Summer Traditions and Festivals


11/08/2015 Traditions & History

Asagao or “morning glory” the beloved flower of summer!

morning glory

Asagao or morning glory is one of the most popular garden plants in Japan and blooms between July and September. It was bred during the Edo period (1603 to 1868) in Japan and developed in its own unique way.

Read More

17/08/2016 Food & Drinks  Traditions & History

Discover Mugicha, a typical summer drink in Japan


Cold mugicha (barley tea) is a popular summer drink after taking a bath or after exercising. How is it different from green tea and what are its effects?

Read More

20/03/2015 Life and Manners in Japan  Traditions & History

Petting Beetles: The Strange Love of Japanese People for Insects

How people perceive things differ greatly depending on your culture. In Japan, people adore some insects just as any other pet. Read on to know which six-legged critters are Japanese people’s best friends!

Read More

30/08/2014 Life and Manners in Japan  Traditions & History

How to Use your Japanese Folding Fan the Right Way

The different uses of the folding fan in Japanese culture Many people may think of the folding fan as something to put on the wall for decoration or as an accessory used by noble ladies at social gatherings. However, in Japan, the folding fan is an object primarily for cooling oneself, and is used by both women and men alike. The primitive form of the folding fan originated in Japan during the Heian period (about 834-848 A.D.) when slender strips of wood were used for writing notations. These were bound on one side so that they could be carried around more easily. Fans made their way to China, where they […]

Read More

09/08/2014 Buddhism & Shinto  Traditions & History

Obon and the Japanese traditions of celebrating the dead

Very much like the New Year, Obon is a very important familial event in Japan. Here are a few customs you may observe during this period.

Read More

10/08/2015 Buddhism & Shinto  Traditions & History

The Japanese Tradition of Visiting the Ancestors’ Graves during ‘Obon’

Visiting graveyards to rest your ancestor’s soul is called “Haka-mairi”. You can visit the graveyards anytime, but people will usually visit on the same day as the Buddhist memorial service and on the same day of their death.

Read More

02/05/2017 Festivals & Events

The Best 2019 Summer Fireworks in Japan

Which fireworks festival are you planning on going to this year?
This time, I’d like to recommend Japan’s top 6 fireworks festivals. Follow us for the latest information!

Read More

12/08/2015 Festivals & Events  Traditions & History  Travel Tips

Join the Locals and Dance Bon Odori


It originally started as an event to pray to your ancestor’s souls. It’s known as an event that everyone of all ages can enjoy. It is also commonly known as a festival held during Obon season. A turret is setup in a large park or square and people dance around it.

Read More

22/07/2015 Food & Drinks  Travel Tips

A Beginner’s Guide to Kakigoori (Shaved Ice), a Japanese Summer Classic Food

In this article I’d like to introduce you to shaved Ice, called ‘Kakigori’ in Japanese, a beloved and refreshing treat of the Japanese summer.

Read More

12/05/2017 Festivals & Events

2019 Best Fireworks Festivals in Tokyo!

Have you made your summer plans yet? It’s never too early to start planning, especially if you want to attend a fireworks festival!
In this article, I will recommend the hottest festivals in Tokyo for 2019 along with their schedules.

Read More

06/08/2018 Festivals & Events  Traditions & History  Visit: Modern Japan

The Shinjuku Eisa Festival: Experience the Spirit of Okinawa in Shinjuku

Every year, on the last Saturday of July, the streets of Shinjuku are transformed by the sights, sounds, and spirit of Okinawa. The Shinjuku Eisa Festival, a celebration of traditional Okinawan dancing, attracts over one million visitors annually and is a true spectacle to behold.

Read More

11/06/2016 Festivals & Events

The Sumida River Fireworks Festival on July 27th, 2019 : Some Tips to Actually See Something


The Sumida river fireworks festival is big summer attraction for Tokyoites. Last year more than 800,000 people visited. However, visitors are often disappointed because of the crowd and the tall buildings that obstruct the view. Here are some tips to make it a good experience.

Read More

22/06/2015 Festivals & Events

For 6th-7th July, 2019 – Make a wish at the Shitamachi Tanabata Festival in Ueno and Asakusa


If you want to enjoy the Tanabata Festival in Tokyo, I recommend celebrating it in Asakusa and Ueno, two ‘shitamachi’ (old downtown).

Read More

18/08/2018 Festivals & Events  Traditions & History

4 Must-See Festivals in and around Shinjuku

In Japan, summer is synonymous with festivals, and Tokyo is no exception. From shrine celebrations to massive fireworks displays, not even scorching temperatures and oppressive humidity can stop seasonal reveling.
No trip to Japan is complete without experiencing a traditional festival. All of the events covered in this article are held annually, so there’s no need to worry if you missed any of them this year. That just means that you have plenty of time to plan your trip around them next year.

Read More

07/08/2014 Life and Manners in Japan  Traditions & History

Sprinkling water to reduce the heat: the Japanese tradition of ‘uchimizu’

“Uchimizu,” an environmentally friendly method for spending the hot summer more comfortably. When you travel in Japan during the summer you’ll probably see people sprinkling water in front of their houses or see wet roads. This is what is referred to as “uchimizu” or, to sprinkle water on the streets. It’s as simple as that. As August begins, Japan is reaching the peak of its summer. It’s so hot that just moving even a little makes sweat erupt from your body. During these hot Japanese summers, there’s an age-old ecological method for cooling the air. The way this method works is that when water is spread on the streets during […]

Read More

25/05/2015 Life and Manners in Japan

Rainy season in Japan


The Japanese rainy season usually starts in June and lasts for about a month. Let’s get ready to fight the rain!

Read More

17/08/2015 Activities  Traditions & History

How and where to rent a yukata in Kyoto

The couple in Yukata.

Yukata is a typical kind of Kimono, worn during summer. The origin of yukata is said to be underwear called yukata-bira, which noble people in the Heian period (794 to118) wore during bath time. After the late Edo period(1603 to 1868), it transformed into a gown and gorgeous patterns of cotton were born.

Read More

25/01/2016 Life and Manners in Japan

3 Classic Childrens’ Games at Japanese Traditional Festivals

A Gun shooting game

Yatai or a “booth” is open on festival days and there are toys and games there that you can buy. There are some great booths to see that are sure to be open, especially during summer festivals.

Read More

25/07/2014 Life and Manners in Japan  Traditions & History

Ochugen, the Japanese Custom of Exchanging Gifts in Summer

Japanese custom calls for the giving of gifts twice a year to someone who is taking care of you. This duty is performed once in the summertime, called ochugen and once at the end of the year, called oseibo. The custom started at the beginning of the Edo period in the 17th century. At the beginning of July each year Japanese department stores prepare for this event with special displays and offer delivery service. During the Ochugen season you can find many unique and special items from all around Japan! The type of gift given usually depends on the recipient: Sweets are given to families with children Somen (Japanese fine noodles) […]

Read More