We love Japanese holidays & cultural events, from 7-5-3 in the Fall,  to White Day in March. Learn all about Japanese holidays & cultural days to get more out of your life in Japan.

What is Tanabata? – July 7th


Tanabata is celebrated on July 7th in Japan. Celebrate with your family! Buy a branch of bamboo, some cute origami paper, and write and tie wishes to decorate. Learn, go and make Tanabata! Remember July 7th.  Learn about Tanabata   The History – (content edited version of Wikipedia) Tanabata (七夕, meaning “Evening …

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Teru Teru Bozu – Rain, Rain, Go Away Craft

Looks like a perfect rainy day weekend to make Teru Teru Bozu. A cute custom and craft in Japan is the Teru teru bozu (てるてる坊主). “Teru” is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a “bōzu” is a Buddhist monk.  The dolls are handmade with white cloth that children make …

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Best of Setsubun, February 3rd – Read, Go and Make!

We have curated the Best of Setsubun information for your education and amusement. Are you ready for Setsubun? It’s on Monday, February 3rd. There are so many great festivals, crafts and art associated with Setsubun. Below are some of the best inspirational and educational bits we could find!  We love …

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Setsubun February 3rd by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insight

Though it may not feel like it outside, the lunar calendar says winter is over and it’s time to celebrate the arrival of spring with Setsubun festivities. Setsubun February 3rd Come February 3, many parents throughout Japan will don demon masks and allow their children to pelt them with dried …

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2020 Japan Post Nengajyo (New Years Postcard) Lottery

Happy New Year! By now you should have received nengajo (年賀状) / New Year Cards in your mailbox. Nengajyo are the equivalent to the Western custom of sending out Christmas cards. The latest date nengajo are delivered by is January 7th. If you have received a card from someone you …

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Otoshidama (New Year Money) – Top 10 Must Knows

Do you know the history and present day etiquette of otoshidama (お年玉 )? If you have children in the house, child relatives and or special friend’s kids you must know about this Japanese tradition, especially if you are living in Japan. As part of the Japanese New Year’s celebration, it is …

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Japanese New Year Preparations

Are you preparing for Japanese New Year? Tokyo goes quiet this week as most Japanese travel back to their hometowns to eat, drink and relax for three days. I love the silence of Tokyo over the holiday – a great time to bike around due to far fewer cars, and …

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10 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Japan

Tokyo New Year

10 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Japan – The Japanese New Year (正月/しょうがつ/Shougatsu) in Japan is a rather laid-back event stretching over a one week period. While festive parties and New Year’s countdowns are catching on, especially in bigger cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kobe, the Japanese New Year …

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Christmas in Japan by Efrot Weiss

Christmas in Japan by Efrot Weiss.  Efrot is long term Japan resident and good friend who writes a monthly column for the Tokyo American Club (TAC) Intouch Magazine. BestLivingJapan will be sharing Efrot’s articles about Japan & Intl cultural difference throughout 2015. Thank you Efrot and TAC! Christmas in Japan …

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7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan – 2019 Preparation and Ceremony

7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan

November 15th is the official day of 7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan (Shichi-go-san, 七五三), but many families start to prepare and hold ceremonies from mid-October. Families with girls age 7 & 3 and boys 5 celebrate coming of age by dressing up and visiting shrines across Japan. You can find children …

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English Speaking Photographers in Tokyo

Looking for great English speaking photographers in Tokyo, Japan? Our first few years in Japan, we took our photos but as the number of children increased we decided the job was beyond us and have outsourced the annual ritual. I have used Kerry at Keyshots, but all of the photographers …

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Gazone Studio (Shinagawa, Tokyo) – 753 Portrait Photos

gazone studio

Gazone Studio is a small studio located in the Osaki New City building in Shinagawa. They offer services from maternity to family portraits, and ceremonial to business photos. They also specialize in product photos, travel, wedding photography and commemorative photos. We made an appointment to celebrate and capture our kid`s 753 …

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What is Sports Day? – October 12 Japan National Holiday

This weekend is a three-day holiday break due to Health and Sports Day (体育の日 Taiiku no hi), also known as Health-Sports Day or Sports Day on October 12. What is Sports Day? It is an annual national holiday in Japan celebrated the second Monday in October. Sports Day is a …

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Shichi-Go-San Celebrations – Tips, Shrines and Kimonos

November is the month of foliage in Japan, but also the month of  Shichi-Go-San Celebrations. Girls age 7 & 3 and boys 5 celebrate coming of age. November 15th is the actual date of 7-5-3, but families celebrate by dressing up the children and visiting shrines across Japan from the …

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Otsukimi Moon Viewing by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insights

A sign that autumn has arrived is the celebration of Otsukimi or moon viewing. Although not as popular as cherry blossoms and fall foliage moon viewing is a popular seasonal activity to enjoy in September and early October. The best date for 2017 will be Wednesday, october 4th if the …

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10 Must Do Family Activities – Japan Autumn

Love the autumn in Japan so here our true and tested 10 Must Do Family Activities – Japan Autumn. Plan your September – November schedule to try to include as many of these as you can. I am sure you and your kids will not be disappointed. Bring on the …

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Obon, Days For the Departed by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insights

This Obon, Days For the Departed post was written by my good friend Efrot Weiss. She is a long-term resident of Japan, and intercultural trainer and coach. From August 8 – 16th, 2015 Japanese families will celebrate Obon. Learn & Live!  Obon, Days For the Departed by Efrot Weiss  The centuries-old …

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The Story of Tanabata by Efrot Weiss – Cultural Insight

This Story of Tanabata post written by my good friend Efrot Weiss. She is a long-term resident of Japan, and intercultural trainer and coach. On July 7th celebrate Tanabata with your family. The story is about love and romance that takes place in the sky. Make a wish and may …

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Tokyo Father’s Day – Gift Ideas and Outings with Dad

Tokyo Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16th, 2019. Celebrate all that dads do with these great gift ideas and outings. Tokyo Father’s Day – Gift Ideas and Outings with Dad 1) Personalized Card from kids. Dads heart`s melt when receiving personalized Father`s Day cards from kids. Here are a few …

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