Best Gardens of Japan

1. Kenrokuen Built in Kanazawa for the enjoyment of the former feudal lords, Kenrokuen feels like a collection of multiple excellent gardens that include a variety of ponds, streams, hills, groves, flower gardens and several pavilions and tea houses. More

Photos Of The Most Beautiful Japanese Cherry Blossoms

The delicate pink sakura, or cherry blossom, is associated primarily with the culture of its native Japan. These trees blossom throughout Japan every spring, but their beauty never gets old, so we’ve collected some of our favorite photos of this year’s cherry blossoms in Japan.

In Japan, the blossoming of the sakura begins in April, when students go back to school or people go back to work after the holidays. Japan’s national weather service even tracks the movement of the “sakura front,” which is an imaginary line that travels south-to-north every season and heralds the blooming of the sakura. This line’s progression in Japan is marked on this convenient sakura calendar.

The cherry blossom is tied to the ancient Japanese tradition of hanami, or picnicking under a sakura tree. The fact that the cherry blossom has heavily featured in ancient Japanese art has made it a staple of both historical and modern Japanese aesthetic. Although it is also native to China and Korea, it is generally associated primarily with Japanese culture, which is why it often accompanies the Japanese diaspora into cities around the world.

While sakuras are probably best viewed with a Japanese castle, mountain or garden in the backdrop, they might also be planted somewhere in your city as well. They provide a great opportunity to go have a beautiful springtime picnic!

Image credits: 紅襪熊



Know your sakura: Japan’s three best cherry blossom trees


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In Japan, cherry blossoms, or sakura, are the rock stars of the plant kingdom. People obsess over them, their rare public appearances send fans into a frenzy, and the most devoted enthusiasts will even follow their flowering tour as it spreads from Japan’s warmer southern prefectures to the chillier north.

But just as some music acts draw larger crowds than others, these three sakura trees are considered to be the absolute peak of the pink-flowered crowd.

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The Best Temples & Shrines of Japan

Meiji Jingu Shrine (Tokyo): Tokyo’s most venerable and refined Shinto shrine honors Emperor Meiji and his empress with simple yet dignified architecture surrounded by a dense forest. This is a great refuge in the heart of the city.

Meiji Jingu Shrine (Tokyo)

Sensoji Temple (Tokyo): The capital’s oldest temple is also its liveliest. Throngs of visitors and stalls selling both traditional and kitschy items lend it a festival-like atmosphere. This is the most important temple to see in Tokyo.

Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)

Top 5 pop culture things/icons you need to know about Japan

All About Japanese Pop Culture


The Five Most Important Holidays in Japan

Coming-of-Age Day

Japan has many different holidays that carry a lot of meaning and have years of tradition behind them. Here we’ll introduce the top five most important holidays in Japan, going in reverse order starting with number five.

The fifth most important holiday in Japan is Seijin no Hi, or “Coming-of-Age Day.” On this day, people who turn twenty during the current school year, which runs between April until the following March, celebrate their coming of age. In Japan, when people turn twenty, society legally recognizes them as an adult, and they are able to drink alcohol and vote. The festival was created as a Japanese national holiday in 1947 when it was set to January 15th. However, this holiday was moved to the second Monday in January in 1999 as a result of the “Happy Monday System,” the Japanese government’s decision to move more holidays to Monday to create a three-day weekend for those who normally have a five-day workweek. More

How much do you really know about Japan?

Test your knowledge of Japan with this fun quiz! More

A Capsule History of Anime


It’s truly amazing how many people into Anime today seem to think that it all started about a year before they got involved in the hobby. Many will, however, tell almost identical stories about dim childhood memories of (depending on how old they are) Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Marine Boy, Gigantor, Robotech, or Star Blazers. Others wandered into a comic shop and discovered to their utter amazement that there was an Akira MOVIE to go along with their comics. Still others fell in love with Ken Ichi Sonoda’s manga (Japanese for comics) style, and had their eyes pulled out of their sockets by the animated Bubblegum Crisis. There are even people now who discovered the medium when someone they knew told them about the Ranma f dubs, or accidentally tuned in the Science Fiction Channel one Saturday morning … something that was unthinkable only a few years ago.


Daiki Aomine Quotes-KUROKO NO BASUKE


Anime Hair Colors

Hair color is frequently used in Japanese animation as a mechanism to differentiate between characters, but did you know that specific hues have an associated symbolism?


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