These elaborate, colorful, and heart-warming cards show a person's appreciation and affection for being helped in the previous year and help maintain good relationships in the year to come; they’re like Japan’s Christmas cards.
You can find all sorts of Halloween themed foods including cakes and desserts, decorated so cute it is a pity to eat them. For those hoping to come to Japan in the near future, I want to introduce some of the coolest Halloween foods from 2020.
Before moving to Japan, I almost always came on vacation starting in tsuyu/rainy season and for good reason: it’s a cheaper, less busy and still beautiful time to check out Japan!
If you and your significant other are travelling together in Japan around February 14th, you're already well on your way to having a unique Valentine's Day. The Nunobiki Herb Garden would be more suited for those looking for a low-key, quietly intimate day.
One of the most colourful and special traditions of Japan takes place on March 3rd, and it is known as the Dolls' Day, Girls' Day or Hinamatsuri (雛祭り). A day to celebrate and think about happiness and good health, as praying for a good future, of all young girls in Japanese families.
The clever designs and tight collaborative efforts with many a familiar Japanese character, thank you Sanrio and Disney for those, jostle unashamedly for your attention. Somewhere between the Meiji chocolate bars and the Valentines appropriate heart-shaped moulds, I found a treasure chest of Japanese special edition goodness.
February is, mainly, about ...ehm...spring. It starts with the third day of the month, known in Japan as setsubun. According to the Buddhist and Shinto tradition, this day marks the beginning of spring by the lunar calendar, and it ought to be celebrated.
If you are living in Japan and want to give gifts to your host family, coworkers, or housemates, or if you are just visiting and want to buy things to take home with you, here are some inexpensive suggestions.