We are having coｍfortable weather days, but it is about to end. It is June and the rainy season is just around the corner. It brings not only sticky humid weather but also serious floods and landslides.
Although the rainy season might cause natural disaster, it gives us joy and fun. In my hometown, Fukuoka, early June is the best season for Hotaru-Gari(蛍狩り:Firefly-catching) and people go to firefly-chatching spots in evening to see fireflies for fun.
Fireflies used to be found anywhere near rivers or streams in my grandpa generation. But as Japanese economy grows up, the side-effect of environmental pollution seriously affect even to small local towns. So my father generation, fireflies are hard to find at the spots we used to see them.
Do you see fireflies in your place? I am going to Firefly-chatching tonight. Yay!
Hello everyone, it’s May. In Japan, we are having a consecutive national holidays at the beginning of May.
In combination with weekend comes before and after the holidays, most of Japanese have a week long holidays in the best warm and comfortable spring weather. We call the holidays “Golden Week” and it is one of the busiest holiday season, besides New year and Obon week.
Since it’s long holidays many people go out for leisure. One of the most popular spot for golden week amusement in our region which is east Fukuoka prefecture is Beppu, Oita. With many hot spring spots and resort hotels, Beppu attracts lots of travelers from domestic and international places.
Besides hot springs and hotels, there is a famous fun place in Beppu. That is “Jigoku-meguri.” Jigoku means “hell,” and Meguri means “visit.” Jigoku-meguri is roughly translated as visiting hell. Jigoku-meguri is a group of spots that are preserved and protected wild hot springs by local government.
I attached some pictures of Jigoku-meguri hot spring spots. I hope you like them.
We consider April as the beginning of Spring. April is also regard as the kickoff of new school year, and the starting of new life.
And, yes! Don’t forget cherry blossom! Very beautiful cherry blossom starts blooming around the end of March, and its best is first or second week of April.
One of the most famous beautiful cherry blossom spot is Meguro-gawa（目黒川）in Meguro, Tokyo. 800 cherry trees standing both sides of the river along 4km are breath-taking beautiful.
Another cherry blossom spot, I want to recommend is Edogawa park cherry blossom in Bunkyo, Tokyo. These trees are planted in 1884 and give fun and joy to people for long time.
Finally, I recommend my home town cherry blossom. It is not as beautiful as above two famous spots, but I enjoy cherry blossom since child.
Now, you may noticed something in common from the pictures above. Yes! River!!
You may see many cherry trees along big revers when you visit to Japan. It’s on purpose. Our government did it to make damages from river floods minimum.
Here is their logic. They plant cherry trees along the river. Cherry trees bloom. Cherry blossom is beautiful so many people come to see it. Many people walk on the river bank. The river bank becomes solid. And it minimizes the river flood damages.
Thank you for reading, I hope you have wonderful days!!
It was a lot of snow days here at Fukuoka last month. But these few days, it has been getting warmer, and the first spring wind has blown to tell us the spring is around the corner.
Hi everyone, this is Nayuta and this time, I would like to talk about March.
In Japan, like other countries, we have elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. But, unlike most of countries, students always graduate only in March.
When I was a student in Purdue University ( located in Indiana, US), I was surprised that the university take place students graduation at the end of each semester. Some students graduate in summer, other students graduate in winter.
All the freshmen starts their school in April. And all the company recruits starts their first work in April. So April brings us the feeling of “new” or “start” with the image of beautiful cherry blossom.
Contrary, March gives us the feeling of “good bye” or “ending” with the image of Sotugyou-shiki(卒業式: graduation ceremony). Students say good bye to friends with tears looking forward to the starting of new life.
Thank you for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day!!
Hi everyone, how are you? It’s February. Yes, Valentin’s day is around the corner.
What people do in your country on Valentin’s day? I think Valentin’s day in Japan is a bit different from that of other counties.
I spent quite a few period of time in China about 10 years ago. In Chine, it seems sending roses from men to the women who they love is quite common on Valentin’s day. Then I thought the day is for the man and the woman in relationship.
On the other hand, when I lived in the States few years ago, I realized that people in America are not enjoying Valentin’s day very much. I did not actually see or hear people doing something on the day. It maybe because I was around college dorm surrounded by students. So I thought Valentin’s day is only for marred couples.
In Japan, Valentin’s day is know as the day women give chocolates to men. In general women gives chocolates to men who she know in workplace, school or the man who she loves in. To discriminate the man and others, women prepare two kinds of chocolates, which are “Honmei-Choco” and “Giri-Choco.”
Honmei (本命) means ” the favorite” and Honmei-Choco are prepared to the favorite man. Besides, Giri-Choco is given away to men who are not favorite. It is like ” I give you chocolate because I know you and it’s Valentin’s day.” Since Gili (義理) means obligation, and Japanese women feel the are obligate to give chocolate to men.
what do you think Japanese Valentin’s day unique style? I hope you enjoy to know our culture.
Thank you for reading my article. Have a wonderful day!!
First of all, I appreciate all the JAA customers for visiting us and making your purchases. We are going to do our best for improving JAA website and customer service to make you feel happier and more fun on your shopping.
It is 2018, and I am going to be 36 years old in this September.
So, yes!! I am a “Toshi-Otoko.” Toshi-Otoko(年男) is a man who born in the same earthly branch with that of this year. The same thing for woman is called “Toshi-Onna(年女)”
I born in 1982. The earthy branch of 1982 is dog. And 2018 is the year of Dog. So I am called “Toshi-Otoko” this year.
In December, Japanese people give gifts called “Oseibo (お歳暮）” to someone who who has shown you kindness during the year. People give food, beverages, or alcohol with special gift-box putting a piece of paper written words that are “Oseibo” and sender’s name.
Every larger supermarket and department store prepare a special place for customers who are looking for the gifts. According to google, its market size is about 400 billion yen ( about 4 billion USD). Wow! you see how popular Oseibo is in Japan.
Hi everyone! It is November!! 2017 is ending after 2 months. Time flies, isn’t it?
Today, I want to share a Japanese tradition that we find it in big elections as an example. That is “Ban-Zai.”
According to Wikipedia, Banzai was introduced by Chinese people in 8th century and was used to express swear allegiance for the emperor. Banzai still remains in 21st century, but it is nothing to do with the emperor.
Nowadays, banzai is done to simply express enthusiasm for celebrating someones big achievements. I assume that politicians do banzai way more often than other people. In every big election, a person who wins always do banzai with his/her followers, and we watch it on TV.
Banzai is a cohesion of vocal and body actions. Shouting “ban-zai” at loud as arms stretched out above their heads. It sounds quite simple, right? But there is an argument around the manner of banzai.
Some people insist that when your palms reach at the top position, your palms must be facing each other. If not, it shows surrender pose. This argument is mainly take place on internet, and most Japanese people do not care much.
I personally assume that since banzai is according to the emperor, all those things happens. Anyways, I am very happy if my article gives you another perspective when you observe Japanese people.
Weather is getting cooler and colder day by day here in Fukuoka. It is October. When I hear the word October, one thing comes up to my mind very quick. That is the beautiful moon.
Somewhere in the first week of October, the very beautiful full moon is on the sky. So Japanese people have been enjoying this moon sitting on the chair and eating some sweet at evening. We call that activity “Tsu-Ki-Mi (月見：つきみ）” and that day “Jyu-Go-Ya (十五夜：じゅうごや) or “Chu-Shu-No-Mei-Ge-Tsu (中秋の名月：ちゅうしゅうのめいげつ).”
This year, 2017, was on 4th of October. The full moon was very very beautiful. Modan Japanese people are very busy for work and few people enjoy Tsu-Ki-Mi. So Tsu-Ki-Mi activity is getting less popular generation by generation.
Summer is ending. Fall is around the corner. Yes!! It is September. The sticky humid hot weather is going away, and the dry, cool, and comfortable weather brings people to have more exercise and appetite. But do you know how Japanese realize the coming of the fall? Actually, it is cicadas.
In summer, cicadas are very very busy for singing. You will hear cicadas making very loud noise on trees everywhere in Japan. They make monotonous and loud sounds from morning till evening. Yet, somewhere around the end of August, noisy cicadas stop singing, and a type of cicada starts singing, and it is the very beginning of fall. The cicada is named “Tsuku-tsuku-boushi (ツクツクボウシ)” due to its song. I like the way it sings because it is like a piece of music. It slowly starts, gradually loud, and last long. Elegant, isn’t it?
Cicadas are known as the creatures having short lives. It is said that a cicada’s life is only a week after they came up from underground. So Japanese feel evanescence to them.
Following video shows how Tsuku-tsuku-boushi sings. Please check out.