Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions
Japan is a place of so many different and wonderful things to do and see. A lot of times when we are planning our trips to Japan we decide not always to have our whole day Read more
Kizuna Japanese subscription box
This is a promotional post.
We were offered the opportunity to try a new subscription box from Kizuna Box from Japan. Of course we jumped at the chance. We were given the option of two different boxes, Read more
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival
On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more
Top Japanese places to visit in London
In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more
Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo
As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more
Timeout is a company that keeps you up to date with whats going on in some of the biggest cities all over the world. For Japan there are two versions and you can reach both of them by going to timeout.jp. There you can choose to either view the Tokyo version or the Kyoto version.
Via Timeout Tokyo/Kyoto you can find whats going on in the cities, from gigs to cinemas listings to events going on and what pubs to visits or museums to go to. Timeout is definitely a good site to check whats on.
A big plus – the page is English too, so maybe give it a try on your next trip to Japan.
It’s always nice to be able to read the news in a language that you understand. One of the sites that is great to get all the news from Japan is the Japan Times news site: http://www.japantimes.co.jp. The Japan Times news site gives you a good insight of whats happening all over Japan. It’s well worth bookmarking this site!
A week ago I went to watch a Japanese drum performance. A man played on the traditional taiko drum together with a young man, who I believe was his student.
The man said that he had visited Japan on several occasions and had been inspired by the music there, and now he played rhythms that came from different parts of Japan. Apparently he has been playing taiko drums for twenty years!
After the performance, the audience was invited up to try out the drums, and drum sticks were given out to children for them to tap along with the drumming.
Here’s a closer look of the taiko drum.
Here is a video of the performance. The sound of the drumming was a lot more impressive in real life, its hard to capture on film. Enjoy!
I have previously written about hanami, a celebration in Japan where people go out and view the blossoming cherry trees and enjoy a lovely time together. We dont have that tradition in Sweden (the Japanese Society in Stockholm have a cherry tree day), but we do have some lovely cherry trees in central Stockholm, and people appreciate their beauty just as much here.
The cherry trees now are blossoming in Stockholm and Kungsträdgården (the King’s Garden) has been transformed into a beautiful ceiling with pink cherry blossoms. After an extra long winter and very late spring, the temperature has finally gone up and people are now enjoying hot sunny days.
It was a few days ago that the cherry flowers came out in bloom in Kungsträdgården, and for those who want to see the flowers before they disappear should hurry, the flowering will only last for a week and there are only a few days left now.
I visited Kungsträdgården on Wednesday and took some photos and filmed a bit. It was beautiful weather that day, and many had finished work early, so it was full of people who gathered in Kungsträdgården to admire the cherry blossoms and take pictures of all the beauty. People sat down at the fountain or in the grass, enjoying the sunshine and good company. It was a really lovely day!
Here is a video that I filmed there:
Do you have a place where you live with cherry trees?
Spring has arrived in Japan and its the hanami season. The word “hanami” is the Japanese word for “flower viewing”. For about two weeks every spring, Japan transforms into a cherry blossoming paradise when the cherry trees are in bloom. The hanami enthusiast can make the most of the season by travelling through the country, starting in south and going north following the blossoming as it spreads up the country.
During daytime, people enjoy this beautiful time of the year by having picnics in the park. You meet up with friends and family or co-workers and you enjoy food and snacks together (often bento and dango).
People are playing and there’s music to enjoy. People often stay for hours until the evening, and thats when some parks are lit up by decorative paper lanterns. The night time celebration is called “yozakura”.
Since the cherry blossoming season is so short, its progress is closely watched by private agencies who will predict when it will start, and newspapers and TV will report as its happening across Japan.
A bit of Japan in Stockholm
In Sweden, where I live, we have cherry trees in central Stockholm, and every year when they’re in bloom there’s a celebration of both the flowers and the Japanese culture. In the past there’s been performances with taiko drums, kimono show, kyudo show and even Japan’s ambassador has been there and held a speech. Swedish cosplayer usually dress up in cosplay and have picnics under the cherry trees.
Have you been to any hanami events? In Japan or maybe elsewhere in the world?