Filed under Spring

A to Wa of Japan: Week 18

A to Wa of Japan: Week 18

It’s time for A to Wa of Japan again! Last week’s post was about things beginning with た (ta) and we looked at takoyaki (たこ焼き) and taiyaki (タイヤキ or タイ焼き). This week we are looking at things beginning with ち (chi). A big thank you to everyone who joined in with suggestions this week:  lovelycomplex22 suggested chirashizushi (ちらし寿司 / scattered sushi); Japan Australia suggested Chiba … Continue reading

My Golden Week in Bristol

My Golden Week in Bristol

It’s one of the best times of year in Japan at the moment: Golden Week. Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク) is a collection of holidays that happen to fall very close together, causing one of the three main holiday periods in Japan (the other two being Obon (お盆) in August and Oshogatsu (お正月), which is New Year). … Continue reading

A to Wa of Japan: Week 12

A to Wa of Japan: Week 12

It’s time for A to Wa of Japan again! Last week’s post was about things beginning with こ (ko) and we looked at kotatsu (炬燵), koto (箏) and cosplay (コスプレ). This week we are looking at things beginning with さ (sa). A big thank you to everyone who joined in with suggestions this week: Jay Dee suggested sakura (桜 / cherry blossom), Saitama (さいたま / … Continue reading

5 Reasons to Visit Japan in May

5 Reasons to Visit Japan in May

The J-Festa theme this month is “Japan in May“, so I thought I’d share my top 5 reasons to visit Japan in May. I know May is nearly over, but this way you can plan your trip for next year! March to May is generally considered to be spring in Japan, with summer (starting with … Continue reading

Hanami in London

Hanami in London

One Japanese tradition that I absolutely love is hanami (花見). For those of you who don’t know, hanami is a cherry blossom viewing party. One thing worth knowing in relation to hanami is the saying “hana yori dango” (花より団子), which basically means “food is more important than flowers”. So, yeah, a hanami party is really … Continue reading

Happy Hello Kitty Easter

Happy Hello Kitty Easter

It seems Hello Kitty really is here to stay in England (wish she’d been so popular when I was a kid!). My local Sainsbury’s had these Hello Kitty Easter eggs for sale: What with the Hello Kitty crackers I found at Christmas, and now these Easter eggs, I think it’s fair to say that she’s … Continue reading

Catching the blossom with a haiku

Catching the blossom with a haiku

After spending a few hours in St James’s Park under the cherry blossoms (or possibly some other kind of blossoms, I can’t actually tell), I made my way to the Chelsea College of Art for a haiku workshop. The workshop was run by haiku poets Sho Otaka and Paul Conneally, in English and Japanese, and … Continue reading

30 Things I Love About Japan

30 Things I Love About Japan

It’s my birthday today, so I’ve decided to write a very self-indulgent post featuring some of the things I love about Japan. I’ve picked 30 random topics off the top of my head, in no particular order – one for every candle on my virtual birthday cake. 😉 1. Takoyaki Osaka’s favourite octopus balls! 2. … Continue reading

Events in Japan: Festivals

Whenever I hear that someone is going to Japan I get so excited for them and want to share advice about all the wonderful things to do there. One thing I would recommend to all visitors is to try to check out a festival (matsuri/祭り) while you’re there. All throughout the year there are various … Continue reading

The Greatest Buddha

A tourist-show, a legend told, A rusting bulk of bronze and gold, So much, and scarce so much, ye hold The meaning of Kamakura? (Extract from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, 1892) Carrying on from the last post about my Tokyo area trip, I’m sure you’ll remember that on April 19th I was walking to The … Continue reading