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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

hatsumode saitama kitain hatsumode Japanese new year tradition

The Japanese New Year tradition of Hatsumode – Hatsumode is the first visit of the year to a shrine or a temple, an important and much practised tradition of new year celebrations in Japan. There are many shrines and temples all around Saitama where you can practise Hatsumode. Technically youRead More →

New Year Countdown Events – New Year’s has become a popular time for overseas visitors to visit Japan and yet there is very little New Year count down event information available in English online.  Over the last couple of years I have tried to bridge that gap by sharing informationRead 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 →

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 →