February 11th (Tuesday) is 建国記念の日(Kenkoku kinen no hi) which is a public holiday in Japan so we took a day off on Monday to have a 4 day break to explore Hakuba in Nagano, a region famous for ski resorts. ⛷ Welcome to Tsugaike, Hakuba! Firstly, what is 建国記念の日 (Kenkoku kinen no hi)? This holiday … Continue reading 3 days skiing in Tsugaike (Hakuba, Japan)
February 3rd might be just another day in Australia or the western world, but in Japan, it was 節分 (setsubun) and in setsubun it's all beans, demons 👹 and really long sushi?! What is setsubun? February 3rd is the day before the first day of spring. Ages ago, Japan used to call the day before … Continue reading Demons out, fortunes in
Last year in 2019, I attempted twice to visit Sumo in Tokyo but both time, the tickets were sold out. As January Tokyo season was coming to an end, the only option seemed to be heading to 両国国技館 (Ryogoku Kokugikan) on the day of the tournament to try my luck at the day ticket release. … Continue reading Back to the future: Slip back to Edo then back to Tokyo at Edo Tokyo Museum
Setagaya ward is one of the 23 Tokyo wards that is known as the address for the wealthy💰 . However within Setagaya is 下北沢 (Shimokitazawa), a cool neighborhood with an old school Japanese feel filled with lots of vintage shops and soup curry restaurants 🍛 with queues out the front. Voted amongst Timeout’s “Coolest neighborhoods … Continue reading Tokyo suburb highlight: Shimokitazawa
Known as one of the 3 most famous onsens or hotspring regions in Japan (the others being Gero onsen in Gifu prefecture and Arima onsen in Hyogo prefecture), Kusatsu onsen in Gunma prefecture gushes out the most volume of onsen in Japan. Not only famous for its volume, its healing properties, proximity to a ski … Continue reading Ski into onsen: a long weekend away into Kusatsu Onsen
After two weeks of holiday in sunny and warm South East Asia, returning to Tokyo that’s 25 degrees colder 🥶 and back at work seemed like a challenge. Good news was that a few of my colleagues travelled back home or were on holiday so our office kitchen was filled with souvenirs from all over … Continue reading What’s Seijin no hi (Coming of Age Day) in Japan all about?
Following the previous post about New Year’s Eve tradition and its meaning, this post is about the tradition associated with Japan’s biggest holiday of the year, the New Years and its meanings. Japanese new year traditions! 除夜の鐘 🔔 (Jyoya no Kane, Midnight bell) Japan’s new year starts with the bell rung at temples around the … Continue reading New Year’s tradition and its meaning