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 (Jan - March) - updated 2 Dec 2017

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


1 Jan  New Year's Day (元日)
          Hatsu-mode(初詣, first visit of the year to a shrine or temple)
             An artificial grove was created for Meiji Jingu Shrine in 1920 so that the grove would become close to the wild condition in 100 years.
            Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is famous(notorious?) for giving much more Super Unlucky fortunes than others.
2 Jan  Hatsu-yume(初夢, the first dream of the new year)
           Kakizome(書き初め, the first calligraphy writing of the New Year)
          Hatsu-uri(初売り, the first business day of the year)
              fukubukuro (lucky bags)are offerings for the first day of business
         A general congratulatory palace visit (皇居一般参賀)
2-3 Jan  Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race (箱根駅伝, Hakone Ekiden )
3 Jan  Tamaseseri(玉せせり), Hakozakigu Shrine, Fukuoka Prefecture
4 Jan  Hatsu-seri(初競り, the first fish auction of the year)
        The first working day of the year for public servants(官庁仕事始), Daihakkai(大発会)
6 Jan  Dezome-shiki (出初式,The New Year parade of fire brigades) by Tokyo Fire Department
          The annual karuta competition(かるた名人位・クイーン位決定戦), Omi Jingu Shrine, Shiga Prefeture
Karuta is a Japanese card game, but its competition is a kind of sports.
7 Jan Nanakusa (七草, Feast of the Seven Herbs of Health )

8 Jan (the second monday of Januar)
          Coming of Age Day (成人の日) ★
9-11 Jan  Toka-Ebisu(十日戎), Osaka
                 It's a festival to pray for the prosperity of business
11 Jan  Kagami-biraki(鏡開き, Cutting of New Year's rice‐cakes)
date not yet determined(13 Jan in 2017)
Imperial New Year's Poetry Reading(宮中歌会始,Utakai Hajime)
15 Jan  Ko-shogatsu (小正月) or Sagicho(左義長)
               People burn things related to Shogatsu to pray for good harvests, good health and the safety of families or to send the god of the New Year back to the sky.
16 Jan Yabuiri(藪入り)
              holidays of merchants and artisans in the Edo Period
17 Jan The day of The Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake(阪神淡路大震災の日)
20 Jan Hatsuka-shogatsu(二十日正月)
               On this day, all of the events related to Shogatsu finish.
       Hatsukayasai(二十日夜祭) in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture
20 Jan Daikan(大寒, the coldest period in the year)
              a sad ghost story and kaimaki-futon                
27 Jan  The mountain-burning event at Mount Wakakusa(若草山山焼き), Nara Prefecture
                In most areas of Japan, grasslands turn into forests if they are not cared for. Controlled burning has been traditionally conducted to turn out cattlle and horses onto fresh pasture, and to gather Japanese silver grass(susuki) and common reed for thatched roofs.
                Mountain-burning events are held from January to April in Japan.

other posts:
Winter peonies, shiba dog, Ornamental cabbages
oyster and pufferfish
About 90% of cultured oysters in France are descended from Miyagi's oysters
Hay Fever
eruption, snow and the bird flu virus spread among wild cranes in 2011
chirimen-zaiku(crepe crafts)
Confections including seasonal ingredients
Ingredients of Japanese confectionery(1)
Chushingura (1)
an old Japanese alphabet can be read as a poem which consists of 47 different letters
Murasaki Shikibu hated Sei Shonagon
Shikibu who wrote "the Tale of Genji"  hated Sei Shonagon who was the author of "the Pillow Book".
Japanese women writers from a thousand years ago
There were many women writers including Murasaki Shikibu, Sei Shonagon thousand years ago.
Izumo Shrine and Ise Shrine
Japanese swords, Princess Mononoke, and Gillette
The Nittoho Tatara(日刀保たたら) ironworks operates during  late January  and early February.


3 Feb Setsubun(節分)
               ceremonies to ward off demons, Ehou-maki(uncut rolled sushi), sardine heads, study of oni(demon), Red Demon
4 Feb   Rissyun (立春, the first day of spring)

5-12 Feb Sapporo Snow Festival (札幌雪まつり), Hokkaido
                 another winter festivals in Japan
date not yet determined (8 Feb- 8 March in 2017) Ume Festival at Yushima Tenmangu Shrine(湯島天神梅まつり), Tokyo
                                ume (Japanese apricot)
                                ume festivals

11 Feb National Foundation Day(建国記念の日)
12 Feb substitute holiday for the National Foundation Day
14 Feb Saint Valentine's Day(聖バレンタインデー)
15-16 Feb Yokote Kamakura Festival (横手かまくら), Akita Prefecture
                   In a snow house, children invite passersby inside and offer them sweet alcoholic amazake and rice cakes
                   Kamakura Bonden and Little Dog festivals
16 Feb Chinese New Year's Day(春節, Chinese:Chun Jie, Japanese:Shunsetsu)
               Yokohama's Chinatown
16 Feb -4 March The Nagasaki Lantern Festival (長崎ランタンフェスティバル), Nagasaki Prefecture

17-20 Feb Hachinohe Enburi Festival(八戸えんぶり), Aomori Prefecture
               folk performing art to pray for a good harvest

25 Feb The Ume Festival(梅花祭) at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine(北野天満宮), Kyoto
                 Japanese syllabary characters were as sort of a subculture:

other posts:

soft rime(樹氷) and snow festivals in February
Japanese washi paper
washi paper was used to restore Michelangelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican
haru-ichiban(春一番, the first spring storm)
Omiwatari(御神渡り, The God's Crossing)
a natural phenomenon found in Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture
winter confections
confections with Japanese citrus fruits
The earthquake in Chile and tsunamis in 2010
a letter of condolence
visiting sake(Japan's traditional rice wine) breweries
Sake has been offered to the Shinto deities. In winter visitors can enjoy tours of sake storehouses and sake-tasting at many sake breweries. It is well known that sake brewery workers have smooth and fair hand skin although they do wet work in winter.
winter festivals in Japan
Drift ice attached to coasts of Hokkaido


1-14 March Syuni-e(修二会) ,Nigatsudo hall of Todai-ji Temple(東大寺二月堂), Nara prefecture
3 March  the Doll Festival(雛祭り)
dolls festivals in all over Japan
hanging ornaments for the Doll Festival, floating paper dolls, and the dolls of the Honma family 
The Honma family was the Japan's largest landowner and lent money to farmers at low interest rates with their farm land as collateral. Their payment deadlines were virtually non-existent.

6 March  Keichitsu(啓蟄)◆
hibernating insects are said to come out of the ground on this day
10 March  Hote-matsuri(帆手祭), Shiogama Jinja Shrine, Miyagi Prefecture
As the legend goes, sacred cauldrons changed the color of water in them on March 11th.
11 March  the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake (日本大震災の日)
                      What is going to happen next?
                       few good news
                       It's snowing in the afflicted area
                      A week has passed
                     the 10th day after the quake
                     concerns about harmful rumors
                      Two weeks have passed
                     total damage of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake
What would happen if the 2011 Tohoku earthquake had hit your country instead?
12 March  Omizutori(お水取り) ,Nigatsudo hall of Todai-ji Temple(東大寺二月堂) , Nara prefecture
                      omizutori and paper garment, kawazu-zakura, Kasuga-sai in Nara
14 March  White Day(ホワイトデー)
18-24 March  Higan(彼岸)
201March  Spring Equinox Day(春分の日)
27 ( 28) March  the anniversary of Sen no Rikyu's death(利休忌)

other posts:

the eighth shogun planted cherry trees for cherry-blossom viewing so people in Edo(old Tokyo) went on a cherry viewing picnic.
cherry blossoms all over Japan
kawazu cherry, Kasuga-sai in Nara
Kagamiyama Kokyo no Nishiki-e and Ooku(大奥)
At Ooku(the shogun harem in Edo Castle), Top-ranked maids got a salary of 25 million yen a year.
faithful dog Hachi
High School Baseball Tournament , Yellow sand(黄砂)
neighborhood Japanese bush warblers
the Great Ginkgo at Kamakura City
Toki(The Japanese crested ibis) died
Sawarabi(young bracken)
Winter daphne and deer


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