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Shūgi-bukuro, a Celebration Envelope

Shūgi-bukuro, a Celebration Envelope

Have you ever been invited to a wedding ceremony in Japan? If you have, you might have seen the guest bringing some envelopes with them. This fancy envelope called Shūgi-bukuro is widely used to celebrate a couple at wedding in Japan. Okay, so guess what you are supposed to put in this envelope. 1. – Photo of the couple 2. – Message card 3. – Money 4. – Postage stamp 5. – SIM card Too easy? Well, I know some other countries have the same or similar custom. Yes, it’s…. Moneyyyyyyyyy! 😀 The money is necessary for the couple to prepare the ceremony, special meal, and souvenir for guests. It’s […]

A Day at the Railway Museum

A Day at the Railway Museum

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a railway museum, for the very first time in my life. Although smaller in size than I previously expected, this the museum still packs a punch. It is located just 2 kilometers north of Omiya city, in Saitama prefecture; and is open everyday of the week except on Tuesdays. The museum does an impressive job in creating a timeline story of railway evolution in Japan by exhibiting an impressive array of trains; from antique coal-fired models, to diesel-engines and finally to con-current electric models. There are also trains that were used to haul members of the royal family, as well as those used […]

Togo National Day (April 27th)

Togo National Day (April 27th)

Togo Embassy in Tokyo celebrated its country’s 54th Independence Anniversary (National Day of Togo) on April 27, 2014. The celebration event was held at Takanawa Civic Center, Minato-ku Tokyo. Presentation of the country was given by the Embassy of Togo.     We made friends with Togolese and some families are wearing beautiful Togolese costumes also we met Japanese people who are big fans of the country. Mr. Jules Kankoe, the diplomats of Togo Embassy in charge of public relations presented us some culture difference between Togo and Japan.   I will tell you one of them. In Togo, they use right fingers of right hand when they eat.  According […]

Let’s carry a MIKOSHI!

Let’s carry a MIKOSHI!

Hello everyone ! Sunny days are coming back in Japan as we enter later spring, bringing with them some of the most expected Japanese popular cultural events : Matsuris (Japanese festival)! If you wish to experience and enjoy a true Japanese local festival, not as a simple viewer but taking an active part in the event, Sakura House and Hotel give you a unique chance to deepen your experience of Japan by joining the next Misaki Shrine Festival, a local matsuri held in Jimbocho. There, we offer you to fell the matsuri spirit by carrying the mikoshi along with Japanese locals. A mikoshi (神輿 or 御輿) is a divine palanquin […]

Fluorescent blue sea ?

Fluorescent blue sea ?

Konnichi wa, Let’s talk today about a curious though beautiful natural phenomenon that occurs these days on the West coast of Japan. The Toyama prefecture, on the west coast of Honshû island, is one of the few places in the world where can be found a small squid species called ホタルイカ hotaru-ika (“Firefly squid”). The firely squid are producing light thanks to a special organ called “photophore”, emitting a fluorescent blue flashes. Each squid has thousands of them, mostly located on their tentacles and around the eyes. The firely squids usually live in deep in the ocean, more than 1200 feet under the surface. However the strong waves and sea […]

Bengali New Year Celebrations @ Ikebukuro

Bengali New Year Celebrations @ Ikebukuro

The Bangladeshi community in Japan has recently celebrated a colorful event filled with songs, dances, food and fanfare. Last Sunday (20th April), the west exit of JR Ikebukuro Station experienced a land-slide of people from the subcontinent, all gathering to welcome the new Bengali Year “1421”. The origins of the Bengali calendar (or Bonbabdo) is not clear, with historians pointing either towards the rule of a Hindu King and alternatively, the Mughal emperor Babar. Officially dubbed “Pohela Boishakh” the first day of the new year is characteristically marked with enthusiasm and hope. Originally held on April 14th each year, in Tokyo celebrations were postponed until Sunday, to allow more people […]

Japanese Manners

Japanese Manners

Hey Sakura people, How you guys going? A  lot of people talk about Japan, but do you really know the basics? These might help you guys. It is customary to hold the bowl of rice in one hand (the left for right-handed people) rather than set it on the table, and to use your other hand to hold the chopsticks. When using chopsticks, do not point them at other people, wave them in the air or spear food with them like a fork. You should also never stick your chopsticks into a bowl of rice since this will make them look like sticks of       incense. If there […]

My new experience!

My new experience!

Last week I went to Osaka with my dance team for a salsa performance! As everyone knows that Osaka food is really delicious so we stopped at several restraints to try many deferent kinds of food! However those foods are ever where in Japan and even in Tokyo. So they were good but nothing really surprised me. What I was excited was where we would be staying! Capsule hotel man! I have been in Japan for over 10 years, but this was my first experience! As a foreigner I was alway wondering what inside would look like! There was a big bath tub which look like something in Onsen or […]

SUMO stable visit! 4/23(Wed) 7:00am-morning

SUMO stable visit! 4/23(Wed) 7:00am-morning

Visit “SUMO” academy & watch their morning practice, after the practice we eat “Chanko-nabe” with sumo wrestlers!! -April 23rd (Wed) -Meeting time:  : 7:00AM -Meeting place: SAKURA HOSTEL ASAKUSA -Fee: 3,000 yen per person including Lunch with Sumo Wrestlers -Limited to 18 persons *first come first served ・7:00AM Meet at the hostel and Leave for the sumo academy in Ryogoku by train & subway. ・7:40AM Start observing the practice ・10:00AM Finish the training and Question Time ・10:30AM-11:30AM Lunch with Sumo Wrestlers *If the master of Sumo academy decides not to make a lesson,we may abandon the tour or change another Sumo academy. *If you cannot be quiet or watch seriously […]

From a piece of paper to a piece of art !

From a piece of paper to a piece of art !

Konnichi wa everyone ! Today, Let’s talk about Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Like every month, our hotel Sakura Hotel Hatagaya is organizing its popular Origami Workshop on April 27th 2014 ! If you are staying at Sakura House or Sakura Hotel, and if you are interesting in trying the art, feel free to contact us ! 折り紙 Origami literally means “paper (纸) folded (折り).” In Japan, origami is such a popular craft that everyone knows at least how to do some “classics” figures such as the famous crane or the box. In fact, children learn origami from kindergarten. At the beginning, people learn simple foldings such […]