Japanese customs in January: Hatsumōde

We Japanese visit to a shrine or temple at start of a year.
This custom is called “初詣 (hatsumode)”.

We thank God or Buddha for what went well at last year.

What is Hatsumode

Hatsumode is an event to pray for safety and peace for the year by visiting a shrine or temple (a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple), or church for the first time since the start of a new year.


This is called hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.

Hatsumode is considered to have become a common practice not so long ago but during the middle of the Meiji period.
The first visit to a shrine or temple at New Years’ is not done for religious reasons, but rather to pray for things such as health for ones’ family and prosperity in business.

Most Japanese visit shrines not for religious reasons but because it is an annual event that has a different atmosphere.

For japanese peope,Hatsumode is alittle festival.
There are shrines where many stalls line up and sake and food are sold.

The rule of Hatsumode

There is no special definition for hatsumode.
Generally, hatsumode refers to the visit made during the first three days of the New Year, but it is also said that there is no special problem if the visit is made sometime in January.
It is said that the target of hatsumode can be either a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple.

The look of Hatsumode

Popular spot of Hatsumode

1:Meiji jingu (明治神宮)

Number of visitors:3.17million

hatumode meijijingu

●LocationTokyo / 1-1 Yoyogisami-ga Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

2:Naritasanshinshoji (成田山新勝寺)

Number of visitors:3.09million

hatsumode naritasanshinshoji

●Location:Chiba / Narita 1, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken


Number of visitors:3.07million

hatsumode kawasakidaishi

Location:Kanagawa / 4-48 Osamu-cho Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa


Number of visitors:2.91million

hatsumode sensoji

●Location:Tokyo /2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo


Number of visitors:2.50million

Hatsumode Tsuruokahachiman

●Location:Kanagawa /2-1-31,Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi Kanagawa


If you visit Japan in January, please go to Hatsumode. See you!

The spot where you can experience the ninja in Japan

A ninja. They played an active part mainly on the age of civil strife.
You will not watch the figure in modern Japan. (and they hide)

But you can experience a ninja in Japan.
this time, I introduce the spot where You can experience the ninja.

1:Iga style ninja Museum(in Mie)

One of the styles that are the most famous among ninjas. The Iga was the biggest power in ninja army corps of the age of civil strife. There is this spot in the Iga of the stronghold.

Iga style ninja MuseumIga style ninja Museum

As for the name”伊賀流忍者博物館(Igaryu ninja hakubutsukan)”
When say in English; “Iga style ninja Museum”.
You can know the various things about a ninja at this museum.

There are various sections in these facilities.
・You can watch the trick which ninjas use well.
・You can watch the tool of the ninja such as the throwing knife which was really used in old days.
・You can know the everyday life of the ninja and the fight of the ninja.
・You can appreciate a ninja show with the force.
・The shop where you can buy a souvenir.

Iga style of ninja
Iga style of ninja


伊賀流忍者博物館 (Iga style ninja Museum)
Address / 117, Uenomarunouchi, Iga-shi, Mie
Business hours/9:00 – 17:00 ※ entering a building acceptance is /12/29 – 1/1 on an end regular holiday at 16:30 for business hours
URL / http://www.Iganinja.jp/museum.html

2:Village art of concealment and espionage village of Koga(in Shiga)

Next is Koga. Iga and Koga were famous equally and were a rival.
Koga is in ShIga.

koga style of ninja
koga style of ninja

Koga seemed to be the culture that was opener than Iga.
Next another person became a ninja from the other place in the Iga, and there was the ninja who was active in freelance.

Here is such facilities.
Three mansions with the ninja trick.
The museum which the tool of a throwing knife can watch.
The dojo studio which can throw a throwing knife.
The physic garden where I make medicine necessary for a ninja.

And one most popular “a ninja dojo studio.”
This is like an attraction for children.
But You can get the rolled drapery of the ninja when you graduate.
It seems to be popular among adults here.


甲賀の里忍術村(Village art of concealment and espionage village of Koga)
Address / 394, Koukachooki, Kouka-shi, ShIga
URL / http://koka.ninpou.jp/


3:Little child ninja village(in Nagano)

The next is a spot in Nagano.

togakushi style of ninja
togakushi style of ninja

The style of a famous ninja was in Nagano.
It “Togakushi style (TOGAKUSHI)”.
This has lower popularity than Iga and Koga.
However, there is a dojo studio all over the world.
The number of students is approximately 100,000 people how!

In the days of the beginning of mixed martial arts meet UFC of America, the pupil (American) of the Togakushi style seemed to have participated in the battle!

You can rent the clothes of the ninja here, too. Clothes of the ninja, I have worn it (adult can wear it, too), too.
I want you to wear the clothes. Because even a Japanese is very fun, you can surely enjoy it.


チビッコ忍者村(Little child ninja village)
Address / 3193, Togakushi, Nagano-shi, Nagano
Business hours/From the end of April to the end of November From 9:00 to 17:00
Regular holiday / winter season suspension of business
URL / http://www.ninjamura.com/


4:Nikko Edo Wonderland(in Tochigi)

It is my recommended spot here.

Edo wonderland
Edo wonderland

As for the name “Nikko Edo Wonderland (NIKKO EDO MURA)”.
I love it, and I go many times.
Here is the dojo studio where there is a ninja experience and a large-scale ninja show.

The feature is that you can enjoy culture of various Edo as well as a ninja here.
The playland where this spot is large. And the park is like one town.
All the staff is setting called the residents of this town.
The staff is a merchant and is a samurai, and it is a ninja, and various cases happen in … and the park.
(the battle with the sword begins suddenly)

You can rent the clothes, too.
As for us, a ninja, a samurai, the daughter of the town, a princess are various; can use it.
I want you to wear clothes by all means if you come to here.
Absolutely fun.
You can become a person of Edo, and let’s enjoy cityscape of Edo.

Because there is the historic tourist attraction in NIKKO elsewhere, it may be good to take the time.
日光江戸村(Nikko Edo Wonderland)
Address / 〒 321-2524 470-2, Karakura, Nikkou-shi, Tochigi
Business hours / for the winter from 9:30 to 16:00 (from March 20 to November 30)
for the winter season for from 9:00 to 17:00 in the (from December 1 to March 19 )
Regular holiday / every Wednesday
URL / http://edowonderland.net/


NINJA DOJO in shinjuku
NINJA DOJO in shinjuku

Last, it is a spot to be able to enjoy willingly in Tokyo.
There is this in Shinjuku.
Popularity is a sudden rise recently.

You can experience various things as a ninja here.
・You can throw a throwing knife
・YouI can use Japanese sword and the ninja sword
・You can know a secret and the trick of Ninja Yashiki House
・You understand the difference between samurai and ninja
・You can take the photograph which is same as a ninja


A ninja is the place that You can experience willingly in Tokyo.
Because it needs reservations, I recommend that I look at the site beforehand to you.

Business hours /10:00 AM – 7:00 p.m. (last entrance 6:30 p.m.)
Regular holiday / Tuesday, Wednesday
Address / 〒 160-0021 2-28-13, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Kazuyuki Building fourth floor
URL / http://ninja-trick-house.com/


That is all
You should try it if you come to Japan.
Taste the history through an experience in Japan.

A Japanese spy ninja!

Do you know a ninja?
By comics and a movie, it became world-famous recently.
But do you really know a ninja? ?
The ninja was existence like the spies.

The ninja played an active part in Japan from the Kamakura era to the Edo era.
It is said that the ninja did espionage, subversive activity, the penetration tactics, assassination.

Style of the ninja


Ninja has various styles.
Among ninjas, the ninja group which based on Koga and the Iga is very famous.
There is Ninja House in these places, and it is thought that training was carried out every day.

Koga style

It was in present Shiga, Koga city and Konan city.
They usually do agriculture. Or they peddle it and investigate information of each place.
When an order fell, they went to a battlefield and the rear and worked hard at work activity.

They are good at handling of the medicine. Therefore there are still many pharmaceutical companies in Koga.

They decided all it by a representative system about work,and ran it.
This time, this way were extremely rare methods.

Koga place here.

Iga style

Igastyle is very stoic!
Iga and Koga was in place beyond one mountain.
Iga Ninja were also usually the agriculture and hawkers .

Their features , it does not have a contract more involvement by the money between the employer .
Often even if the employer is of enemies , to dispatch a ninja in both if there is a request .
For this reason more than any other ninja , also it was asked rigor spirit .
Even if you would be fellow , in order to be able to immediately punish and combat .

And , betrayal and desertion is not allowed even if there is any thing .

Iga place here.

Why Ninja became famous ?

Success itself of Ninja , back breadwinner not intended to maneuver to flashy in the table.
So , it does not remain the record and name on the history .
Besides Koga and Iga , it is said that 49 style was present in Japan .
But its presence is not well known .

Especially in the Warring States Period ,
warlords who competed for Japan’s world ” Nobunaga “, ” Hideyoshi ,” ” Ieyasu ” everyone ,
was close to the origin of the Koga and Iga .
In addition , their village was in the cornerstone of close and traffic of the city .
Therefore , ninjas of Iga and Koga , it has become more famous for appearing in the history of the story .

Still popular ninja

Ninja from the most dominating and mysterious image , is very popular in Japan . Lot appeared in historical drama , movies, novels , comics still . The contemporary Japan , there are several places where you can experience the ninja even now . It also I will introduce this time . You also of ninja , Explore !

This site introduces the history and culture of ninja in English. Very easy to understand and fun!


Autumn maple-tree viewing of Japan

Autumn in Japan

japanese autumn

Japan has four seasons.
Spring, summer, autumn, winter. I can taste colorful scenery by a season.
It is autumn in Japan in November.

Trees change color. It may be said that it is the most beautiful season in autumn.
At this time, we Japanese enjoys “autumn colors”.

autumn color We write “autumn colors” as “紅葉”(ko-yo-) in Japanese. It is the meaning called a red leaf. It is in condition to have changed color right before a leaf dies.


Maple-tree viewing of Japan

we express the maple-tree viewing with “紅葉狩”(momiji-gari) in Japan.


“狩” is a meaning called the hunting.
Not only Japanese hunt a beast and a bird , but also hunt fruit and the nut.
And we Japanese expresses that I enjoy the beauty of the trees and plants and the flower with “狩”.

Everybody goes to the mountain. And I watch colored leaves and taste a season.
It is Maple-tree viewing.

It is called “紅葉狩(momiji gari)” in Japanese.
The Japanese did “紅葉狩 “(maple-tree viewing)for more than 1,000 years.

The modern Japanese cannot help loving colored leaves again, too.

Movei and Place to see beautiful autumn colors

The colored leaves are told that a waterside is beautiful.
The waterside is humid, and this is because the color of the leaf lasts a long time.
The beautiful state before dying is an instant.


It is the animation of colored leaves of Kyoto. You can experience Japanese ”紅葉狩”.

Please come to look at the beautiful state in Japan if there is an opportunity by all means.

Really beautiful.

I introduce the point that is famous for colored leaves.

Place to see beautiful autumn colors

Waterfall (Ibaraki) of Fukuroda(Ibaragi)

by 茨城県観光物産協会

Oirase mountain stream (Aomori)

Amateur pix of Jimmy L by Trip Advisor

Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto)

Amateur pix of jordanchong by Trip Advisor

Nasu Kogen (Tochigi)

by http://monoda1.com/html/nasu_kouyou_1.html

Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route (Toyama)

Amateur pix of 元メガネ by Trip Advisor

Miya-jima (Itsukushima) (Hiroshima)

Amateur pix of takamyu by Trip Advisor

Senjojiki curl (Nagano)

Amateur pix of Masataka N by Trip Advisor

Yorokeikoku (Chiba)



You should like maple-tree viewing of Japan.

Thank you for reading.

I deliver update information in facebook page. Check it if good.

Summer kimono, “Yukata”

As a Japanese summer feature, I introduced a wind-bell last time.
This time, I introduce “Yukata” which is Japanese summer traditional clothes.

What is the Yukata?

japanese traditional clothes yukata

Japanese traditional clothes are “kimonos”.
“Yukata” is a kind of “the kimonos”.
Originally “Yukata” was used as a bathrobe.
You can spend it roughly.
And it is easy to wear it.
Therefore it is popular in the present age.

At particularly summer night, many youths go out in a Yukata at the time of fireworks and festival.
Everybody enjoys summer emotion.

young wear yukata

The history of the “Yukata”

The beginning of Yukata is the Heian era.
A noble wore the beginning at the time of bathing. The materials are hemp. It was thin cloth.
As for the then bathing, a steam bath was common.
When they took a steam bath, they wore a Yukata. For soak up sweat , for protect the skin from burns .

The style of the bath same as now from the Edo era.
The Japanese takes hot water in nude.
They went out of the bath and wore a Yukata in just after taking a bath. The materials are cotton.

Scenery of the bathhouse of the Edo era

The cloth became the thinness as they could walk the outside.
And, among the citizen, it was popular to wear a Yukata by flower viewing or Bon festival dance, a fireworks display.

The people who walk the hot-spring resort with a yukata

The Japanese still wears a yukata in the hot-spring hotel.
We walk with a yukata in the town where there are a lot of hot-spring hotels.

Enjoy summer in Japan with aYukata

If you come to Japan and go for fireworks, a festival, please wear a Yukata.
You can buy it at the price that is more reasonable than a kimono.
There is the shop renting.

I think that you can enjoy Japan more.

japanese festival_bon dance

Family crest in japan

Japanese have a family crest

Do you know Family crest in japan?
Family crest is something like emblem of the house.





Family crest has been used to express own family such as the blood relationship, lineage, family’s social standing, a position than old times. With other houses used family crest for a long time in Japan to distinguish it.

For example, they were used for a sword and armor and a kimono willingly and penetrated for the living of people.

Using the family crest

Family crest that has entered the sword


The most famous family crest

Family crest of the Emperor


Chrysanthemum with 16 petals.This is a family crest of the Emperor.

Family crest of the Tokugawa

tokugawa's family crest

This is a family crest of the Tokugawa . Plant that Aoi is the motif .

Try looking for the family crest

Please observe carefully the historically famous architecture and exhibits .
Maybe then , you might find a family crest .

Pillar with a family crest

Family crest carved in stone

Sculpture of the family crest


If , if there is a family crest . That is what is relevant to the house .
In particular, I think there are many in the Imperial Palace and Toshogu .

Family crest still is inherited

sample family crest

sample family crest

It is inherited in the present age, and there is Family crest where is higher than 241 kinds, 5116 crests only in Japan.

Family crest is used as the crest which expresses birth and a surname as a mark indicating the originality of the house.
If you come to Japan , please try to pay attention to family crest .

Japanese summer tradition . ” Wind bell “

The history of the wind bell

Japanese summer tradition . " Wind bell "

There is the wind-bell in Japan for a long time.
The wind-bell was transmitted from China. In the times much previous than Warring States Period.

Originally it was used as an appliance of fortune-telling and the talisman against evil.
The then wind-bell was bronze.
It was believed that a sound of the wind-bell refused an evil.
From manners and customs of that time, there is a wind-bell of the bronze in the temples now.


Wind-bell as the summer feature

The summer in Japan temperature is humid.
Therefore the illness is infectible, too. Therefore the wind-bell was used as a talisman against evil tool in summer.
From it, the wind-bell colonized as a thing to gradually use in summer in the Heian period and the Kamakura period.

The wind-bell of the glass like now came to (18c) from the Netherlands in the Edo period.
A glassworker of Nagasaki spread it in Edo.

Glass was very precious in those days. Therefore the wind-bell cost 160,000 dollars – 250,000 dollars with a current amount of money.
In the 19th century, a glasswork was commonly used. The common people became able to buy a wind-bell and were prevalent.

The cool tone and appearance are still popular in Japanese.

Festival of wind bell

In Japan , there is also a wind bell of the festival .
Now , Japan is summer .
From here and there is also this year , wind bell sound is heard .

Battle of Okehazama

Battle of Okehazama

The day when the man who was the nearest to unify a country lost. Nobunaga Oda VS Yoshimoto Imagawa
In a heavy rain, Nobunaga was waiting the opportunity of the surprise attack battle calmly.
He raise a voice.”Here we go!” He rushed for the Imagawa military with his army.
He aims at only Yoshimoto Imagawa of the commander-in-chief.

Nobunaga oda in Battle of Okehazama

In then Japan, Yoshimoto Imagawa is a great person daimyo of the noble families. Nobunaga on the other hand is a small and weak daimyo called the fools.
The soldier of the Imagawa military is approximately 20,000. The soldier of Nobunaga is only 2,000.
By all odds Nobunaga did not seem to have the winning chances.
However, the battle of the great reversal it followed! It was the result that everybody was not able to expect.
In the wonderful ingenuity, Nobunaga killed a neck of Yoshimoto Imagawa!
By this battle, the name of Nobunaga is well-known in the whole country. And Warring States Period when only a true strong man survived began.
it is the battle that is famous on the Japanese history and is a battle to symbolize talent of Nobunaga Oda.