fall foliage forecast for 2023 (Japanese version only)

This year's fall foliage is late

Daisetsuzan National Park Sounkyo Visitor Center(Hokkaido): (Japanese version only)

when and where to see fall foliage (almost Japanese version): (English version)

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day 2016

Happy New Year!

May the New Year bring many good things to you.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.
Each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs is related to a characteristic animal.

New Year's card

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
(three wise monkeys)

Its origin is not clear.

New Year's card

snow monkeys soak in their onsen bath

New Year's card

During the New Year holidays, boys used to enjoy kite-flying or top-spinning.
Girls used to enjoy Hanetsuki which is a game similar to badminton. It is played with a wooden battledore and a hard black seed with feathers like a shuttlecock. This girl's play is said to have started to wish to protect children from mosquito bites at New Year's.

New Year's card

*Dezome-shiki is an firefighters' event on the first work day of the new year. It began in the Edo Period.
Firefighters perform acrobatic feats on a ladder.

*lion dance as a thing doing epidemic extermination

*New Year's pine and bamboo decorations

New Year's card

Red sea bream is an auspicious fish because of play on words linking "Tai(red sea bream)" and "Mede-tai(happy)."

New Year's card

Ozoni is soup containing vegetables and rice cakes for New Year's Day.

Nanten(heavenly bamboo) is an auspicious plant because ancient people associated a phrase "Nan wo Ten-zuru(難を転ずる)" which means to overcome difficulties or to get out of trouble with its name "Nanten."

Ready-made New Year's dishes including many traditional ingredients are set in three-tiered boxes.