Hodosan shrine

Hodosan shrine, one of my top ten favorite shrines of all time, is one of those rare shrines that is well worth going out of your way to visit. Apart from its intriguing 1900 year history, the beauty and detail of the shrine and the grounds will captivate you inRead More →

Hamley's Santa Yokohama Japan

Hamley’s Santa – To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t think anywhere would have a Santa Claus meet and greet this year, so I haven’t really been looking for updates. But by pure luck, while perusing some news articles, I saw that he is scheduled to visit both the YokohamaRead More →

Kanasana shrine Kamikawa

Kanasana Shrine is a rare type of shrine that preserves koshinto, the old form of shinto worship. At Kanasana they venerate the entire mountain, Mt Mitake, as a God in the back of the worship hall. Supposedly there are only three shrines of this kind in all of Japan. Also,Read More →

Saitama Strawberry Picking

A selection of 12 Strawberry Picking farms in Western Saitama, for the 2021 strawberry picking season. Western Area There are five areas in Saitama: Central, Eastern, Western, Northern and Chichibu. The Western area of Saitama has more cities and towns than the Central, Northern and Chichibu areas combined. The citiesRead More →

First sunrise of the year hatsuhinode

Information for the first sunrise, Hatsuhinode, in Saitama in 2021. If you’ve read any other of my blog posts about January in Japan, you’ve probably already got the message that it is my favorite month in Japan. One of the main reasons for that is all the New Year events,Read More →

Sumiyoshi Sakura No sato 2020

Sumiyoshi Sakura No Sato is a riverside embankment walk in Sakado City, Saitama, about an hour from Tokyo. Along the embankment there are early blooming cherry blossoms called Kawazuzakura. Sumiyoshi Sakura No Sato The 150 Kawazuzakura, a type of early blooming cherry blossom, at Sumiyoshi Sakura No Sato were plantedRead More →

What to expect at a “dezome shiki” – an unique to Japan New Year Firefighters celebration with several elements including parades, demonstrations and traditional performances. Read More →

January 2020

January flowers, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. A week in photos. January 2020 week one. I say it often, because it is true, but my favorite month in Japan is January. There is so much to do in Japan in January. And as it is one of the driest months of theRead More →

New Year Races 2020

New Year Races – It is very common in my homeland of Ireland, for people to attend horse races during the winter holidays. Around where I lived it is the Leopardstown Races on St Stephen’s Day. Here in Japan, Christmas is not a main event, but New Years is like ourRead More →

Tokorozawa Dezome Shiki Saitama Prefecture

Dezome Shiki locations in Saitama Prefecture. Happy New year! The first day of 2020, filled with anticipation and hope. I want to start off the 2020 blog posts with a post related to something I personally feel very deeply about. The work of firefighters. I have a sincere and deepRead More →