No One Does Beer Gardens Like Japan

July 24, 2017 by Justin Hanus

It’s summer. It’s hot. And for many that means only one thing – beer gardens. The summertime treat, however, does not have its origins in cold brews quenching parched summer thirsts. Five hundred years ago in Bavaria the brewing of beer was legal only between the feast of St. Michael on September 29 and feast […]

Suikawari: A Cracking Good Summer Sport

July 24, 2017 by Justin Hanus

There are so many things you can do for fun at the beach on a hot summer day. Swim in the surf, play volleyball, build a sandcastle, relax on a towel and enjoy a cool beverage, and wiggle your toes in the sand. How about taking a stick and cracking open a watermelon? Watermelon is […]

The Lighthouses of Kobe

July 24, 2017 by Justin Hanus

Being an island nation, lighthouses are an important feature of the Japanese landscape. The history of Japan’s lighthouses meanders back more than one thousand years when signal fires, the “Noroshi,” were lit during the day and bonfires, the “Kagaribi,” were built at night to signal to fishing boats on the ocean. These days the Japanese […]

Bon Odori Dancing Festivals in Tokyo

July 20, 2017 by Ray Proper

Obon is an annual event where Buddhists and Confucians celebrate their ancestors.  Buddhists and many Japanese people in general believe that every year during Obon their ancestor’s spirits will return from “beyond the grave” for three days to visit with relatives they left behind. The highlight of summer in Japan is the Obon holiday season, when […]

Nippon Domannaka Matsuri in Nagoya

July 20, 2017 by Ray Proper

The Nippon Domannaka Matsuri, commonly called Domatsuri, is the largest dance festival in the Nagoya/Chubu region, and involves dancers from all over Japan and abroad. This festival is one of the highlights of the Nagoya summer.  Every year over 200 dance teams and 23,000 performers participate by sharing original music, costumes, and dance routines that incorporate their own local culture with an […]