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Ise Ebi Matsuri (Lobster Festival)

May 29, 2018 by Mark Guthrie

For much of the world, there is little more decadent than dining out on lobster. However, here in Japan, lobster – while still relatively pricey compared to most seafood – is by no means the preserve of the uber-rich, and nor is the festival that celebrates it each year. All along the Pacific coast of […]

Gamagori Boat Racing in Aichi

April 25, 2018 by Mark Guthrie

For the uninitiated, criticism of American NASCAR racing tends to center around the fact that it resembles little more than cars driving round and round an oval track. ‘Go straight, turn left’, critics may complain, lacks the necessary skills that, say, F1 requires. And I have to admit, I am one of those people. However, […]

Mie’s Iga-Uena Ninja Festival, and a History of Shinobi

April 24, 2018 by Mark Guthrie

If you were told that there was an annual, family-oriented festival celebrating some of the most feared mercenary assassins and terrorists that the world has ever seen, you’d probably think it was an idea in quite poor taste. However, the Iga-Uena Ninja Fest is endearingly popular, and quite a lot of fun. About the Iga-Uena […]

Ukai Cormorant Fishing in Gifu and Aichi

April 22, 2018 by Mark Guthrie

Whether your fish comes from the supermarket or you are a master fisherman who has trawled the seven seas, it is unlikely that you have ever witnessed anything quite like ‘ukai’ cormorant fishing. What is Ukai? Ukai is an ancient form of fishing in which master fishermen, ‘ushō’, use trained Japanese cormorants, ‘umiu’, to catch […]

Inuyama Festival Near Nagoya

March 21, 2018 by Mark Guthrie

Not content with being the site of Japan’s oldest (and arguably most elegant) castle, or being a staggeringly beautiful city, every spring sees Inuyama host a particularly spellbinding festival. The Inuyama festival is held annually on the first weekend of April and was begun under the orders of Owari clan retainer Hayatonosho Masatora Naruse in 1635 […]

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