Thursday, June 27, 2019

Aomori Nebuta Festival: Week Long Street Party

Every night this week till Friday, the sleepy streets of Aomori city roar into life with the chants of "ra-se-ra, ra-se-ra, ra-se-ra-se-ra-se-ra!" and thousands of feet spring off the ground as they dance to the...

World Heritage (1): Shirakami Sanchi

Shirakami Sanchi: Beech Forest Sanctuary Transcending Time With its four distinct seasons and deep valuing of tradition, it is no wonder that Japan ranks among the top of the list of countries with numerous natural...

Cool Treks Around Tokyo (4): Oirase Keiryu in Aomori Prefecture

The Oirase Stream trail, which runs for 14km from Nenokuchi at Lake Towada, is a surreal setting of endless gushing and gurgling streams that course over moss-covered boulders, through an emerald green forest of...

Aomori’s ancient festival of floats

Larger than life lanterns at the Aomori Nebuta Festival Ready to celebrate Japan’s ancient traditions at a matsuri of massive proportions? Grab your geta, and head up to the Aomori Nebuta Festival on Aug. 1-7, one...

A Taste of Sh旬n: Much Ado About Mochi

Recently, a major convenience store chain in Japan came up with a summer version of dango (mochi, or rice cakes, usually on a stick) meant to be eaten cooled. Presumably this is to make...

Hiraizumi: Representing Heaven on Earth

Hiraizumi, created as a Buddhist heaven on earth over 1,000 years ago, celebrates its third year as a World Heritage site this June. Its temples, gardens and buildings were recognized as a rare example...

Cool Treks Around Tokyo (2): Goshikinuma in Fukushima Prefecture

Here you can row a pleasure boat in one of the largest lakes in the 800m high Bandai Highlands, Lake Hibara, before embarking on a 3.6km route through the cluster of lakes at Goshiki-numa...

Onsen Oasis: Zao Dairotenburo

King of Onsens - The Princess Water hot spring Some hot springs are so good you never forget them. For me, the Zao Dairotenburo Hot Spring in Yamagata prefecture is one of those. A decade...

Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri Festival

Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri Festival is designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Assets. Neputa is a huge fan-shaped lantern with a depicted image of warlords or legendary heroines set on the...