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Monthly Archive:2014/12

New Year Holidays in Japan: Kōhaku Uta Gassen

As the year ends, it is great to go back and reminisce the events that happened in the outgoing year. Just like in other countries, TV shows in Japan during this time of the year will be of special episodes, year-ender features, and others.…

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New Year Holidays in Japan : Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

- Beethoven - Illustration from Illust-ya The Symphony No. 9, a.k.a. “Choral”, is probably one of the most famous and beloved classical music in Japan. I played the (probably shortened) 4th movement on accordion as a member of a band when I was an elementary school student.…

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New Year Holidays in Japan: Mochi

Japan is home to different types of cakes and snacks. Every prefecture has their own version of a snack. One of the popular food in Japan especially during the New Year holiday season is mochi or the Japanese rice cake.…

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New Year Holidays in Japan : Mikan

Mikan is one of the typical fruits in Japanese winter. When my siblings and I were ever-hungry children, my mother always bought a box with 15 kg (approx. 530 oz, 33 lb) of mikan in winter. We could easily eat up 15 mikan each at one sitting.…

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New Year Holidays in Japan: Japanese Traditional Games

As kids, we all played games and while living in Japan I wondered what sort of games do kids here play. Were the games they played similar to the games I used to play growing up back home? Do they also roll over the dirt, enjoy playing catch or maybe play hide and seek?…

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New Year Holidays in Japan: Nengajou

For some other parts of the world, Christmas is the time for sending holiday greetings through postcards and mail. It is not much like that in Japan though. The Japanese receive holiday greeting cards in New Year’s Day (January 1), thus called Nengajou or the New Year’s Card.…

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New Year Holidays in Japan : Kotatsu

- Kotatsu - Photo from flickr In Japan, except northern cold areas like Hokkaido, houses are usually built to suit Japanese hot humid summer. This means many Japanese houses are drafty, and in other words, it can be freezing even indoor in winter.…

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Osafune in Okayama : The land of Japanese sword – Part 2 –

Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (1) About 30 minute walk from the Kagato station. It’s an institution with a sword museum, a shop, a forge and a sword craft centre. It cost me 500 yen (in November 2014) to enter the museum, but others were free.…

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Kotoba Asobi: Nazonazo – Learning the Japanese Style of Wordplay 4

Another fun form of Japanese wordplay is nazonazo. And just like the shiritori, it is fun to play with other people. Word Puzzles/Nazonazo Nazonazo is just the Japanese word for riddles. Riddles are design to make your minds work but a riddle in a non-native language will make your mind work harder.…

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Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one of Kyoto’s most celebrated temples – Kiyomizudera.…

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