Japan’s Coming of Age Day (2023 version)

Every January in Japan, the nation celebrates an age-old tradition: Coming of Age Day (成人の日 Seijin no Hi). This special National holiday marks a milestone for individuals who have officially reached adulthood at 20 years old – and with recent changes to the law that will lower the legal adulting age to 18 in April 2022, even more people can … Read More

Secrets of a Japanese Ninja Warrior

Secret of Ninja

If there was one group of warriors that produced more myth and exaggeration and shrouded in so much mystery, it would be the ninja. The word ninja(忍者, or its alternative name shinobi, appears throughout historical accounts in the context of secret intelligence gathering or stealthy assassinations carried out by martial-arts experts.

Osorezan (恐山): Japan’s “Fear Mountain”

osorezan lake and statue

Japan’s Mount Osorezan (恐山) in Aomori Prefecture is ranked along with Koyasan and Hieizan as one of the three most sacred places in the entire country. Today, it known as the site of Bodai-ji Temple, where female mediums called itako are said to be able to communicate with the deceased. Read on to learn all about Japan’s fascinating “fear mountain”.

Why Fall in Japan is Better Than the Spring

momijigari boat Kyoto river

Spring in Japan, famous for its breath-taking cherry blossoms, is by far the most popular time of the year for tourists. But, fall in Japan has incredible beauty, delicious foods, and pleasant weather that definitely rivals the spring! Here’s why you should visit Japan in autumn!

The Secret World of the Maiko

Most people do not really know Geisha beyond their elaborate kimonos. Many can recognize one from a mile away, but apart from the white makeup and the intricate hairstyle, there is very little that is known about them. We take a closer look at the intriguing world of the Geisha and the Geisha-in-Training, the Maiko.

Japan’s Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日)

Japan autumnal equinox flower

Every year around mid-end of September, in time with the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, Japan observes a national holiday called Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日). This day has been a public holiday since 1948, and it actually celebrates more than just the changing of the seasons. Here’s the things you may want to know about Japan’s Autumnal Equinox Day!

Setsubun: Japan’s Bean-Throwing Festival

In just a few days, everyone in Japan will be celebrating a holiday called Setsubun, which involves people throwing roasted beans at people wearing masks in a ritual meant to ward off evil spirits! Here’s everything you need to know about Japan’s centuries-old Setsubun holiday.

10 Fun Things to Do in Japan in May

Kawawatari Kojinsai Festival

May in Japan is packed with a number of festivals – this is in part due to the Golden Week holiday period that happens every year for several days in early May. Then, the rest of the month is filled with good weather, sunshine, flowers, and lots of food and festivities! Here are 10 fun things to do in Japan … Read More

Stereotypes About Japan That ARE True!

night street in kyoto

When you think about “Japan”, what stereotypes come to mind? There are loads of myths surrounding Japan – about the people, the culture, the trains, and even the food! Many of them are far from accurate, but several common stereotypes are actually spot-on! Read on to find out which stereotypes about Japan are true, and the facts that back them … Read More

A Game of Thrones: Japan’s Emperor System

Japan's Emperor and Chrystanthemum Throne

Today there are more than 190 monarchs worldwide, but only Japan has an Emperor descended from an “uninterrupted bloodline” that dates back over 2,000 years. However, the elusive lives of the symbolic head of state and his family were mostly unknown to the public until 2003. We take a peak behind the curtain and see what it takes to sit … Read More