Tokyo

Culture Day in Japan

I was just relaxing and checking the news after a busy day of class and work when I realized that today is Culture Day in Japan! Of course we missed all the celebrations this year but we were in Tokyo last year for Culture Day and had a great time at the celebration held at Meiji Shrine. Remembering that led to an immediate search through my photos to relive some fun memories.  (more…)

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Memories of Tokyo Fireworks

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I know the temperatures are starting to fall in a lot of places but not here! The unusually hot weather that arrived at the beginning of the month seems to have decided to stay and if today’s hot, humid weather is any indication, we’re in for more. All this hot weather has me thinking back to the last festival we went to before leaving Japan: the Showa Kinen Park Fireworks Festival! (more…)

Returning to Hawaii & Reverse Culture Shock

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Just a little over a week ago, I returned to the US after living in Japan for two years. I really loved my time in Japan and the move back was somewhat bittersweet. I expected that I would miss all the things I loved about Japan (friends I’d made, delicious Japanese foods, exploring the country and culture, etc.) but I was also really looking forward to seeing friends and family, eating all the foods I’d missed, and just generally being home. And I was returning to Hawaii, a gorgeous place to visit and to live, so really there were a lot of positives, too. What I did not expect was to return to Hawaii only to feel completely out of place and almost a bit like I was visiting a new foreign country. I was completely surprised to feel this way and more than a little dismayed. This is what is known as reverse culture shock. I just read a very interesting post on the topic by Tokyo Five and posted my initial thoughts there in the comments but here are my thoughts after a few more days back in Hawaii. (more…)

A Little Owl Love at Fukuro Sabo

You may have heard of cat cafes in Japan where you can sit and enjoy a drink and perhaps have a slice of cake, all while cats roam around the room looking for treats and head scratches. They are fairly popular with those folks who love cats but cannot have one in their own apartment and though I was surprised to hear of them at first, it really makes a lot of sense. But have you ever heard of an owl cafe? They exist! (more…)

Kurayami Matsuri: Taiko Drums, Floats and Mikoshi on Parade

 

After such an enjoyable mantou dance competition, I really had to wonder if the Kurayami Matsuri (Darkness Festival) had anything else that could possibly compare. We quickly found there was still plenty to see including taiko drums making their way through neighborhoods, floats with masked characters and musicians, and mikoshi parading through the streets.  (more…)