn’t you? Well, as risky as that particular food may be, it doesn’t hold a candle to that sticky rice confection that takes the widest variety of forms. Usually, Japan sees a spike around New Year’s in hospitalizations from eating this treat, as well as a few deaths. What […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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