Many of Japan’s castles were built in the Sengoku (“Warring States”) period and Edo period. The 12 castles which remain as they were constructed are especially worth seeing.
Hanamachi are areas formed mainly around shops where you can play with geisha and maiko. They are not only in Kyoto but also scattered about the rest of the country in places like Tokyo and Kanazawa.
Hanamachi Geisha District
Japanese culture and tradition
Kai is a medium sized dog indigenous to the Yamanashi prefecture. It has been said that it has a long history of being trained as a hound dog, and they have the tendency to serve only one master. In reality, each dog is different, and some are overall people-friendly. In 1932 they received the name Kai dog and were designated as a trademark of Japan in 1934.
Nagaya is a Japanese traditional collective of housing where several independent residences are gathered in one building. Common housing such as condominiums and apartments uses a shared corridor when entering each residence, but with a Nagaya, each house has its own entry way.
Ninja served daimyo and warlords from the Kamakura period to the Edo period, and did jobs such as like intelligence, assassination, and battle, like today’s spies.
Otoshidama is money given during the New Year 's celebration. Otoshidama is often given to children from elders. Since ancient times in Japan, it was thought that in the first day of January, the spirit of the ancestor comes down from the mountain as a god and brings happiness to the houses. For that reason, and in order to express gratitude that one could be safe the whole year, a rice cake was offered to the gods and various good luck charms were decorated in front of the house as a symbol of good harvest. When the New Year was over, the offerings were taken down, and the rice cakes were divided and handed out. This is thought be the origin of Otoshidama.
Shibainu is a Japanese breed of dog, which were raised to catch rabbits and birds in mountainous areas. There are various opinions, but some believe that this dog's red and brown fur looks like a dry lawn, and therefore they were named Shibainu. In December 1951, this breed was designated as a natural monument of the country, and they are beloved pets in many families.
The Yukata is a traditional Japanese kimono worn in the summer. It originates from the yukatabira which was used by nobility in hot springs during the Heian era to prevent burns, perspiration, and to conceal the skin.
Matsuri, Festivals of Japan
“Chin” is a Japanese dog with a long history as a pet. Currently it is called the “Japanese Chin”, but it is believed that this dog's ancestors came to Japan by a migrant from China or Korea. They have a long history as being pets, and although they have individual personality's, they are very friendly to humans.
Sado, Tea Ceremonies
Kado, the Art of Flower Arrangement
Shikoku dog is a kind of Japanese dog that is found in mountains of Shikoku district. Originally named Tosa dog, now it is called Shikoku dog to distinguish it from Tosashi (Shikoku dogs that were bred to fight)
Shodo, Japanese Calligraphy