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
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
The “silly seasons” in the western culture usually means the the end of the year celebrations and Japan is no different. Our silly season is at the end of the year too but not to celebrate Christmas but when many people go to 忘年会 (Bounenkai). It literally means forget-year-gathering so people may be so blinded … Continue reading Japanese end of the year tradition and its meaning
The last 18 years’ Christmas holidays were spent sweating and splashing in the Australian ocean 🏝. Although it is enjoyable to have an end of the year holiday in summer, funnily enough, it never felt quite right to me. I do enjoy the northern hemisphere December, where you slowly wind down the year as the … Continue reading 4 differences between Australian and Japanese Christmas