Category Archives: Festivals & Events

The Always Energetic Yosakoi Festival

Jay Dee:

Here’s episode 2 of A Taste of Japan. This time, I attended a festival in Sagamihara called the Ranbu Yosakoi Festival. Great energetic dancing! Please watch the video.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Last weekend, during my lunch break, I was able to go to the Ranbu Yosakoi Festival in Sagamihara, Kanagawa. Yosakoi is a type of dance that began in Kochi City in 1954 as a modern alternative to the more traditional Odori dance. This festival is held every year in September. They make plenty of noise! A lot of the music used is quite modern, and the dances are always very energetic. Very fun and uplifting.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did take a video. And here it is. This is episode 2 of A Taste of Japan. Be sure to watch all the way through, because I have a full performance in this video.

Interested in seeing more? I’ll have a lot more Japan videos coming in the near future, and lots from famous tourist sites in Japan in October. So, please subscribe to my YouTube channel to…

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Kanagawa, Minami-ku, Sagamihara

A Local Japanese Festival

Jay Dee:

I’ve begun a new series on my YouTube channel called A Taste of Japan. I’ll be making videos of different events, places, and culture in Japan. This is episode 1 of A Taste of Japan.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

At the shrine near my home, there’s an annual festival in September that features local dance clubs, cheerleading clubs, a taiko drum club, and singers. In the past, there’ve been professional enka singers, but not this year. I took a few videos, and now, my new series on YouTube has begun.

Here is episode 1 of A Taste of Japan.

I used Windows Movie Maker, as it appeared the other video editor I was using has informed me I must now buy it. I get roughly the same result with WMM, though.

If you have any comments or questions, you know what to do. Oh, and subscribe to my YouTube channel already!

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Vlog

My “Traditional” Japanese Christmas Dinner

Jay Dee:

Merry Christmas everyone! I finally had a traditional Japanese Christmas dinner. Check it out!

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Japan doesn’t have a long Christmas tradition, as it’s a more recent trend here.  It’s also mainly done to sell more things and make more money.  It’s entirely commercial.  It’s also a time for couples to go on dates and exchange gifts.  It’s typically not a family holiday, but parents will sometimes give their children gifts.  Also, it’s very difficult to find turkey here, so we have to make do with other things.

And that brings me to my Christmas dinner today.  This is the “traditional” Christmas dinner.  Just take a look.




That’s right, Kentucky Fried Chicken!  We had some regular KFC chicken, boneless chicken, French fries (no gravy in Japan), salad, and a “Christmas cake.”  It was actually a chocolate cake.  To many Japanese people, Christmas means cake.  They’re often very surprised to find out that cake isn’t a big tradition where I’m from.  Sure, people get fruitcake, but…

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Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events, Food, Japan

2014 General Election in Japan

It’s now just after midnight, which means it’s December 14th.  And that means it’s time for the Japanese General Election!  I made a quick video about the election.  Check it out.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Politics, Vlog

It Can’t Be Halloween Yet, Can it?

It’s early September, and what do I see?  Halloween decorations.  Sounds like some businesses are very enthusiastic about Halloween to be decorating this early.  Not even out of summer yet.  Well, I made this video a couple days ago about how businesses in Japan tend to decorate for Halloween far earlier than they need to.  Keep in mind that the business I show is an opticians and they don’t have a special Halloween sale going on.

Now, this video isn’t just me talking about Halloween decorations.  You’ll want to watch to the end, because I had a rather creepy encounter.

I sure didn’t expect that.


Filed under Asahi-ku, Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Yokohama

Isuzu Fujisawa Festival 2014

Two weeks ago, on August 1st, my family went to the 36th annual Isuzu Fujisawa Festival at the Isuzu truck factory in Fujisawa.  Since it was only 20 minutes away from us on foot, it was a pretty easy decision to go to it.

The festival featured a lot of food, taiko drums, singing, festival games, mikoshi (portable shrine), and fireworks.  As you’ll see later in the video below, we didn’t stay for the fireworks, but we did see some.  The video features mostly the taiko performance, which is nice to watch.  The girl dancing to the taiko music is my daughter.  It was her first time seeing anything like this, and she really loved it.

If you’ve watched the video already, you’ll notice that we had a thunderstorm.  It was actually quite intense with a lot of lightning.  But I love a good thunderstorm.


Filed under Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

Carp Flags at Shirahata Shrine

Yesterday was Kodomo no Hi (子供の日) or Children’s Day in Japan.  It’s a holiday that celebrates children and their happiness.  During this holiday, people string up carp flags/streamers, or koi nobori.  Basically, they’re a kind of wind sock.  I visited Shirahata Shrine (白幡神社) in Fujisawa, near Fujisawa-honmachi Station, and was treated to a large number of very big koi nobori.  Have a look.


The shrine gate.


Those are some big streamers.


Caught in the wind.


White wisteria.


Looking up.


Going up to the main hall.


The main hall with glare from the sun.


Koi nobori from the main hall.

I hope all the children will be strong this year.


Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Shrines