Karatsu Kunchi: Feasting and House-hopping

Food and alcohol are undeniably an important part of Karatsu Kunchi. Locals open their houses to family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers to come and spend a little time eating and drinking. Most of the women and some of the men in the family will work tirelessly to prepare a variety and large quantities of food.Continue reading “Karatsu Kunchi: Feasting and House-hopping”

Ochi Ajisai Matsuri 2017

I apologize for the lack of posts this month. I caught a bad bug earlier this month and was out of commission for about a week and then I had to play catch up at work. On top of that, we are preparing for the arrival of our new JET ALTs in Saga! It’s anContinue reading “Ochi Ajisai Matsuri 2017”

Wisteria Hysteria: Golden Week

After the Sakura finish blooming in early March, you don’t have to wait long for another famous flower to bloom. Early May (AKA Golden Week), is the best time to see blooming Wisteria. Since I was traveling a lot during Golden Week I was able to see various places from Karatsu to Kyoto covered inContinue reading “Wisteria Hysteria: Golden Week”

Zo Many Zakura

    Last week I posted about the Karatsu Hanami on Kagamiyama. This post is all the other Sakura pictures I took during the season – and by that I mean one or two weeks. Cherry Blossom season is very special to Japan. Sakura or cherry blossoms are the unofficial national flower, it welcomes spring,Continue reading “Zo Many Zakura”

Sakura in the Fog

One of the best things about living in Japan is being able to experience Hanami 花見 or cherry blossom viewing. Newspapers print when and where the sakura will be in full bloom. It’s important to plan ahead especially if you want to travel, and many local venues with fill up quickly with viewing parties if theContinue reading “Sakura in the Fog”

Karatsu Kunchi: Day 2 – The Sand Pull

That’s right I said sand pull. It’s the only way I can describe what you are about to see   The second day of Karatsu Kunchi begins mid-morning at a large sand lot between an elementary school and a major road. The road has been blocked to make way for the floats and hundreds ofContinue reading “Karatsu Kunchi: Day 2 – The Sand Pull”

Kyushu Festivals: Karatsu Kunchi – Day One

If you ever find yourself in Japan at the beginning of November, I implore you to make your way down south to the island of Kyushu to a city called Karatsu. It’s nestled on the west coast of Kyushu and quite easy to reach from Fukuoka. November is the busiest time of the year for Karatsu.Continue reading “Kyushu Festivals: Karatsu Kunchi – Day One”

A World in Pink: Sakura in Kyushu

It’s finally spring in Kyushu! I am excited to spend my first spring in Japan. I was lucky enough to snap a few pictures of the famous cherry blossoms before a rain storm washed them away. I was surprised to learn that there is night Hanami or night flower watching. Some of the pictures below wereContinue reading “A World in Pink: Sakura in Kyushu”

Yobuko Squid Festival

 Yobuko’s famous いかまつり・Ika Matsuri! It’s a Squid Fest! ♦ This is Yobuko ♦ This tiny port town is actually a part of Karatsu City. It sits 30-40 minutes outside of Karatsu proper and is a beautiful drive through the mountains to reach the only main road running along the coast. Every September the tiny town is floodedContinue reading “Yobuko Squid Festival”