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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 […]

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 […]

Setsubun Festivals in Nagoya

January 20, 2018 by Ray Proper

“That Bean-Throwing Festival” Setsubun, or “That Bean-Throwing Festival” celebrates the beginning of spring in Japan. Celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival, its association with the Lunar New Year makes this festival a sort of New Year’s Eve. This association is accompanied by a special ritual to cleanse away the evil […]

Setsubun Festivals in Tokyo

January 5, 2018 by Jason Gatewood

So you survived O-shogatsu (Japanese New Year’s) and are looking forward to the end of March and the blooming of the cherry trees, but the reality is there are at least 80 more days to go before a single pink blossom appears. While it will not bring the blossoms any closer, did you know that in Japan, spring […]

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