Koinobori for the Kids

Happy Children’s Day!

May 5th in Japan is a national holiday dedicated to celebrating the happiness of kids. I love the carp streamers that are displayed for the week leading up to Children’s Day. They are bright and colourful, and peaceful yet powerful. The carp, known as koi in Japanese, symbolise strength as the fish are able to swim upstream.

One of the most famous places around Tokyo to see the koinobori is Sagamihara in Kanagawa prefecture. I made the 1.5 hour train and bus journey on the weekend. There were so many families enjoying the nice weather. It was really great to see kids playing around in the water, skimming (or just throwing) pebbles and generally having a good time. It reminded me of my childhood days playing at a river down the road from our house. Those were the days! I wish all of the school students I teach and have taught, as well all the kids around the world, a healthy and happy life.

Koinobori flying at Hana no Miyako Park near Mt Fuji on Tuesday.

Mt Fuji


19 thoughts on “Koinobori for the Kids

  1. such a fun post – and I wish the same for all the kids. About 8 years ago my sons came home with some basic versions of the crap streamers – but seeing these genuine Japanese ones is culture rich – hate to always say that culture rich thing, but it is the only phrase that comes to mind.
    the very last photo was special to me as a former art teacher – we did many lessons that had mt fuji – and so to see this photo was my fav of them all. Great series – and happy spring….


    1. I know exactly what you mean! I mentioned to a Japanese friend that I wanted to go see some koinobori and he looked at me weirdly and was surprised I was interested in something which is usually only for kids or families haha but it’s the culture and tradition attached to them that I love too.
      I didn’t know you were an art teacher. Art was my favourite subject at school :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh I am not surprsied that art was your favorite – you have such an artistic side. I actually teach many subjects (like many teachers who have explored), but taught art for eight years offically – and am very glad to not do it anymore. I am now moving into teaching life skills workshops (something I did in 2001 and have longed to do again someday) and they are still unfolding, but vary from anger management workshops to communcation development.
        anyhow, glad to connect this week and happy spring to you. :)


  2. Celia, you were literally in my backyard. Sagamihara is very close to where I live. Yet I had no idea this beautiful display of flying carps was organized here :( That’s ok, inspired by your beautiful photos I will make sure to hit it next year (hopefully they are still there). xoxo, nano


  3. 花の都公園で 撮った写真が 一番印象的です。
    左下に見える 赤いチューリップの花畑、右上に はためく 赤いこいのぼりと吹き流しが 
    すばらしいコントラストですね。そして、その向こうに仰(あお)ぎ見る 富士山が なんと 
    うつくしいことでしょう。緑の風にさそわれて、空高く泳ぐこいのぼりは 私の心も はずませてくれます。相模原の川辺で 楽しそうに遊ぶ親子の姿が ほほえましいです。平和のシンボル。


    1. 遠くの山中湖まで行きましたので、その日 富士山が綺麗に見えてすごく良かったです。鯉のぼりがもっとあったそうですが、私が着いた時には下ろし始めていました。


  4. Skipping rocks in a stream, splashing around – it appeals to the kid in all of us. Of course, here in the US, May 5 is all about Cinco de Mayo… Mexican food and skeleton dolls. ;)


    1. So true. Sometimes it looks like the parents (especially dads) are having more fun skipping rocks than the kids!
      Oh yes, I’ve heard of Cinco de Mayo – and they have some events for it here in Tokyo. Mexican food… yum. Enjoy!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Celia,
    It’s a great idea to have a day celebrating children and I wonder how many of the adults in your photos would have been thinking back to when they were children flying koi kites. A celebration for all generations. Great post :).


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