Tag Archives: matsuri

Nezu Shrine Festival

21 Sep

Today is the Japanese holiday 「敬老の日」 (“Respect For The Aged Day“).
Click here to read my short FAQ about it.

Yesterday my family and I went to the 「根津神社祭り」 (“Nezu Shrine Festival“).

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From there, we stopped by the gravesite of Japan’s last 将軍 (Shogun), 徳川慶喜 (Yoshinobu Tokugawa).

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After that, we got dinner at an 居酒屋 (Japanese izakaya restaurant) and then went home.
It was a fun day together.

目黒さんま祭

6 Sep

Today was the 14th annual 目黒サンマ祭 (Meguro Sanma Festival).

The 2009 「目黒さんま祭」 ("Meguro Sanma Festival")

The 2009 「目黒さんま祭」 ("Meguro Sanma Festival")

「秋刀魚」 or 「サンマ」 (Sanma) is a kind of mackerel fish.
And 「目黒」 (Meguro) is an area of Tokyo where the festival is held on the first Sunday of September every year (from about 10:00AM-2:00PM).

At this festival, they give away for free a grilled Sanma fish to the first 6,000 people! And they also give away 10,000 スダチ (Sudachi (a Japanese citrus fruit)) or ダイコン (Japanese giant radish), which both taste good with Sanma fish.

If you ever have a chance to attend this festival, I recommend it. 「サンマ」 (Sanma) is delicious!

Grilling the fish at the 「目黒サンマ祭」.

Grilling the fish at the 「目黒サンマ祭」.

(Also, it doesn’t have anything to do with this post other than his name, but…「サンマさん」 (Mr. Sanma) is one of the most popular comedians in Japan. I enjoy his programs (And his laugh is funny)):

"Sanma-san"

"Sanma-san"

今週の天気予報

26 Aug

The weather has been very nice these days in Tokyo.
And it’s forecast to continue like this…until Sunday.
The 天気予報 (weather forecast) says it’ll rain on Sunday, August 30th.

Weather forecast for Tokyo from August 26 - Sept 1

Weather forecast for Tokyo from August 26 - Sept 1

It says:

  • Wed, Aug 26: Sunny / partly cloudy (22-28°C) (20% chance of rain (COR))
  • Thur, Aug 27: Sunny / partly cloudy (23-29°C) (20% COR)
  • Fri, Aug 28: Mostly sunny (23-31°C) (10% COR)
  • Sat, Aug 29: Sunny / partly cloudy (25-31°C) (20% COR)
  • Sun, Aug 30: Scattered rain (24-29°C) (50% COR)
  • Mon, Aug 31: Cloudy (23-27°C) (40% COR)
  • Tues, Sept 1: Cloudy (22-27°C) (40% COR)

So, if you’re in Tokyo and plan to do some outdoor activities this weekend, doing them on Saturday rather than Sunday, if possible, would probably be a good idea.

If you’re looking for an idea for something to do this weekend in Tokyo…there’ll be the annual Brazilian Samba Fesival in 浅草 (Asakusa, Tokyo) on Saturday.

2009年夏の「みたままつり」

14 Jul

Yesterday (2009 July 13), we went to the first day of the 2009 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival).

This year this festival is from Monday, July 13 until Thursday, July 16. So, if you’re currently in the Tokyo area you can go to this festival. It’s at the 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is where Japan enshrines all who have died in battle defending Japan. I wrote a bit about it in another post…click here.

We have been to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) many times, and we go to the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) nearly every year.
I wrote a post about this festival last year…click here to see it. That post has videos and a slideshow of photos.

In the summertime in Japan, there are many Obon festivals…which are festivals to honor the deceased. And, as I wrote above, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is Japan’s shrine for the war-dead. So the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) is a festival to honor the war-dead.

They were heading to the festival.

They were heading to the festival.

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

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At many summer festivals in Japan, there are haunted house attractions. These have been popular at summer festivals since long ago in Japan because it’s said that the chills from the fright help cool you off in the summer heat. (Horror movies are also popular in the summertime in Japan for the same reason).

Here’s the outside of the Haunted House attraction at 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival):

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

As usual, we had a good time at the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) even though it was a hot day. We had 焼きそば (Grilled Noodles) and beer, watched the ねぶた (Nebuta) float parade, and our kids played festival stall games.

Japanese Festivals in America

12 May

It seems that there are a number of Japanese festivals in America at various times of the year and in various cities around America.

I’d like to attend a Japanese festival in America and see how similar or different it is from a real Japanese festival!

Have you ever been to a Japanese festival in America (or another country)? How was it?

I found information online about a few Japanese festivals in different U.S. cities:

  • Japan Fest, Atlanta (Georgia, USA)

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    2009年9月19日(土曜日)から9月20日(日曜日)まで。 (Saturday, 19 September 2009 – Sunday. 20 September).

    All of the Japanese festivals in America that I found online have already finished this year…except this one.
    If you’re in Atlanta, Georgia USA this September 19 -20, you should consider checking out this festival.

    They have scheduled martial arts shows, 盆栽 (bonsai), 生花 (ikebana), アニメ (anime), Japanese food, etc.

  • The Japan-America Society Of Houston (Texas, USA)

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    This festival was held in Texas, USA on 2009年4月25日から4月26日まで。 (2009 April 25-26).

    Do you go to it?

  • National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C. (USA)

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    This year’s festival in Washington D.C. was held on 2009年3月28日から4月12日まで。 (2009 March 28 – April 12).

    Next year’s will be 2010年3月27日から4月11日まで。 (2010 March 27 – April 11).

    Did you go to this festival? Are you planning to go next year?

    I heard about this festival on the TV news here in Japan because Jero performed at it this year (I wrote a post about it last March. Click here to read it).

  • Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia (USA)

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    This year’s festival was on 2009年4月5日。 (2009 April 5).

There are many international festivals in Tokyo…

But I never knew there were so many Japanese festivals in America before. When I lived in America, I never heard about any Japan festivals. Are they a fairly recent* occurence? (* by recent, I mean since 1990.)
Is it because there’s currently a “Japan boom” in America?
Have you been to a Japan festival?

縁日祭

29 Apr

今日は「昭和の日」 (Today is “Showa Day“).

Until 1989, April 29th was 天の誕生日 (the (Showa) Emperor’s birthday), but when the (Showa) Emperor died in 1989 his son became the (current) Emperor…so in honor of the Showa Emperor’s love of nature, his birthday became the Japanese holiday 緑の日 (Greenery Day).
But a few years ago, 緑の日 (Greenery Day) was changed to May 4th and April 29th became known as 昭和の日 (Showa Day).

You can read about Japanese holidays on my FAQ page by clicking here…and you can read about 昭和の日 (Showa Day) in particular by clicking here.

At a 神社 (shrine) near our house, our town had a 縁日祭 (Neighborhood Festival).
We usually go to this festival every year.
In past years at this festival, my youngest daughter has played the Koto* with her Koto class, my oldest daughter played the trumpet with her brass band when she was in Junior High, and I volunteered once to help at one of the booths.
(*Koto is a traditional Japanese instrument).
Even though this festival is small, I enjoy it alot because I have lived in this neighborhood for many years so I know many people and it’s enjoyable to have a beer and talk with friends and neighbors and enjoy the festival.

This year, my wife volunteered in help at one of the booths. She helped at the booth selling かき氷 (shaved ice).

Today is Wednesday but it’s a day off. It was nice to have a day off in the middle of the week. A nice break.
We all had a good time at the festival. Each of my daughters went to the festival with their friends.
I saw my father-in-law there talking with some neighbors…I sat with them and had some beer and food and small talk.
I saw my daughters and their friends walking around, so I bought them all some イカ焼き (grilled squid).

We all had a good time.

Here are some photos I took:

「こいのぼり」 (Carp streamers). It's a traditional 子供の日 (Children's Day (May 5)) decoration.

「こいのぼり」 (Carp streamers). It's a traditional 子供の日 (Children's Day (May 5)) decoration.

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お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki)

お好み焼き (Okonomiyaki)

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What types of neighborhood festivals do you have where you live?

さ・く・ら・ま・つ・り

5 Apr

Today we went to a nearby 桜祭り (Cherry Blossom Festival) and enjoyed a 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) picnic that my wife and daughters made.

Our lunch was おにぎり (rice balls), 卵焼き (Japanese grilled eggs), broccoli, chicken, (strawberries), cookies, and beer*!
It was an excellent picnic lunch!

(*Of course, only my wife and I had beer. Our daughters had tea. ;) )

Here are some photos we took:

Many people were enjoying 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing)

Many people were enjoying 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing)

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There are many turtles, ducks and carp in the pond.

There are many turtles, ducks and carp in the pond.

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Drying in the sun

Drying in the sun

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Cherry Blossom tree next to a bus stop

Cherry Blossom tree next to a bus stop

「かき氷」 (Shaved Ice) vendor

「かき氷」 (Shaved Ice) vendor

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