Otsukimi or Momijigari? Autumn events you can enjoy in Japan - Waku Waku

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Otsukimi or Momijigari? Autumn events you can enjoy in Japan

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Otsukimi or Momijigari? Autumn events you can enjoy in Japan

Do you want to know what kind of events there are during comfortable autumn season? Let us introduce to you some memorable events!

Waku Waku

Waku Waku

Published on 28 Sep 2020, 16:28

Otsukimi

Decoration of Dango and Japanese pampas grasses for Otsukimi
Decoration of Dango and Japanese pampas grasses for Otsukimi

"Otsukimi" means "moon viewing" in Japanese. It is an autumn event to enjoy the full moon on 15th August of the old lunar calendar.

Nowadays, around from mid September to early October is the time of the Otsukimi. This event was originally from China, but it has been held in Japan since the 9th century.

People offer Dango (Japanese sweet rice dumplings) to the moon and decorate with Japanese pampas grass to appreciate for the rice harvest. Japanese pampas grasses are also said that it keeps evil spirits away, and bring a year without disease or disasters.

Enjoy the moon reflected to the surface of the pond
Enjoy the moon reflected to the surface of the pond

There are various ways to enjoy moon viewing. You can directly view the moon in the sky, but also view the moon reflected on the surface of the water of lake or pond. Enjoying it reflected a glass of Sake cup can be special too.

Otsukimi is the day can watch the most beautiful moon in the year, so let's enjoy! (In 2020, 1st October is the day)

Shichigosan

Families go to the shrine together to pray for the child's healthy growth
Families go to the shrine together to pray for the child's healthy growth

"Shichigosan" is an annual event for children ages 3, 5, and 7 years, to celebrate their growth and well-being, taking place on around November 15th. Traditionally, they dress up in Japanese Kimono or Hakama, and go to the shrine with their parents to pray for the healthy growth.

About 5.000 to 10.000 yen is dedicated to the shrine, and children normally receive the candy called "Chitose ame" from the shrine. Chitose ame is a long stick shape which symbolizes health and longevity.

"Chitose" means "one thousand years"

After visiting shrines, families usually go to a photo studio to take memorial pictures. They also enjoy a meal with their relatives.

Momiji-gari

"Momiji" means "Japanese maple"

"Momiji-gari" means "maple hunting" in Japanese, it is an activity where people go to the mountains or fields to see autumn leaves, which turns the color from green to red or yellow in this season.

When the color will be changed is different from the area, but it can be around from late October to November in Japan. Many people enjoy the beauty of nature which they will be experienced only this time of the year.

Especially popular views are maples leaves turning bright-red, or yellow ginkgo shining under the blue sky. The mountains covered in orange and red color of Japanese beech trees are also beautiful.

The street with yellow ginkgo in autumn
The street with yellow ginkgo in autumn

A long time ago, Momijigari was a seasonal leisure for only aristocrats. However, it has become a popular common autumn activity since the 18th century.

Momijigari can be enjoyed not only in the mountains but also at local temples, natural parks, as well as neighborhood parks. It would be fun to take a camera and capture those beautiful sceneries.

Have you ever seen Halloween event in Tokyo, Shibuya?
Have you ever seen Halloween event in Tokyo, Shibuya?

More recently, Halloween event has been becoming popular for the young to enjoy in late October. Especially at Shibuya, Tokyo, many adults gather in their own favorite costumes in the evening of Oct 31st. They create an extremely exciting atmosphere, marching together for the whole town.

Japanese autumn season attracts many people. If there is any chance, please enjoy the autumn events in Japan. It will surely captivate you!

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