A blend of rich history and more modern traditions, Japanese culture is truly fascinating and here are some aspects you can experience on your visit.
Cherry Blossom Viewing
A national tradition, Hanami or ‘flower viewing’ takes place annually in early spring and coincides when sakura flowers or cherry blossoms burst into bloom. During this time (between March and May), family and friends gather to view and celebrate the beauty of cherry blossoms that can be seen at places like Temiya Park in Otaru.
Winter Festival & Snow Statues
Those travelling to Hokkaido in February can witness the amazing Snow Light Path Festival in Otaru. Accommodation near the city’s famed canal such as Grand Park Otaru is ideal to visit the main areas where one can see delightful snow statues set amidst enchanting lights and lanterns floating on the water.
White Day Gift Giving
A popular event for couples in Japan, White Day is celebrated a month following Valentine’s Day. On 14th March every year, it’s customary for men to gift that special someone with white chocolate, sweets, cookies or jewellery; in case you’re wondering, on Valentine’s Day, it’s the ladies who typically give gifts to the men!
Bean Throwing Tradition
Mamemaki is a bean throwing tradition that takes place on Setsubun; according to Japan’s lunar calendar, this is the day before spring begins. It’s believed during this time, the spirit realm draws closer and demons may appear; as a symbolic gesture of driving them away, beans are tossed at people wearing demon masks.