7 Jul

Today is 七夕 (Tanabata).

I mentioned Tanabata in a earlier blog post here.

And I wrote a short FAQ entry about it here.

Tanabata is usually translated into English as “Star Festival“…but the two Japanese Kanji characters that make up the word “Tanabata” literally mean “Seven evenings”.

It’s kinda difficult to explain how this name came about, but the holiday is celebrated on 7th of July (7/7).

In Japan, it is popular for holidays to fall on dates that are the same number for the day and month.

March 3 (3/3), May 5 (5/5), July 7 (7/7), and October 10 (10/10) are all holidays in Japan.

Our Tanabata wish is that our kids do well in school and have happy, healthy lives!


Also, the leaders of the G-8 countries (Japan, America, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) are in 北海道 (Hokkaido), Japan for the beginning of the G-8 Summit.

By the way, about fifteen years ago, my wife and I took a short vacation in Hokkaido and stayed in the same town that the G-8 summit was at in Toyako, Hokkaido.

It’s a very nice place. I recommend visiting there if you ever have a chance.

I have been to Hokkaido one other time. I went to Sapporo in February 1991 for the annual 雪祭 (Snow Festival). That’s a great festival!

11 Responses to “Tanabata”

  1. tokyo5 July 15, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    >Unfortunately ‘reality TV’ has almost taken over every American channel. I hope it is just a fad.

    Most of the stuff I saw on American TV seemed loud, crazy and over-the-top to me.

    Not used to it anymore, I guess.


  2. A (Mb's Husband) July 15, 2008 at 12:02 am #

    Unfortunately ‘reality TV’ has almost taken over every American channel. I hope it is just a fad.


  3. tokyo5 July 11, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    Japanese TV and American TV is quite different.

    I’m not used to American TV anymore. When we visited Florida four years ago, the stuff on TV was just as odd to me as it was to my wife and kids!

    Even the commercials were interesting because they’re so different.

    American TV seemed to be alot of sitcoms with laugh tracks, and talk shows with over-the-top guests.

    Japanese TV shows feel like “normal” TV to me.


  4. A (Mb's Husband) July 11, 2008 at 2:42 am #

    I don’t know if it is in Tokyo. I believe the game show part is recorded at “Toho Studios”.

    Unfortunately we can’t record to DVD, but if they put the season on DVD, we’ll pick up a copy for you. 🙂 More info is at:


    Apparently the game show isn’t a real game show, though it doesn’t look that different from some Japanese game shows I’ve seen. 🙂


  5. tokyo5 July 11, 2008 at 2:04 am #


    I just looked at that TV show’s website.
    Is it supposed to be filmed here in Tokyo? Because I’ve never heard of any show like that being filmed here.

    And, yes…the “Tsukiji Fish Market” is the world’s largest. It’s not “somewhere” in Japan…it’s in Tokyo!

    Are you gonna record the show onto DVD? Mail me a copy sometime.


  6. A (Mb's Husband) July 10, 2008 at 5:18 am #

    MB and I watched “I survived a Japanese Gameshow” last night. Best. Show. Evar. After going on the show, one team went to see the largest fish market in the world. (Somewhere in Japan) The other were forced to plant rice.

    We’re recording all future shows.


  7. tokyo5 July 8, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    For 七夕 (Tanabata) yesterday, U.S. President, George Bush wrote the following wish and tied it to a bamboo tree in the lobby of the hotel that the G-8 leaders are staying at in Hokkaido, Japan:

    “I wish for a world free from tyranny: the tyranny of hunger, disease; and free from tyrannical governments. I wish for a world in which the universal desire for liberty is realized. I wish for the advance of new technologies that will improve the human condition and protect our environments.”


  8. tokyo5 July 8, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    Yes, New Years is the biggest holiday in Japan.

    On my website, you can read my FAQ entry about New Years in Japan here:


    And all of the holidays in Japan here:



  9. sfrunner July 8, 2008 at 12:36 pm #


    Happy Tanabata!

    Have one question. How about New Year’s Day? When I was in Tokyo in 2001, the Tokyo Tower had the inscription ‘ 2002’ just waiting for the stroke of midnight. Does Japan celebrate it as a holiday?


  10. tokyo5 July 8, 2008 at 2:19 am #



    BTW, the “G-8 Summit” started in Hokkaido, Japan today. And as it’s 七夕 (Tanabata) today, the leaders of the G-8 countries each wrote a wish and tied it to a bamboo tree, as per Japanese tradition. I’m gonna watch the news tomorrow AM and see if they tell what the leaders wrote.

    Also, because of the themes of the G-8 Summit (the environment, etc), Japan had a “candle night” tonight. Many shops and homes turned down their lights and used candlelight to save electricity. Even the Tokyo Tower didn’t illuminate tonight!

    And, because of the G-8 Summit, all the public garbage cans in train and subway stations in Tokyo (and I suppose, Hokkaido, too) were sealed off to help prevent a terrorist attack.


  11. Mb July 7, 2008 at 2:50 am #

    Happy Tanabata!


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