Monday August 22, 2011
Kamakura is a popular tourist destination in Kanagawa prefecture. The city offers both scenic beauty and interesting historical sites. It's located about 30 miles southwest of central Tokyo and can be a good day-trip destination if you want to get away from the big city. By JR train, it takes about one hour from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station. Famous tourist attractions are the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Kotokuin Temple and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. When you go to the shrine from Kamakura Station, the front approach called Wakamiya-oji street is lined with many restaurants, local food and souvenir shops, and more. Enjoy walking along the street, eating and shopping.
Saturday August 13, 2011
Many open-air beer restaurants are open during the summer on rooftops or gardens of department stores, hotels, parks, and so on. It's a symbol of summer in Japan. People enjoy drinking beer with various food after a hot and exhausting day. If you like beer, how about stopping by beer gardens in major cities? They are fun places to go for a drink after all the sightseeing and shopping in Japan.
Saturday August 6, 2011
Although there are regional differences, obon is observed from August 13-16 in most areas of Japan. As it's the time of year to pray for the spirits of ancesters, obon is an important family gathering time for the Japanese. To commemorate the ancester spirits, obon traditions, such as bon odori (folk dance) and toro nagashi (floating lanterns) are widely practiced. If you plan to travel in Japan in summer, please note that obon is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.
Wednesday August 3, 2011
Are you visiting Hokkaido this summer? Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital city, is holding the annual Sapporo Summer Festival in Odori Park until August 20 in 2011. The event features many beer gardens which are open through August 15. Also, Hokkai Bon Odori Dance is held in the evening from August 14-20. Many tourists and locals gather and dance around the yagura tower built in the park. Other fun even is an open-air market, Sapporo Bazzar, which takes place from August 18-20. Sapporo can be reached within one hour from New Chitose Airport, and it's a good time to visit there.
Saturday July 30, 2011
The 9th World Cosplay Summit takes place in Nagoya and nearby cities from August 5-8 in 2011. It's announced that cosplayers from 17 countries are participating in this year's events. On August 5, cosplayers gather at Central Japan International Airport (Centrair), which is a 30 minute train ride away from Meitetsu Nagoya Station and enjoy costuming there. Also, the Cosplay Parade in Osu takes place on the next day, and hundreds of cosplayers parade through the streets of Osu shopping area. It starts from Osu Kannon Temple in the afternoon.
Wednesday July 27, 2011
Nebuta Matsuri are Japanese summer festivals mainly held in Aomori prefecture. Especially, Aomori Nebuta Matsuri which takes place from August 2-7 in Aomori-city is known as one of the greatest festivals in Tohoku region. The main features of this festival are colorful nebuta floats which depict Japanese warriors, and lit-up nebuta floats are pulled through the main streets near Aomori Station.
Saturday July 23, 2011
Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture is a popular onsen (hot springs) resort which is easily accessible from Tokyo. Lake Ashi Summer Festival Week is held from July 31 - August 5, 2011 in Hakone-town. It consists of the annual grand festival of Hakone Jinja Shrine and other events held in the town. A number of traditional Shinto rituals are carried out mainly by Hakone Jinja, Kuzuryu Jinja, and Komagata Jinja shrines. Processions of portable shrines and traditional festival dance/music performances are also observed in the shrines and near Lake Ashi.
Wednesday July 20, 2011
Summer is a good time to visit Hokkaido to see beautiful sceneries when the weather is cooler than other regions. Furano Biei area in Central Hokkaido is known for its picturesque views of many hills and flower fields and is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Especially, the area is famous for its many lavender gardens. Furano is located approximately 60 miles northeast of Sapporo-city and 30 miles south of Asahikawa-city. Enjoy the abundant nature in the area. Further, Furano-city holds its annual Hokkai Heso Matsuri (belly button festival) on July 28 and 29, 2011.
Saturday July 16, 2011
Osaka Tenmagu Shrine's Tenjin Matsuri has over 1,000 years of history and attracts more than one million visitors every year. The festival highlights are Rikutogyo (procession on land) and Funatogyo (processin of boats) held on July 25 in 2011. Also, dedicated fireworks are set off on the evening of that day. Visit Osaka to see one of Japan's greatest festival.
Wednesday July 13, 2011
Hanabi (fireworks) are a symbol of Japan's summer, and they have been traditionally set off to pray for the repose of the soul of deceased people or to enjoy the cool evening air during the hot season. Although a number of annual hanabi events for 2011 have been canceled in Japan, there are still many hanabi taikai (fireworks festivals) planned to take place across the country from mid July through August.