Japanese New Year’s decorations

Around New Year's time, you will see special decorations outside shops and in temples all over Japan. For foreigners, these public decorations are very interesting. Since we often don't have access to Japanese family life, the decorations put up by shops and temples are the best (and often only) way for us to learn about... Continue Reading →

A thousand paper cranes

When visiting a temple in Japan, you will often see large strings of colored paper shapes, hung up in various places. Closer inspection reveals that these paper shapes are actually cranes. One thousand of them to be exact. The origami cranes are often arranged by color, fitted one close on top of the other and... Continue Reading →

Attack of the killer mosquitoes

A few days ago I had another encounter with Japanese bugs: mosquitoes this time. We were strolling down the historic town of Arimatsu when we encountered a beautiful grove with stairs leading up to a temple. Little did we know that the grove contained a giant swarm of mosquitoes. At first it seemed like there... Continue Reading →

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