Your parents probably warned you against playing with your food. However, there are some times when Japanese custom allows for this, most notably at Summer Festivals. Nagashi Somen is one of those times. Usually Nagashi Somen requires some pretty involved equipment. But now Takara Tomy, the Japanese toymaker, has released the home version of this game.
Hijabi-Lolita started as a way to honor one’s identity as a Muslim woman, but also participate in Lolita fashion. Hijabi-Lolita actually started among Muslim girls in Britain, Canada and the US. It has spread to other countries with Muslim minorities, and then to predominantly Muslim countries. Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in particular have picked up the Hijabi-Lolita look, and Anime/Manga conventions in those countries have Lolita fashion shows and high teas as part of the events there.
This is the story of two teenage kids (isn’t it always?) separated by distance and by one of them living in the Tokyo megalopolis and one of them living out in a remote, rural part of Japan. Mitsuha is a girl from a family who has tended a Shinto shrine for hundreds of years. Mitsuha doesn’t like being trapped into a life she doesn’t entirely believe in either. One day she wishes upon a star that she would be reborn -- and soon -- as a boy in Tokyo.
Kaiten-zushi, also known as conveyor belt sushi, is a popular inexpensive date night in Japan. And it's not really that unusual to see them in big cities in the US too. There have been places serving these inexpensive little bites of sushi in Los Angeles, anyway, since the 1970s. However, just as there are rules for eating sushi, there are specific rules for eating at a kaiten-sushi establishment. These rules come from a Japanese site, but are pretty much universal. Your date is watching, and judging, you on your form. Commit these to memory.
Today is White Day, March 14, the day that Japanese women (and women from other parts of Asia) get gifts of chocolate (originally marshmallows, then white chocolate, hence the White Day name) and other cool stuff from their significant other. This is a reciprocal gift based on gifts given a month before on Sei Baruntain, or Valentine's Day.
How do the Japanese prep for a Hanami? Firstly, they check websites that give predictions about when the cherry blossom bloom. A good one is maintained by JR, the Japan Railway. Then you contact your friends and colleagues and see who's up for a picnic. Then you go to your local 100 yen store -- think Daiso -- and get your stuff. The Japanese concept of mottenai applies here...why waste money when you're going to have to throw stuff away/recycle stuff anyway?
It looks like the new animation superstar, following on the on again/off again/on again/and once again maybe off again retirement of Hayao Miyazaki is Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai's phenomenal success with Kimi no na wa 君の名は, known better in English as Your Name, has been made complete.