“Golden Week” is a series of 4 holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May. Originally, it was a series of holidays with some intervening workdays, so we had called it Tobi-Ishi Renkyu (飛び石連休).
April 29 – Showa Emperor’s Birthday (Showa no hi昭和の日)
May 3 – Constitution Memorial Day（Kenpo kinen bi憲法記念日）
May 4 – Greenery Day（Midori no hiみどりの日）
May 5 – Children’s Day（Kodomo no hiこどもの日）
In general, Japanese people spend this vacation traveling abroad or going shopping. But in this year, it seems that most of people stay at home doing nothing. According to the questionnaire of a travel agency (Biglobe),
40 % take a rest at home
30 % travel
24 % go shopping
and only 10 % take the longest holidays about for 9 days.
In fact, Japanese people don’t want to take a very long vacation. Furthermore, some of them say they don’t need holidays. The average of Golden week in this year, it will be 4.6 days.
On the other hand, people who take Golden week, become mental sick, called “Gogatsu-byo (五月病)”, which is a kind of depression. Most of them start new life style in April, so that they cannot get used this change, then they feel tired mentally. Generally speaking, Japanese people are responsible, serious and they often try to do something perfectly. However, this type’s people cannot control themselves well so that after Golden Week, they won’t go to work. It’s better to be stress-free and be flexible to enjoy holidays.
Have you ever heard this word ? It means young women who love watching grand Sumo tournament. Why do we call them like that ? Because in generally we think Sumo is dislike by them; the wrestlers are so fat and they fight almost naked. The game rule is very simple, but it is complicated about ranks : Yokozuna ( 横綱 ), Ozeki ( 大関 ), Sekiwake ( 関脇 ), Komusubi ( 小結 ) and Maegashira ( 前頭 )…
However, this sport has a very long history, and the games are so powerful ! Once you watch a live game, you can not help being interested in the Sumo world.
Now, I tell you some about its history.
We can find a description of Sumo for the first time in Nihonshoki ( 日本書紀 ) in 8th century. Until 16th century, the games had been showed for successive emperors. And then, in the Edo period ( 17th century ), this sport was held to ordinary people. When Ryogkoku stadium ( 両国国技館 ) was opened in 1909, each tournament was held for 10 days, but since 1939 it became for 15 days, also tournaments are performed 6 times a year since 1958.
Do you know any expressions about Sumo used also in our daily life ?
For example, “Jo-no-kuchi ( 序の口 ) ” which means the lowest division on the official listing of rank. In our daly life, we say this word as meaning “ the beginning of things ”. So you can say, “ This is the just begging ” in Japanese, “こんなの序の口だよ ( Konnano-jonokuchi-dayo ).”
In 2011, the Sumo society gave involved in a gambling scandal and it hanged low for several years. So that now, all of wrestlers and the association work very hard. That is why Sumo became very popular in these days with all of people. Please enjoy watching the sumo games !
Spring has come!
Japan is famous for Sakura(cherry blossom) and Mt. Fuji. As you know the best season for Sakura is spring!
I would like introduce some good spots for Sakura!
The first place I would like to introduce is Chidori-ga-fuchi. It takes about 3 minutes by foot from Kudansita station and has about 700m’s roads around Kokyo that is the Imperial palace to see Sakura. About 260 Someiyoshino and other kinds of sakura bloom along along the river, and the view is absolutely fantastic! You can see the view in many ways like on a bridge, on a boat, on a pedestrain overpass and so on. You will be overwhelmed!
Next, this is my favorite place Yanaka cemetery. It takes 6 minutes from Nippori station. There are about 150 sakura’s tree in the main street and it looks like a tunnel! Would you like to go for a walk here on a clear day? I’m sure you are going to feel so good!
Many famouse people like the last Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, Ichiro Hatoyama who was a former prime minister, Eiichi Shibusawa who was an industrialist known as the “father of Japanese capitalism” and others were laid to rest in Yanaka cemetery. If you are intrigued in Japanese history, I highly recommed you visit here!
Next place I’d like to introduce is Ueno park. Ueno park is so close to Ueno station and it is a huge park in Tokyo. It has been known as a sanctuary of seeing Sakura since Edo period and about 800 Sakura trees are lit by 800 paper lamps in the evening. There are a lot of art museums and science museums in Ueno so if you want to see these things Ueno is the best spot in Tokyo.
Tokyo has many other places to see Sakura besides these three spots, so if you are intrersted in it please try to find your favorite one!