In this article: the low down on Maruhiro – free play, roof top Ferris wheel (until 31.8.2019) and rides, video arcade, family facilities, kid friendly restaurant, cute animal shaped desserts, tax free shopping, special information for attending the Kawagoe Festivals with kids, and Lapland Santa! The post contains external (affiliate)Read More →

Setsubun

February 3rd is Setsubun in Japan, which marks the end of winter. People celebrate annually with traditional ceremonies in both homes and temples. A common tradition associated with this ancient festival is mamemaki or bean throwing. A lot of families carry out this fun tradition at home, but you can alsoRead More →

Naritasan Kawagoe Betsuin Hongyoin Temple is a branch of the Naritasan Shinsoji Buddhist Temple of Narita, Chiba. It has a very interesting, but complex history with many layers of detail. The founder Ishikawa Tomegoro, with the financial backing of wealthy locals, restored what was previously the ruined Hongyoin Temple toRead More →

Things to do in Winter in Saitama – With the dry and sunny weather, January is a great month to be out and about in Saitama. The choice of winter-only activities is an added incentive to don some winter woollies and head out into the cold. We may not have muchRead More →

January is one of my favourite months in Japan.  It is one of the driest months of the year and probably the sunniest in Winter.  Between the weather and the festive atmosphere, as New Year’s is as big in Japan as Christmas is in Ireland,  Japan is a great placeRead More →

Daruma / Daruma Market – I often get asked about Japanese New Year’s traditions. There are a  lot, but one close to my heart is the ancient tradition of purchasing Daruma dolls. It was the very first quintessentially Japanese New Year’s tradition I had the fortune to try. My firstRead More →

In the big search for Santa in 2015, one prefecture that stood out for having a great selection of Santa events and attractions was TOCHIGI. So my family of six took to the road to do a bit of reconnaissance. We were very happy with the trip and the abundance of Christmas events andRead More →

Mt Takao with children, Mt Takao cable car, Autumn Leaves Mt Takao and Mt Takao New Year Information Mt Takao Hachioji Mt Takao Autumn Leaves Navigating Mt Takao with children Mt Takao Cable Car Things to do at Mt Takao with children Food on Mt Takao Takaoson through the seasonsRead More →

All of the Santa meet and greet spots included in the above map are detailed in the event section of insaitama.com.  If you click on a Santa on the map it will open a small window with the location’s details and a link to the event’s details. Click on theRead More →

Chichibu Night Festival from John Becker

At 2.02 am today, December 1st 2016 the Chichibu Night Festival, specifically the traditional music and performances of the festival, along with 32 festivals in Japan were confirmed and recorded as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Congratulations CHICHIBU. 🙂 UNESCO Chichibu Night Festival **Above photos, one of which is also used asRead More →