TRADITIONAL

Are Old People Being Dumped in Forests and Left to Die?

A young man looks at his mother. The frail, old woman can no longer walk long distances and usually spends her days inside the house with the family. Her hair has turned white, and the foggy mist in her eyes indicates that she is losing her vision. Her son really loves her, but does not…

Kintsugi: The Traditional Japanese Craft and Its Important Message

When something is broken, do you immediately throw it away or do you mend it? When it comes to our favorite possessions, we probably repair the broken things and try to make it appear as if an accident never occurred. Many people will use glue, clay, or other molding products to make broken items look…

Setsubun: The Holiday Where Japanese Pelt Demons with Soybeans

According to the Japanese Lunar Calendar, ‘Setsubun’ (literally ‘seasonal division’ in English) is the day before the arrival of spring, or the day that sits between winter and spring, dividing the two seasons. It is celebrated on February 3rd usually as a part of the Spring Festival (Haru Matsuri) across Japan at all shrines and…

Japan Has an Incredibly Low Number of Five-Star Luxury Hotels. Why is That?

Here is an interesting question, what’s something that countries like the United States, China, France, and Italy have in great numbers and that Japan lacks? The obvious answer, based on the article’s title at least, is five-star hotels. To put into perspective just how few five-star hotels Japan has when compared to other places, London…

3 Historic Things to see in Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima

Aizuwakamatsu is a city in the centre of Fukushima prefecture, in Tohoku Northern Japan. Once known only as Wakamatsu (meaning young pine), the name of the area changed to Aizuwakamatsu in 1955. Aizuwakamatsu has a rich and long history, being the site of the ancient Mutsu province. This region was said to have been settled…

Hatsumode: The First Shrine Visit of the New Year

Japanese New Year holidays usually start from December 29 and go until January 3, but depending on the year and one’s job it can start as early ad December 27th and go until January 8th. During this time, people are busy cleaning their houses in the osoji ritual before New Year, making or buying osechi…

How to Visit a Japanese Shrine – A Guide to Shrine Basics

Shrines and temples are beautiful touristy locations, but being sacred places of worship they are much more than a simple photo spot. Tourists are often scared not to offend the locals, so it’s best to learn the basic rules. Let’s take a look at some of the common items you will see upon your visit…