...The rainy season continues as we enter July! We have 2 topics to cover for this article--   On the 7th of July is one of the Gosekku (五節句 / 5 annual ceremonies) ... "TANABATA MATSURI!" (七夕祭り)   :-) Also known as Star Festival. We will let you look up its meaning and origins,...

(header photo by Patrick Vierthaler) June and TSUYU With the passing of May’s blue skies and refreshing weather, June is finally here. While Japan may only have four official seasons, this time of the year marks the beginning of another special period- Japan’s rainy season. Called ‘tsuyu’ in...

Sekku Part 2: Golden Week and Boy’s Day (retrospective report, updated mid-May) Once cherry blossom season is finished in Tokyo, attention immediately shifts to Golden Week. Golden Week takes place at the end of April to the beginning of May, and is a series of consecutive holidays...

Hanami is great   In Tokyo, cherry blossoms are usually in full bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April but this year (2021) they came a little early. As you all my know, among all seasonal Japanese traditions, Hanami is by far one...

Food and the Seasons With the passage of Hinamatsuri, spring is finally upon us in Tokyo (article posted in mid-March). If you look up at trees in the city, plum blossoms should now be gone with the buds of the Sakura trees getting bigger and bigger. It...

The Four Seasons in Tokyo   Spring is on its way! The flowers of the plum tree are the harbingers of spring in Japan – giving Tokyoites a reminder that winter is finally coming to an end. The plum blossoms begin in February, followed by the peach blossoms in March. And of course,...

The anticipation and excitement of Japanese summers is one felt by all ages. Schools are out, and it's the season for summer festivals and fireworks displays. Beaches turn into little resorts with their ‘Umi no Ies’ beach huts, and people escape to the beautiful rivers...

One of the beautiful things about living in Japan is getting to experience all four seasons. Cherry blossoms in Spring, exciting festivals in Summer, bright colored leaves in Fall, and joyful gatherings over a hot pot of Japanese stew (Nabe) in Winter. If you're from a...