Usokae Shinji Ritual

On Tuesday, January 14, 2017, Kameido Tenjinsha shrine in Koto Ward, Tokyo, Japan will celebrate its annual Usokae Shinji ritual. “Uso” means bullfinch and “kae” means exchange. In other words, a bullfinch exchange. Why a bullfinch? Because they are thought to bring good luck. (Photo courtesy of JapanFly.com) But “Uso” also means “lie,” which is…

Real Life Mario Kart in Japan!

Some of you already know that Japan is the mecca for all things anime, manga, cosplay, and maid café. And yes, video games too. But why just play a game when you can jump into one…like Mario Kart! Here is a video of some people Mario Karting: Yes, you can travel around Tokyo in your…

Tsukiji Market

The Tsukiji Market (築地市場 Tsukiji shijō), is the world-famous fish market that is on everyone’s list of “must-dos” in Tokyo, Japan. Tsukiji Market is the world’s biggest wholesale fish and seafood market, and also has a large wholesale area for fruits and vegetables too. We have visited Tsukiji Market, and you can too in this week’s Monday Morning…

Tokyo Yamathon 2016!

If you are familiar with Japan, then you have probably heard, and used, the Yamanote Line—it’s that super-convenient JR train that takes you all around the main districts in Japan. Well, did you know that there is a marathon associated with this train? It’s called the Yamathon! The Yamathon is a marathon in which teams…

Asakusa

This week’s Monday Morning Trip is to Asakusa and Senso-ji! Asakusa (浅草) is an area in Tokyo, Japan, where much of the old-Tokyo can still be seen. Asakusa can be found in every guide book about Japan, as it is the home to Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo. The Asakusa area was heavily damaged during World…

Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day)

Another Golden Week has come to an end, as yesterday was “Kodomo no Hi” or Children’s Day—the last holiday in the Golden Week party. Children’s Day is celebrated on May 5th, and was designated as a national holiday in 1948. History It was originally known as “Tango no Sekku” or Boy’s Day, and as the name…