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Beyond Sumo – A Look at Japan’s Sports Culture

Beyond Sumo – A Look at Japan’s Sports Culture
For most of the Western world, what comes to mind when thinking about Japan’s sports culture is sumo and, for manga fans, baseball. These are part of Japanese culture, yes, but we would be remiss in thinking this is where it ends. There is definitely something more! 

Hana-Ichiban: A Guesthouse and Garden that Make You Feel at Home

Hana-Ichiban: A Guesthouse and Garden that Make You Feel at Home

When I had the opportunity to travel back to my second hometown of Wakayama this spring, I made a point to ask around beforehand whether there were any homestays or farm-stays that might be available and settled on a brief stay at a guest house, or minshuku, called Hana-ichiban.

Get Ready For Tanabata Festival!

Get Ready For Tanabata Festival!

One of the most popular summer festivals, Tanabata is coming up fast. With a beautiful story behind it and widespread celebrations around Japan, it is time to get acquainted with the “Star Festival.”

Hinamatsuri: Girls’ Day Celebration History and Customs

Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day, is a celebration that occurs annually on March 3rd in honor of girls in Japan.
Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day, is a celebration that occurs annually on March 3rd in honor of girls in Japan.

Valentine's Day in Japan: Sweets for My Sweet?

Valentine's Day in Japan: On February 14th, women give three types of chocolate or “choko/チョコ”: “honmei choko/本命チョコ,” “giri choko/義理チョコ,” and “tomo choko/友チョコ.” “Honmei” is an expression of love. “Tomo” is part of the Japanese word “tomodachi” which means
The unique way Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan.

Setsubun (節分): The Japanese Festival of Bean Throwing and Sushi Rolling

Setsubun (節分): The Japanese Festival of Bean Throwing and Sushi Rolling
How do you know spring has finally arrived in Japan?

How to Cure Your Post-Holiday Stomach with a Traditional Japanese Porridge

How to Cure Your Post-Holiday Stomach with a Traditional Japanese Porridge

In Japan, the recovery meal of choice following the holiday indulgences is nanakusa gayu (七草粥).

Osechi: Why your first meal of the year is the most important

Osechi: Why your first meal of the year is the most important
Osechi ryōri (おせち料理) consists of the traditional dishes eaten in Japan on New Year’s Day.

Momiji-Gari and Embracing Autumn Leaves in Japan

Momiji-Gari and Embracing Autumn Leaves in Japan

Written by Austin Rettinhouse

Cherry blossoms, or sakura (桜), are arguably the most easily identifiable cultural symbol of Japan. However, to many in Japan, momiji (紅葉), or maple leaves, are just as culturally significant and an unmistakable marker signaling the start of autumn in Japan.