The Fighting Shrines Of Japan’s Imari Ton-Ten-Ton Festival

Every year in the Japanese city of Imari, a great fighting festival takes place that is known for its colourful costumes, decorative shrines, and occasional hospitalisations. Running across 3 days, the Ton-Ten-Ton festival is known for its great clashes between wooden shrines, as shrine bearers search the streets for their rivals and crash into each … More The Fighting Shrines Of Japan’s Imari Ton-Ten-Ton Festival

Visiting The Extraordinary Naruto Whirlpools in Japan

The Naruto Whirlpools are swirling vortices of water that form as the Pacific Ocean rushes in to meet the Seto Inland Sea. The natural phenomenon is located where the Japanese home island of Shikoku is separated from the island of Awaji via the Naruto Strait. The whirlpools have become a symbol of Naruto City, with … More Visiting The Extraordinary Naruto Whirlpools in Japan

Exploring The Pointed Houses Of Shirakawa-Gō and Gokayama – Japan’s Historic UNESCO Villages

Hidden in the mountains of the Japanese island of Honshu are the picturesque areas of Shirakawa-Gō and Gokayama. The regions are home to charming traditional houses, known for their steep thatched roofs that peek up from the landscape like little triangles. These villages of thatched-roof houses, designated as UNESCO World heritage sites, are examples of … More Exploring The Pointed Houses Of Shirakawa-Gō and Gokayama – Japan’s Historic UNESCO Villages

Okawachiyama Village and the Furin Wind Bell Festival

The beautiful, relaxing sounds of small bells chiming softly in the wind is the soundtrack to Okawachiyama’s lovely Festival of Wind Bells. These small bells, with paper attachments swirling in the wind are called furin, and are synonymous with summertime in Japan. In this historic village in Saga prefecture, also known as the ‘Village of … More Okawachiyama Village and the Furin Wind Bell Festival

Crazy Train Designs In Japan

Japan’s rail system is known for its great organisation and punctuality, from 300km/h bullet trains to rapid subway systems to charming little local trains. Japan is also famous for its cute cartoon characters and anime, everything from Pokemon to Hello Kitty to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Sometimes, for special occasions, the two come together for one-off … More Crazy Train Designs In Japan

Japan’s Squid Celebration – Hakodate Annual Port Festival

Every August, the Japanese city of Hakodate celebrates the humble squid with an annual squid festival. That’s right, an entire festival to honour the tentacled cephalopods of the region! The city of Hakodate is located on a southern outcrop of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. Presided over by the dominating Mount Hakodate, the city is perhaps … More Japan’s Squid Celebration – Hakodate Annual Port Festival

Tokyo’s Whale Celebration – Akishima Citizen Whale Festival

Akishima is a city in the west of the greater Tokyo metropolis. Every year, the Akishima Citizen Whale Festival celebrates one of their local symbols, the Akishima whale. But what does a city 50km from the coast have to do with whales? This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small … More Tokyo’s Whale Celebration – Akishima Citizen Whale Festival

The Weird World Of Apples In Japan – Aomori Apple Picking, Apple Bathing, And The Sekai Ichi Apple

The pursuit of the perfect apple in Japan has created a fascinating apple culture. Centred around the apple orchids of Aomori Prefecture, Japan celebrates apples with colourful mascots and apple blossom festivals, and fruit picking is one of the most popular activities of the region. Bathing in a huge bath full of apples is even … More The Weird World Of Apples In Japan – Aomori Apple Picking, Apple Bathing, And The Sekai Ichi Apple

Sunamushi Onsen – Volcanic Sand Bathing in Southern Japan

For many people, being buried up to the neck in hot, black volcanic sand doesn’t seem like a pleasant way to relax. But in parts of southern Japan, sunamushi (sand bathing) on a volcanic beach is a popular form of bathing that helps rest the mind and refresh the body. For those who have not … More Sunamushi Onsen – Volcanic Sand Bathing in Southern Japan

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo – Discovering Tokyo’s Puppets On A Cart

One of Tokyo’s most unique art forms is the puppetry performance at Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Theatre. The style is characterised by a puppeteer on a small wooden cart (rokuro kuruma) controlling a single large puppet. Controlling the individual arms, legs and head with their own limbs, whilst moving around the stage on the cart … More Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo – Discovering Tokyo’s Puppets On A Cart