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Celebrating New Year in Kobe Chinatown

January 29, 2018 by Justin Hanus

Despite its proximity to China, there are only a few Chinatowns in the whole of Japan. One of the largest and most popular is the one in Kobe, called Nankin-machi. This Chinatown is located between three gates: Chang’an Gate to East, Xi’an Gate to West, and Nanluo Gate to South. As soon as you pass […]

World Igloo Building Championship at Osorakan Snow Park

January 29, 2018 by Matt Mangham

Without a little advance planning, midwinter in Japan can seem bleak, especially in the city. Which is precisely why it makes good sense to get out of town. Whether you head for an onsen to drive out the chill, or light out for a winter festival, it’s a good time of year to see what […]

Valentines Day and White Day in Japan

January 22, 2018 by Ray Proper

Valentine’s Day in Japan – February 14 In Japan, the “Craziness of Valentine’s Day” falls mainly on the women. Unlike most countries of which I am aware, in Japan the tradition calls for women to give chocolate to the person they’re dating, want to date, are currently stalking, or is their father…sometimes brothers, and to add insult […]

Setsubun Festivals in Hiroshima

January 21, 2018 by Matt Mangham

Each year, on the third of February, harried fathers across Japan put on paper demon masks and are pelted with roasted soybeans by their children, who cry “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi!” (Demon out, Fortune in!) until dad flees out the front door into the night air. Or turns on his children to teach […]

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