age1Coming of Age Day, Seijin no Hi, is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority 20 years old over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. Festivities include coming of age ceremonies, seijin-shiki, held at local and prefectural offices, as well as after-parties amongst family and friends.

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hagoita 2A hagoita is a rectangular board with a handle used for playing a New Year game called hanetsuki. It is perhaps best described as a kind of game hitting badminton shuttlecocks with large ping-pong rackets. The hagoita sold at Hagoita-ichi, however, are not for practical use; they are, in fact, good-luck charms for ornamental purposes, for they are decorated with gorgeous pictures and accessories. The front of the hagoita is designed with images of elegantly made-up Kabuki actors.

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Kanji hatsu means first or start in Japanese

Kanji hatsu means first or start in Japanese

Hatsumōde – first shrine visit of the year
Hatsu hi no de – first sunrise of the new year
Hatsuyume – first dream of the new year

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ak2ak1ak3Last Festival of Summer

The largest samba carnival in Japan is a perfect finale to summer in Asakusa. The event attracts authentic samba dance teams from across Japan. The highlight of the carnival is the colorful, gorgeous costumes—along with the beautiful dancers who wear them.

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WagashiWagashi is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits. Read more about Wagashi and Japanese Food →  here

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