Tag Archives: Midori-no-hi

子どもの日

6 May

Yesterday was 「子供の日」 (“Children’s Day“) in Japan. The final day of “Golden Week“.
Today most everyone in Japan went back to work or school.

Yesterday, we went to the 「藤まつり」 (“Wisteria flower Festival”) at 「亀戸天神社」 (“Kameido Ten-Jinja Shrine”).

Sign says 「亀戸天神 藤まつり」 ("Kameido Tenjin" Shrine "Wisteria Festival")

藤 (Wisteria flowers)

The "Tokyo Sky Tree" can be seen from this shrine.

"Tokyo Sky Tree" (under construction)

Festivals in Japan have booth selling foods, drinks, etc

It was "Golden Week", so it was quite crowded.

(Click here to see a post I wrote that has a picture of a 浮世絵 (traditional Japanese woodblock print) of this shrine, and how it hasn’t changed much since).

From there, we went to 「亀戸香取神社」 (“Kameido Katori Jinja Shrine“) which honors, among other things, 「亀戸大根」 (the “Kameido Daikon” giant Japanese radish).
This radish grew in the Kameido area of Tokyo even during times of drought. So this shrine lets people “thank” the Kameido Daikon for helping to keep the people of Japan from going hungry during hard times.

This sign says "Kameido Daikon". And "Kameido" is written with the characters resembling a turtle (for the town's name means "turtle door") and a Daikon radish.

There were 八重桜 ("Leafy Sakura") in bloom.

「亀戸大根」 ("Kameido Daikon")

Wash 恵比寿様 (Ebisu-sama) and they'll ensure your good health and fortune.

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入場無料

4 May

今日は緑の日 (Today is Greenery Day).

Many 動物園 (zoos) and 水族館 (aquariums) in Japan were open to the public today with 入場無料 (free admission). This happens three days year…you can go in these places for free on 緑の日 (Greenery Day), the anniversary of day that the zoo / aquarium first opened, and Citizen’s Day.
For example, 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo has free admission on March 20 (開園記念日 (the anniversary of the day that the zoo first opened)), May 4 (緑の日 (Greenery Day)), and October 1 (都民の日 (Tokyo Citizen’s Day))…(Click here to see my 1 October 2009 post about the zoo.)

(BTW, 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) always offers free admission to children who are junior-high-school aged or younger (and who go to a school in Tokyo), and also to the disabled and one assistant.)

We decided to go to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) today.
As it always is when the admission is free…it was very crowded there today!

I took a number of photos…but due to the crowds, it was difficult to get good photos. So many of my photos (including my photo of the gorillas, flamingos, and the new baby rhino didn’t turn out well).

But here are some of my photos:

鯉のぼり (Carp Streamers); a Japanese 「子供の日」 ("Children's Day") (May 5) decoration.

鯉のぼり (Carp Streamers); a Japanese 「子供の日」 ("Children's Day") (May 5) decoration.

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ありくい (Aardvark)

ありくい (Aardvark)

ハリネズミ (Porcupine)

ハリネズミ (Porcupine)

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?