Watching the Olympic Torch Relay

Yesterday, I took the afternoon off work to go watch the Olympic Torch being carried through Naganohara, a town about 20 minutes away from mine. The torch was in Gunma on March 30th and 31st, and had separate legs in every major area of the prefecture, culminating in two celebration events in the evenings -... Continue Reading →

Kawarayu Onsen Yukake Festival: Getting naked, flinging water, and catching chickens before dawn in the dead of winter

When my alarm went off at 4 AM on Monday morning, I questioned a lot of things. For example: Why the HELL am I awake at this time? Why is it so damn cold? Is there really any good reason to leave my safe futon of warmth? Normally, I'd say fuck no. But on this... Continue Reading →

Romance in a Cabbage Field

Japan is a country of repressed emotion. It's one of those stereotypes that are actually accurate. Younger generations are working to change this by doing crazy things like hugging their partners and actually telling them that they love them, but there are some events to help older people express their feelings too. One of these... Continue Reading →

Getting Ready for Setsubun Around Town

There are demons popping up all over town. They're in the grocery store, they're in the streets, they're in the Lawsons! Fortunately, my town is not about to be taken over by forces of evil. The adorable demon invasion is just signaling that Setsubun (Feb. 3rd) is near, and spring will soon follow (hopefully).  Setsubun... Continue Reading →

Setsubun (節分)

So this post is a few days late because I physically need to procrastinate on everything in my life apparently. But anyway, February 3rd was Setsubun! Setsubun is a winter holiday which involves throwing beans around and yelling, so obviously a very important day. Festival Origins and Customs Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar in... Continue Reading →

Fuji Ekiden

Hi there. Are you aware that some Japanese athletes are literally insane? As in, really, truly, oh god why are you doing this...insane. These are the people who participate in the Fuji Ekiden. An ekiden (駅伝) is a team relay marathon. The number of people per team and distance varies per ekiden. In the case... Continue Reading →

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