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Today is Setsubun

3 Feb

今日は「節分」。(Today is “Setsubun“).

Google’s Japanese page has a “Setsubun” logo today.

Setsubun is a day to cast out bad luck and bring in good luck. It involves an old tradition of throwing beans at someone wearing a demon mask representing bad luck.

It’s mostly done in homes with young children, in which the children throw the beans at their father wearing the oni (demon) mask.

Click here to read about this, and other Japanese customs and holidays in February.

KISS Treasure Palace & rock photo exhibit

14 Jan

Last month there was a “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) temporarily in Osaka, Japan before the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015.

I wondered why it was only in Osaka. But my friend told me that it’s scheduled to be in Tokyo too.

The “KISS 秘宝館” (KISS Treasure Palace)

The “KISS 秘宝館” (“KISS Treasure Palace“) will be in Tokyo, Japan from Wednesday, February 4th – Sunday, February 8th; open until 5:30PM each day.

The address is:
東京都千代田区有楽町2-5-1 有楽町マリオン11階
(Yurakucho Asahi Gallery
Yurakucho, Tokyo 2-5-1 Yurakucho-Marion 11F

Admission is free.


there is also an exhibit of rock photographs  in Tokyo by Koh Hasebe of Japan’s “Music Life rock magazine.

KISS on the cover of Japan’s “Music Life” magazine.

This exhibit is also free.

It’s from now until Wednesday, February 11th (a Japanese holiday).

The location is:
“B-Gallery” on the 6th Floor of the “Beams Store”
3-32-6 Shinjuku, Tokyo

A photo of KISS in Japan taken in the late ’70s by photographer Koh Hasebe .

The photographer, Koh Hasebe (l), and original Music Life Editor-in-Chief Kaoruko Togo.


KISS Shrine Lanterns

9 Jan

Udo Music Promoters, the Japanese company in charge of organizing and promoting the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015 (My post about it) has put up many billboards and flyers around Japan about the KISS concerts, they’ve also had KISS on Japanese TV programs.
Those are normal for concert promotion.

But sometimes Udo Music will do something unique and unusual to promote a band.
For example, before the 2013 KISS Japan Tour, there were “KISS Spicy Niku-man” dumplings available at convenience stores here. (They were delicious!)

Well, often when shrines in Japan have a festival, there will be rows of 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) with the names of companies, organizations and individuals who made monetary contributions to the shrine.

Rows and rows of 提灯 with contributors’ names printed on them at the “Mitama Festival” at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

They’re a very common sight in Japan.

But what is unusual is the Udo Music has arranged to have two KISS 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) at a festival at the famous 「今宮戎神社」 (“Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine”) in Osaka, Japan!

One says “Gene Simmons” and the other says “Paul Stanley“.

They say 「ジーン・シモンズ」 (“Gene Simmons” (l)) and 「ポール・スタンレー」 (“Paul Stanley” (r)).

I don’t know if Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made contributions to the shrine, or if Udo Music made the contribution in their names…but either way, these lanterns are cool!
I want them!
I wish they were at a shrine in Tokyo rather than on the other side of the country in Osaka!

Hey, Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine, after the festival, give me those lanterns, please!

New Year Firefighter Drill & Review

5 Jan

Every year on January 6th the Tokyo Fire Department has their annual 「消防出初式」 (“Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“).

I watched this impressive show five years ago.
(My post and photos, here).
And, earlier that year, I saw the annual 「消防慰霊祭」 (“Firefighters Memorial Service“), which is impressive too (Click here to see my post and photos about that festival).

Tomorrow is January 6th, so the 「2015 東京消防出初式」 (“2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“) will be held tomorrow.

Flyer for the “2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review” (2015 東京消防出初式).

If you want info about this festival (location, etc), feel free to contact me.


Happy New Year 2015

1 Jan

It’s now midnight on New Years Day 2015.
Happy New Year!

In Japan, New Years is the biggest holiday. There are many traditions, customs, decoration and a special meal with family.
2014 was the “Year of the Horse”…but it’s now the beginning of 2015 “the Year of the Sheep“.

2014 “Year of the Horse” passing the baton to 2015 “Year of the Sheep”

明けましておめでとうございます! (“Happy New Year!“)
How did you celebrate the New Year?

(The above image is from プロ年賀状 (“Pro New Years Postcards”) website.)

Xmas Sky Tree

24 Dec

It’s クリスマス・イヴ (Xmas Eve) in Japan now.
My wife and I went to the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower, which was illuminated in green for Xmas.







メリー・クリスマス (Merry Xmas).

Autumn leaves in Tokyo

29 Nov

Today my wife and I went to Iidabashi Station in Tokyo.

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From there we walked to Yasukuni Shrine to see the 銀杏 (Ginkgo trees) autumn foliage.

The Budokan can be seen from the entrance to Yasukuni Shrine entrance.

It says 「靖国神社」 (“Yasukuni Shrine”).

“TV Tokyo” was there filming.

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And then we walked to the Budokan:

The world-famous 武道館 (Budokan) in Tokyo.

A beer vending machine at the Budokan.



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