All About Japan

4 Lesser-Known Tohoku Summer Festivals

Head north to see hundreds of riders in samurai armor recreate 1,000-year-old training techniques!

Yukata 101

What's a 'yukata'? And more importantly, how do you put one on? Better find out before summer festival season arrives!

How Do You Bleach Kimono Fabrics? With Snow!

These stunning videos show how craftsmen keep their UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage practice alive during the coldest months of the year.

Hang This Doll to Pray for Clear Skies

While many believe the tradition of making 'teru teru bozu' dolls can be traced back to a bald-headed monk, history suggests it may have begun with a small girl.

9 Ways to Talk About the Weather

Since it changes so often, the weather is actually a hot topic in Japan—no pun intended! Find out nine ways to get in on this easy conversation-starter!

Ichinomiya Tanabata Festival

Located in Aichi, the Ichinomiya Tanabata Festival is one of Japan’s three largest and most famous Tanabata Festivals, celebrating the one day a year when the celestial lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi can meet.

4 Useful Supplies for Summer Festivals

You've got your 'yukata' on and you're ready to roll—but don't leave the house before you've grabbed these useful festival items too!

What is Tanabata?

Also known as the Star Festival, Tanabata is traditionally held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the old lunar calendar, celebrating the legend of the one day of the year when the deities Hikoboshi and Orihime are allowed to meet.

4 Incredible Summer Fire Festivals

These incredible events are sure to get you fired up about summertime in Japan!

Witness the Fastest Hands in Japan!

'Mochi-tsuki' extraordinaire Mitsuo Nakatani risks having his hand crushed about four times per second while making this traditional Japanese snack.

What is Obon?

Obon is a summer event during which people welcome the spirits of their ancestors back home. It's considered Japan’s most significant occasion next to New Year’s, but the customs followed can vary considerably by region.

Japan's 3 Great 'Bon Odori' Dance Festivals

Summer is the season of the festival in Japan, and these three celebrations will have you literally dancing in the streets.

Toro Nagashi: Floating Lanterns for the Dead

'Toro nagashi' is a ceremony in which paper lanterns are released into the water, typically floating down rivers to guide the spirits of the dead back to the other world.

How to Replace the Paper on 'Shoji' Doors

'Shoji' sliding doors are emblematic of traditional Japanese houses. But it's frustratingly easy to put a hole in the paper. When you're tired of patching, how do you just replace the whole thing?

Tohoku's 3 Great Summer Festivals

Head to northern Japan this summer for huge glowing floats, giant poles covered in lanterns and streets festooned with positive wishes for the future.

Navigating Japanese Umbrella Culture

The Japan Guy tackles an age-old philosophical question: 'What's the deal with umbrellas here in Japan?'

Daimon-ji Festival & Floating Lantern Tour

Spend your summer the Kyoto way by participating in two traditional summer events with great cultural significance!

6 Traditional Japanese Tabletop Games

Stuck inside on a rainy day? Play these classic Japanese tabletop games while listening to the relaxing sound of the drops outside!

The Oldest 'Washi' Production Center in Japan

Explore the process of making traditional Japanese paper in Echizen City, known as the oldest producer of 'washi' in all of Japan.

Light Festival in Kyoto's Shimogamo Shrine

Enjoy a brilliant light festival in 'Tadasu no Mori' at Shimogamo Shrine!

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