The debate continues over whether plying a carp with booze is inhumane treatment of animals or a treasured part of Japan’s cultural heritage.
Cozy Shinto-style fashion for relaxing at home.
Priests struggling to humanely keep cat population under control, asking for visitors’ help.
Will this be Mr. Sato’s last adventure?
Luxury and divine assistance, all in one tiny, traditional package.
The secluded site is enthralling people across Japan with its mysterious and untamed beauty.
The Kyoto shrine famous for thousands of vermilion torii gates will spirit you away to a mystical world of beauty this weekend at its famous annual night-time festival.
The furry new deity, however, forgot about a couple of small yet important details.
Have your pet feeling rejuvenated both physically and spiritually after a getaway in Japan.
Rather than hiding the calluses, the bulges on these men are glorified for a very special reason.
Convenience stores in Japan are often like mini supermarkets, but this one near one of Shinto’s holiest shrines also feels like a time machine.
Simple craft project lets you tell your cat, in no uncertain terms, that he exists on a higher plane than you do.
“Quick guys! The gods aren’t looking! Let’s roll around in the dirt!”
Today we’re introducing you to the basics of Japanese Buddhism, plus highlighting some of the Buddhist images you’ll see in Japan and help you distinguish them from Shinto ones.
Any proper itinerary for a trip across Japan should include stops in its three most famous Shinto shrines: Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine, Kyoto’s Heian Shrine, and the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Those, however, are just the tip of Japan’s iceberg of breathtaking sacred Shinto spots.
Even if you’ve got no pressing interest in Japan’s indigenous religion, its shrines are often sites of breathtaking natural and architectural beauty, and here are four that, while off the beaten path, are not to be missed.
Much like “humdinger” and “roughneck,” “foxy” is one of those words that’s far past its golden age. But really, why shouldn’t it be used to describe an attractively fashionable woman, especially is she’s sporting a pair of these cute knee-high socks decorated with Shinto-style kitsune fox spirits and other culturally quirky touches?
Every fall, parents in Japan who have children that are three, five, or seven years old celebrate something called Shichi-Go-San (literally “Seven-Five-Three”). The family heads to a Shinto shrine, where the priest performs a blessing for girls aged three and seven and boys aged five, praying for them to have long and healthy lives.
But since some pet owners will argue that their animal companions are their children, certain shrines now offer Shichi-Go-San blessings for pets, too, some of whom show up wearing delightful pet kimono!
If you’re spending even a short amount of time in Japan, visiting at least one Buddhist temple and one Shinto shrine should definitely be on your list. It doesn’t matter too much which one you go to — they all tend to be lovely places with great atmospheres. Of course, some are bigger and fancier than others, and some just have better locations, like on top of mountains or in forests.
However, it turns out that, according to certain legends flying around on Twitter right now, you might want to be careful about which shrines you visit, or something spooky could be waiting for you…
Even in a city as packed with people as Tokyo, some places, and times, are more crowded than others. So when and where can you find the largest, densest mass of humanity? Some would say the Yamanote loop line during the morning rush hour. Others would vote for Shibuya’s scramble crosswalk intersection on a Saturday night.
But before you go awarding the crown to either of those two candidates, take a look at the massive crowds that came out for the Kanda Matsuri festival last weekend.
Your first trip to Japan is bound to be a whirlwind visit as you try to pack so many things into a short period of time. Do go to Tokyo and see the white-gloved train pushers, the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, and many of the scenes depicted in anime and manga. Do go to Kyoto and see the shrines and temples that are simply amazing.
But as a country that has so much to offer, it can take years to really get to know and understand Japan, even when you live here. So if you want to take your understanding of Japan a step further, we’re here to suggest a few things you’ll want to experience in order to better understand Japanese culture: things that give you insight on what’s behind the Japanese way of thinking.
These experiences will help you understand who the Japanese people are, and why they act the way they do. Get ready to move from tourist to cultural expert after the jump!