After the whirlwind cherry blossom season has swept across Tokyo, leaving only fond memories of streets blanketed in pink and perhaps a throbbing head from one too many drunken hanami parties, we remember that a world does indeed exist outside of our beloved city. Continue reading “Spring Day Trips from Tokyo”
When you think of the Japanese way of life, words that typically come to mind are orderly, calm or disciplined.
Then there are matsuri, or Japanese festivals…
In the blink of an eye, Golden Week came and went. Holidays always fly by way too quickly! I packed as much as I could into my four days off, venturing to new places, eating new food and meeting new people. By the end of it, I was left with lots of good memories… and about 500 photographs to sort through and edit!
Children’s Day, こどもの日, was one of the holidays celebrated during GW. Although no one knows exactly when this holiday started (anything up to 1000 years ago), it used to be a day to honour boys only. It officially became “Children’s Day” in the late 40’s.
For this festival, families with sons hang up carp streamers outside their house and display warrior dolls inside their house. It’s also common for there to be ‘koinobori festivals’ in public places where you can go and see hundreds of carp flying high in the sky. It’s quite spectacular to walk underneath these huge 5 metre long streamers. They really do look like fish flying in the sky!
A little bit about the background of koinobori… the carp, called koi in Japanese, are a symbol of good luck. They are a type of fish able to swim upstream by jumping up out of the water. These carp are said to have qualities of strength, courage and success. So, they represent the type of men that parents wish their sons will grow into.
~ Koinobori along the Tama River in Noborito, Kanagawa ~
~ Koinobori in Miura, Kanagawa ~
This family shows a black carp which represents the father, a red carp for the mother, then one blue carp which represents their son.
~ Koinobori in Kawagoe, Saitama ~
Gogatsu Ningyo (warrior dolls) in a private house in Kawagoe