Summer Lights of Mitama Festival at Yasukuni Shrine

In keeping with the ancient custom, Yasukuni Shrine holds the yearly Mitama Festival around July 13-16 as part of the Obon festivities. Mitama refers to the spirit or soul of the dead. During this season, Japanese hang lanterns and place offerings at the altars as prayers for their ancestors’ spirits to be freed of their sufferings. Since 1947, the Mitama Festival has lightened up the Yasukuni Shrine grounds with more than 30,000 glittering lanterns or chochin.

Just Another Day at Work: Working Through Christmas in Japan

So, as a result Christmas is, for all intents and purposes, just another regular working day here in Japan. That’s not to say that Japanese people don’t get a winter vacation. In almost all cases, they do. However, typically, the winter and New Year vacation time in Japan ordinarily doesn’t begin until December 27th or 28th and then typically runs until about January 5th.

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