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.
For many families, the bonding and togtherness aspects of New Year’s culminate in gathering around the kotatsu, a low, heated table, watching t.v., eating, drinking, and playing games. The two most common, and perhaps most traditional games are Karuta and Hanafuda.
Like any other time, during the New Year also, Japanese have some special food items. There are timings for consuming each kind of food. Among them the most popular and a must followed practice is to eat a set of food in special lunch boxes named as Osechi Ryori. This is consumed as the first food just after welcoming the New Year.