Otaue Shinto Rice Planting Ceremony at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine Celebrates Life and Farming

Along with the heat of summer and rainy season, shrines all over Japan host rice-planting ceremonies to pray for a plentiful harvest. Called the Otaue Shinto Service, since ancient times, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Grand Shrine here south of Osaka hosts the largest ceremony in the nation and has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk … Continue reading Otaue Shinto Rice Planting Ceremony at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine Celebrates Life and Farming

Dine on the River and Catch Noodles in Kibune, Japan

While the summer heats up in Japan, one place to cool off is the mountainous town of Kibune on the outskirts of Northern Kyoto. Kawadoko, dining on traditional Japanese food served while sitting over the floor of the Kibune River, is something not short of spectacular. On a recent trip with Community House and Information … Continue reading Dine on the River and Catch Noodles in Kibune, Japan

Wandering and Wisteria Hunting in Uji, Kyoto

As a Florida Master Gardener I obsess over flowers. Our 35th floor Osaka apartment has been wonderful, but everything green I've tried to grow has inexplicably died. So I'm out and about all the time anyways hunting Japan's seasonal flower cycles, like Sakura, cherry blossoms, that passed in April. Roses and peonies are now blooming insanely … Continue reading Wandering and Wisteria Hunting in Uji, Kyoto