4 Japanese Traditions You Have to Try While You’re There

 

Japanese Traditions

You’ll encounter a diverse range of Japanese customs and cultures in Japan. Bowing is a common part of Japanese culture that you will observe often. The Japanese bow is used to greet or welcome, say farewell or return, express gratitude, say grace before a meal, and worship at a shrine. While in Japan, you’re almost certain to be bowed to at least once a day.

 

You are not required to return the bow, but a little bob of your head indicates that you see or hear them. Additionally, you will often hear “irasshaimase,” which translates as “welcome.” Each time a customer enters the business or restaurant, the employees will repeat this. It’s the standard in Japan, so don’t be startled if they collectively say or yell it at you, depending on the sort of business. Additionally, there are Japanese cultural practices that you may experience and enjoy with the locals. These are mostly seasonal events that take place across Japan.

 

Fireworks / Summer Festivals

 

Summer Festivals are another fascinating and joyful Japanese custom that children may participate in. Japanese fireworks are among the most intricate and vibrant on the planet. Each year, they invent new varieties of pyrotechnics, and fireworks celebrations have been a summer ritual for generations.

 

This is also an occasion where you may wear a “yukata.” From the end of July until August, fireworks celebrations are conducted practically every weekend, and thousands of people attend. It’s really difficult to negotiate these crowds or determine the ideal vantage point from which to see the fireworks, so I strongly suggest booking a trip and having a local guide transport you there and back to your hotel.

 

Before and after the fireworks, the trains, the station closest to the event, and the streets will be densely packed with people, making it very simple to get lost. However, a Japanese summer is incomplete without seeing fireworks. You may also experience Japanese cuisine culture by sampling the variety of street food sold at these festivals’ food vendors. Fried noodles, fried chicken, and takoyaki are the most common stands ( fried batter balls with octopus). They’re delectable!

 

Holiday Season of the New Year

 

In Japan, the New Year’s holiday is another significant occasion. In comparison to western cultures, it is a fairly casual occasion. It begins with a thorough cleaning of the home from top to bottom in preparation for the new year. On New Year’s Eve, just before midnight, a Japanese cultural practice is to eat “Toshi Koshi soba,” or soba noodles, to welcome the new year.

 

Consuming the lengthy soba noodles is a kind of prayer for long and productive life. Then, if there is a temple nearby, you will hear the temple bell’s loud gong ring out at midnight. This bell is rung 108 times, the number of sins considered by Buddhism to exist in humanity. The bell is rung by a monk or by ordinary people who congregate at the temple to express gratitude for the past year and pray for good fortune in the coming year.

 

It is customary to eat an ” osechi ” meal on New Year’s morning. It’s similar to a huge family lunch box filled with foods that are thought to bring good fortune in a long life, riches, etc. It’s also extremely lovely to look at. Additionally, we consume a soup called “ozone” that contains a piece of “mochi” or rice cake. In more traditional households, it is also typical to take a sip of “too,” a New Year’s spiced sake thought to ward off ill-luck and bring good fortune.

 

Additionally, there is a New Year’s greeting. We greet each other with “akemashite omedeto gozaimasu,” which translates as “Happy New Year!” Children often get little paper envelopes from relatives with an allowance, making this a joyous occasion.

 

 

Festival de BonDance

 

For the people, “Obon” is a special time of year. It is a summertime Japanese cultural ritual in which ancestors are honored. In Buddhism, it is believed that around this time, the spirits of the ancestors return to see their surviving family once a year. Because it is a holiday for many businesses, there is a large movement of individuals around the nation to their family homes. Individuals clean their family gravestones and home shrines, bring flowers and food to their ancestors and have their ancestors’ prayers performed by a monk.

 

During this period, there were also “bon” (short for “Obon”) festivities featuring “bon” dances. It’s a vibrant event with music and dance conducted at temples within a community. Many people, particularly ladies, wear summer kimonos called “yukata.” A stage has been constructed in the center of a big empty area, and the drummers and lead dancers are located on it. And the rest of the audience forms a circle around this stage. All of the dances are basic and repetitious, which means that anybody may participate simply by imitating others around them.

 

This event is a lot of fun, and you should go if you’re in Japan during the summer, particularly with your children. If you’re in Tokyo, the festivals will take place during the weekend of August 13-15, but the dates vary by location, so seek a local guide for the region you’re interested in and have them take you there. You may see their profile pages and contact them directly about what you’re looking for.

 

Tea Ceremony

 

The tea ceremony is becoming one of the most popular traditional Japanese cultural experiences that international tourists want to attempt. It’s a lovely ritual to see and allows you to immerse yourself in Japanese cuisine culture. A woman in a kimono will prepare the matcha tea using hot water cooked in an antique kettle and stirring it with a little wooden whisk. Ensure that you pay close attention to her every action.

 

Every movement of the hostess’s hands is regarded as part of the “art of tea” in the tea ceremony, so it’s not just about the finished product’s flavor. Matcha tea is dense and bitter, making it an acquired taste, particularly for toddlers. If you’re willing to try, it’s an incredible, visually pleasing experience.

 

Where to go for a tea ceremony may be found on this site. Some let you participate in producing the tea, and those invite you to attend as a guest of the ceremony. Fees begin at roughly 4,000 yen. Additionally, some locations give the option of doing the ceremony in a kimono, which may make for an excellent picture opportunity.

 

Leave a Reply