flickr Steve-kun

So, you have decided that you cannot go on loving Japanese culture as much as you do without seeing the magnificent country for yourself. You’re saving your money, you’ve made a list of places you want to go, you’re assembling the travel companions, but then suddenly you pause, because you realise that you have no idea whether you are travelling at the most suitable time. What are the crowds like at that time of year? What is the weather like? Will you be able to go to all of the great places you want to go? What festivals will you catch, and which ones will you miss?

Never fear, brave traveller! Because we at Japan Centre hear your cry for help, and are happy to present to you this handy-dandy guide to year-long travel in Japan.

 

Ahh, Summer. Don’t you just love it? The sun shines for eighteen hours a day, the warm day beckons you to emerge from your indoor caves for at least a small amount of time, and steaming cups of green tea and warm sake are quickly replaced with ice cold matcha. And of course, there are the summer festivals! In Japan, the Tanabata festival is one of the most well-known and loved of the festivals. And since, until this Saturday (12/7/2014) only, Japan Centre has some fantastic festive themed items on offer, now is the perfect time to provide a rundown of the festival’s origins and where it is most joyously celebrated.

If you ask a Japanese person what best represents summer for them, along with cicadas, summer matsuri (festivals) and yutaka,  ramune is sure to get a mention! Ramune is an incredibly iconic soft drink, but it’s not the only one. We recently added loads of cool new drinks to Japan Centre, so take a look at all the new flavours!

Calling all rock fans, this is a competition you will not want to miss. VAMPS, the Japanese rock band formed by and featuring HYDE (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust), will return to the UK for a one-off headline show on March 28th at KOKO, Camden and Japan Centre have 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs!