Buddhism

5 Things to Do at Japan’s Oldest Summer Festival Held in Osaka!

Summer is here! While it’s normally uncomfortable to deal with the intense heat, especially in Asian countries such as Japan, there are several ways to enjoy the season without having to lock yourself inside the comforts of your air-conditioned hotel. One of the most eagerly awaited major summer festivals is the Aizen Matsuri (愛染まつり) in…

Why Are Buddhist Monks in Japan Allowed to Get Married?

Not only are Buddhist monks in Japan allowed to get married and have children, they are also allowed to eat meat and consume alcohol. However, these only apply to some of them. Monks who have vowed to be celibate are not allowed to do the aforementioned things, whereas monks who have not vowed to be…

The Mythical Couple Who Gave Birth to Japan’s 800+ Shinto Deities

Approximately 90% of the Japanese population are followers of Shintoism (神道), Buddhism (仏教) or both. This can be attributed to the high regards paid by the Japanese towards their ethnic origins as well as the value they put on ancient traditions. Shintoism, in particular, has been popular both in traditional and pop culture thanks to…

Is It a Sci-Fi Starship? No, It’s One of Tokyo’s Most Unique Temples!

There are many architecturally brilliant buildings all over Japan, ranging from old to modern structures. One of such is the Reiyukai Shakaden (霊友会釈迦殿) temple located in central Tokyo (東京) in proximity to the Tokyo Tower (東京タワー). It is a modern temple built in the shape of a sci-fi starship with a striking black exterior. It…

Discover the Wonders of Nagano on the Road to Zenkoji Temple

The road to Zenkoji (善光寺), one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan, is an easy one. Situated in the beautiful Japanese Alps, a convenient, regular, 80-minute bullet train links Tokyo with Nagano City (長野市), the capital of the Nagano Prefecture (長野県) and the gateway to this seventh-century icon. Nagano Unlike Zenkoji, Nagano City…

What is Japanese Flower Arrangement and How Can It Help Us Heal?

One of the noticeable characteristics of Japanese culture is “discipline.” This is seen in all aspects of their lives, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. They also practice it in flower arranging, or Ikebana (生け花), which is another representative aspect of Japanese traditional art. What is Ikebana, what does…

Rakugo: Japan’s Centuries-old Comedic Solo Storytelling

If there is one Asian country that pays very high regards to cultural heritage and traditional practices, Japan would have to be one of the obvious picks. It is very much apparent, even when you take a random stroll on any city street. From old castles to gorgeous, old-style ryokan (inns; 旅館), you’ll see how…

Relax and Meditate in Peace at These 4 Temple Lodgings in Japan

If you like traveling in Japan and prefer the atmosphere of a tranquil environment, then you should try staying at a temple which is known as “shukubo” lodging. It is an ideal option if you’ll be going on a pilgrimage or just wanting to tour around to get a better taste of the Buddhist or…

Monks Compete Against Each Other to Reawaken Buddhism Among Japanese

Buddhism is a major religion in Japan. Around 90 million people in the country consider themselves as Buddhists. However, in people’s day-to-day lives, many aspects of Buddhist practices and teachings do not necessarily affect them nor are being practiced. It is also quite hard to meet a monk who will give proper guidance to the…