cherry blossom forecast: (Japanese version only) version only) (Japanese version only)  

when and where to see cherry blossoms (Japanese version only):

1-30 April Miyako Odori(Cherry Dance), Kyoto
Maiko and geiko dance performances
Advance tickets are available from overseas at:
The performances wil be done at Kyoto Art Theater “Shunjuza”( again this year.

seasonal flowers:

2018 calendar (April - June) - updated 9 March 2018

:national holidays
:the 24 solar terms in traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars


1-30 April Miyako Odori(都をどり,Cherry Dance), Kyoto
         Cherry Dance, geiko and maiko
           It's hard for non-Kyotoites to understand Kyotoites.

1 April confectionery festival ( 菓子祭・全国銘菓奉献祭), Wakayama Prefecture
              It's a festival to pray for the prosperity of the confectionery industry, so it's lesser-known. Many confectioners from around the country dedicate confections to Kitsumoto Shrine dedicated to Tajimamori no Mikoto, the god of confectionery.

7 April Entrance ceremonies(入学式)
8 April Buddha's birthday festival(花まつり, Hana-matsuri)
14 April The 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
14-15 April The Spring Takayama Festival(高山日枝神社山王祭), Gifu Prefecture
22 April  Shoryo-e(聖霊会, memorial service for Prince Shotoku)
                 Gagaku(雅楽, ancient court music and dance) still survives in Japan.
21 April - 6 May  Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival(弘前さくらまつり), Aomori Prefecture
29 April -5 May Mibu Kyogen(壬生狂言), Kyoto 
                  It's a silent play to propagate Buddhism and has been held uninterruptedly since 1300.
29 April - 5 May Golden Week
29 April  Showa Day(昭和の日)
                the birthday of the former Emperor

other posts:

ichihatsu(roof iris)
   Roof iris has often been confused with Florentine iris.
Tree hunting
  Even now, nearly 70% of the land in Japan is mountains and forests. The Japanese cedar trees that a monk planted for use in next rebuilding on the site of the temple are 300 years old now.
bamboo shoot
   Bamboo shoots are seasonal food.
   National Theatre of Japan is located next to... the Supreme Court of Japan.
The fifth-generation Kabuki-za Theater
wisteria and azalea
Rice is equal to parents
"For us Asians, rice is equal to our parents. " Rice played a vital role in feeding the Asian expanding population.

--tsunami and radiation--
initiation ceremony
people and pets in the affected areas
strong aftershock , randoseru
one month has passed
Sanriku Railway and "Night on the Galactic Railroad", a masterpiece of children's literature by Kenji Miyazawa
the 49th day after death , the movie "Black Rain"


1 May May Day(メーデー)
2 May    Hachijuu-hachi-ya(八十八夜)
           Tea ceremony has a profound connection with Japanese-style confectionery.
3 May  Constitution Memorial Day(憲法記念日)
3-4 May  Hakata Dontaku (博多どんたく), Fukuoka Prefecture
The festival attracts more than 2 million tourists every year.
4 May  Greenery Day(みどりの日)
5 May  Children's Day, the Boys' Festival(こどもの日, 端午の節句)
              carp streamers and kite-flying            
         Rikka(立夏,the first day of summer)

11 May  Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River(長良川鵜飼開き), Gifu Prefecture
            Aristocrats in the eighth century enjoyed cormorant fishing as a sport.

13 May  Mother's Day (母の日)
15 May  Aoi Matsuri (葵祭,Wild ginger Festival), Kyoto
               This festival appears in "The Tale of Genji". Hikaru Genji takes part in the Aoi Matsuri's parade.
18-20 May  Asakusa Sanja Matsuri(浅草三社祭, Asakusa Sanja Ffestival), Tokyo
                Funatogyo on the Sumida River
date not yet determined (25-28 May in 2017)  Azuma Odori(東をどり), Tokyo
             Geisha in Shimbashi of Tokyo started the dance performance called the Azuma Odori.
               Many of pivotal members of the New Meiji Government  married geisha in the Meiji Period.
date not yet determined (1 June in 2016, 19 May  in 2017) The season for Oze Marsh climbing starts(尾瀬山開き)
                 Chozo Hirano, his son and grandson struggled to stop development in Oze Marsh.
12 -15 May  Kanda Festival(神田祭), Kanda Myoujin(神田明神), Tokyo
                    In the Edo Period, most commoners in Edo(old Tokyo) were the parishioners of Sanno Shrine or Kanda Myoujin. In 2018 a minor festival will be held. The next major festival will be held in 2019.
date not yet determined(30 May-18 June in 2017)   Horikiri Katsushika Shobu (Iris) Festival (堀切葛飾菖蒲祭), Tokyo
                    Iris gardens

other posts:

unripe ume and loquat
 this year's first catch of bonitos ,hototogisu
    The first catch of bonito was highly prized in the Edo Period.
wisteria and azalea
kakitsubata (Rabbit-Ear Iris)
kodemari (reeves spirea) and traditional temari ball
      known as one of "the three most scenic spots in Japan"
2012 annular solar eclipse, Tokyo Skytree opened
         No Japanese ancient towers have collapsed in earthquakes.
What did a dead wife ask her surviving husband? --Uzuki no Iroage(卯月の潤色:Redyeing of Uzuki)
Onnagoroshi Abura no Jigoku(女殺油地獄:Woman-Killer in Oil Hell)
   A 23-old man killed a woman in his neighborhood for the pittance of 200,000 yen.--This play is frequently performanced as one of his masterpiece and has been made into movies several times.
Sonezaki-shinjuu(曽根崎心中: Love Suicides at Sonezaki)
    Japanese women's legs were wrapped with kimono. So this play must have shocked audience with the scene he was holding her legs.
Shinjuu Yoigoushin(心中宵庚申:love suicides on the night of the day of koushin-machi)
   "If you were forced to get divorced a hundred or a thousand times, …"
Shinpan Utazaimon(新版歌祭文) and Nozaki Mairi(野崎参り)


1 June The sweetfish season opens(鮎漁解禁)
              Super Cool Biz starts
                June 1st and October 1st were the days to change clothes.
               Ochugen(お中元) is a summer gift given to superiors, customers or relatives around mid-July.

2 June the anniversary of the opening of Yokohama port(横浜開港記念日)
2-3 June  Tohoku Kizuna Festival(東北絆まつり、former Tohoku Rokkon-sai), Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
six major festivals in Tohoku Region including the Aomori Nebuta Festival, the Akita Kanto Festival, The Sendai Tanabata Festival, the Yamagata Hanagasa Festival, the Morioka Sansa Odori Festival and the Fukushima Waraji Matsuri Festival.
7-17 June Sanno Matsuri Festival(山王祭), Hie Shrine(日枝神社), Tokyo
                      The Edo Shogunate drew on Taira no Masakado's dreadful power to contain evil spirits

11 June Nyubai(入梅, the beginning of the rainy season)
                  Rainy season
9 June  (second Saturday of June)
             Chagu Chagu Umakko(チャグチャグ馬コ) , Iwate Prefecture
16 June Japanese Confectionery Day(和菓子の日)
21 June The Summer Solstice (夏至)
30 June Nagoshi no Harae(夏越の祓), Kyoto
                   The events to purify people from half-year's worth of sin had been held on the last days of the 6th month and the 12th month in the lunar calendar.

other posts:

Hanashoubu(花菖蒲, Japanese water iris)
Satsuki (a type of azaleas)
At a night of the rainy season
     some men including Genji talk together a lot on the women of their dreams---The Tale of Genji
Samidare(五月雨, rain falling in the 5th month in the lunar calendar)
Hiraizumi and Basyo's haiku poems
   Hiraizumi(平泉) in Iwate Prefecture was registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
HAYABUSA returns
   Asteroid Explorer "HAYABUSA"(MUSES-C)  came back to the earth.
Three months after tsunami
riverside summer terraces and machiya in Kyoto

Ise-ondo Koi no Netaba(伊勢音頭恋寝刃)
    In the 1830s, 4.8 million people, which accounted for a sixth part of the total population in Japan, made pilgrimages to Ise Jingu Shrine. The journey to Ise must have left them with unforgettable memories that would last a lifetime.
Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (義経千本桜:Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)
     Lingering farewell makes the drum lose its sound.

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