Japan

Wa-Rasse Nebuta Museum AomoriWa-Rasse Nebuta Museum Aomori

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and the Wa-Rasse Experience

The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is held in early August. If you can’t be in town for the festival you can still experience it at the Wa-Rasse Nebuta museum. We regularly plan our Japan trips to include community events and festivals.  It’s such a fun time…

Daigoji temple - Bentendo HallDaigoji temple - Bentendo Hall

Daigoji Temple and a Sakura Festival

Local festivals are a great time to visit a Japanese Temple or Shrine. This large UNESCO listed temple is especially beautiful during the cherry blossoms and the Hanami Gyoretsu festival but it’s not the only season that it’s excels.

Sapporo snow festivalSapporo snow festival

Exploring the Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an incredible winter wonderland of all things snow & ice. Spread across 3 huge sites it’s the biggest winter festival in Japan so here are a few tips for getting the most out of your visit.

Kenka-sai ceremony at Fushimi Inari shrine in KyotoKenka-sai ceremony at Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

Kenka-sai festival at Fushimi Inari Shrine

As soon as I knew we’d be in Kyoto on the 1st April I mentally blocked out the middle of the day for the Kenka-sai festival.  Incorporating festivals and cultural events on our Japan trips is something we’ve done since our first visit and it’s provided some…

The complete guide to sakura in Kyoto, JapanThe complete guide to sakura in Kyoto, Japan

Cherry Blossom in Kyoto – 15 top spots and events

Headed to Kyoto for spring time? It’s one of our favourite sakura spots in Japan so here are some of the best locations and events for viewing cherry blossom in Kyoto. In early March cherry blossom fever hits Kyoto.  The ume (peach blossom) are wafting…

Everything you need to know about Shichi-go-san celebrationsEverything you need to know about Shichi-go-san celebrations

Shichi-go-san festival in Japan

There’s not much that’s more adorable, or kawaii I guess, than dozens of young children in traditional kimonos.  It’s a sight you’re likely to see a lot in Shinto shrines during the shichi-go-san festival in mid November.  An excess of cuteness and so many bright colours is a photographers dream…

What to see, do and where to eat in Kobe, JapanWhat to see, do and where to eat in Kobe, Japan

What to see & do in Kobe

In this City Guide we’ll introduce some of our top things to see & do in Kobe.  It’s a lovely, vibrant and modern city less than an hour by train from Kyoto and Osaka which makes it perfect for a day trip.  Most of these…

Otaru snow light path festivalOtaru snow light path festival

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

I love a good festival and they usually crop up in my Japan itinerary somewhere.  During the winter the big one everyone talks about is the Sapporo Snow Festival and with good reason, it is huge and fabulous and we had the most amazing time. …

Nara Park at SetsubunNara Park at Setsubun

10 things I love about Setsubun

Setsubun is a fun Japanese holiday celebrated on the 3rd February.  It marks the last day of Winter and the imminent coming of Spring.  While it’s definitely summer where I am this year I thought I’d share some of our previous Sebsubun experiences in this…

Festivals in Japan are a fabulous way to enjoy a community atmosphere and local culture. Here's all you need to know to plan a visit to the Nagahama Kabuki FestivalFestivals in Japan are a fabulous way to enjoy a community atmosphere and local culture. Here's all you need to know to plan a visit to the Nagahama Kabuki Festival

Visting the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri

A great day trip from Kyoto is to Nagahama and it’s even better if you can time it to be there on the 15th April for the annual Nagahama Hikiyama matsuri (festival).  It’s a float festival where Kabuki theatre is played out by local boys…

Yasaka ShrineYasaka Shrine

Walking Kyoto – Yasaka Shrine

On this weeks section of our Kyoto Photo-walk series we pick up from Kodai-ji temple and continue north west to explore the Gion district. Yasaka Shrine is at the eastern end of Shijo (fourth street) and is the major shrine of the Gion geisha district. Being right…