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Please note: This is a machine translated version. The original article is in German and can be accessed .

Novum: Imperial Palace is open. However…

December 18th, 2013 | Tagged , | 5 Comments | 6117 reads

Nijūbashi - Die Doppelbrücke - einer der Eingänge zum Kaiserpalast

Nijūbashi – The double bridge – one of the entrances to the Imperial Palace

… there are a lot of fine print to. The 宫内 庁 kunaichō – Imperial Household Agency announced today, that on the occasion of 80. Birthday of the Emperor in the next year, some areas of the Imperial Palace to the public should be made available. Such a thing has never been more – it is a sensation. Finally, there is a always been heavily protected area in the midst of one of the largest cities in the world. At the 24. and 25. May and on a Saturday and a Sunday in early October 2014 it is three groups on the day be possible, otherwise be allowed to enter inaccessible areas in groups. Maximum 50 People should be able to belong to a group. So that makes 50 times 3 times 4 Days = 600 Visitor. And to be selected by lot. If I do not sleep through it, I will also take care of a lot, for the opportunity I will not miss me.

By members of the imperial family, Except members of the said imperial Hofamtes and high-ranking diplomats and dignitaries, no one is allowed to enter the facility. Only a very small area is open to the public – and then only twice a year, at the 23. December (Imperial birthday) and at 2. January for New Year's speech.
Of course, not all areas will be made publicly – but the splendid lobby 正殿 松 の 間 Seiden Matsu no Ma and the halls 豊明殿 Hōmeiden and 長和殿 Chōwaden to be visible. The most important sanctuaries 皇 霊 殿 Kōreiden (Ancestral hall), 神殿 Shinden (Gods Hall) and 贤 所 Kashiko-dokoro (Place of reverence) will as always remain ever closed.

More about Palace opening there here in English and because in Japanese.


753 Reloaded

November 18th, 2013 | Tagged , , | 8 Comments | 8214 reads

In Japan, there were times times, where great distress prevailed and it was not self-evident, that children more than the first two, see three Lenze. This is thankfully nowadays different, but against this backdrop, a tradition has saved up to the present day: Das 七五三 shichigosan (7-5-3) – a ritual, which is committed, when boys 5 Be years old or the girl 3, and then later again 7 Years old. So at least the rule of thumb, because that can vary by region. In some regions and families according to the boys make the ritual three times by.

Since it all is an enjoyable thing in all, this is normally handled in a Shinto shrine and not in a Buddhist temple. This is about as: One speaks in front of the Shrine (or just call), if it is November and soon reached the appropriate age children – will reach or in the near future. The priest takes the “Reservation” contrary to, and says, what to bring. Very important: A small mite, as “o-kimochi”, also als Geste. In the case of our tribe shrine are the, what a nice coincidence, 10,000 Yen, Also key 80 Euro. Pro Child wohlgemerkt. And yesterday we had those two, the “due” were. For the ceremony, the children are packed pretty generally – in kimono or dress or suit, according as, which prefer the parents or grandparents. Now that is the kimono of course, such a thing: If you want a beautiful kimono, costs of several thousand euros, and since the little ones are grown out in zero-comma-nothing (and lacking other occasions, to wear the kimono – on the playground, it would certainly cause a mild irritation), you should consider the matter well. One can for example borrow a kimono, and also costs most of the 10,000 Yen. With us on Sunday so it was as far as, and we were lucky: 18 Degree, Sun – perfect weather. Dazu quengelige, but posh dressed children, which can be reluctant to take pictures. 30 Minutes later, the thing was over, and when I think, that this is the last 753 was for my daughter, I'm almost a little sentimental. A fortiori, if I Photo by me 753 before 4 Look at years – see below.

More over I would like to 7-5-3 not leave now, because I did four years ago in this article done.

753 vor 4 Jahren...

753 before 4 Years…



... und 2013, dieses Mal mit Verstärkung

… and 2013, this time with reinforcement


Kappabashi – the kitchen paradise

January 28th, 2013 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 1047 reads

Südlicher Eingang zur Kappabashi-Passage

Southern entrance to Kappabashi Passage

The beauty of Tokyo is, that the specialization of individual districts on specific services or products is still strong. Previously, there was also in the German cities – but usually only announce them the place names, whereupon the district specialized.

The best known example is probably in Japan Akihabara. After the Second World War here growled the black market, where everything somehow need- or. actionable sold. This was a collection of shops, the electrics- and electronic components and products for sale. But there are many more:

・Suidōbashi (between Iidabashi and Ochanomizu) is specialized in printing and publishing products
· Jimbocho (north of the Imperial Palace) specializes in bookstores
· Asakusadōri (Ueno, Inaricho) on Butsudan (Home altars) specialized
· Tsukiji specializes in fish shops
· Shinjuku 2chōme is on… We let the

There would also Kappabashi between Ueno and Tokyo Sky Tree: Here it specializes in all, what is in the kitchen and gastronomy needs. Of Stäbchenablageteilchen (Hashioki) up to giant pots, in the loose one, two children can fit, there is everything, but really to buy anything. This includes of course also stores, specializing for example in Japanese or Japanese ceramic knives. Other stores specialize in everything, what you need as a coffee lover so – For example, who wants to roast his own coffee, find just the right thing.


Knife Shop

Voted, for tourists, are the shops of ユニオン Union – there are excellent knives and 田 窑 Dengama – a shop for pottery from different regions of Japan, To most reasonable prices, and みくら Mikura, a shop, the experts only on chopsticks. Union is located on a street corner in about the middle of the mall-Kappabashi, Dengama at the southern end (compared to the department store with the giant cooking on the roof) Mikura and at the northern end of Kappabashi.

A visit to Kappabashi can however be equated with Ikea: You will definitely buy something – even if you do not know until then, that you really need it. As long as you do not repent later…



August 24th, 2012 | Tagged , | 7 Comments | 714 reads

The Kyūshū-To be continued later. Today a few lines to a modern, but very important tradition in Japan. From current cause. Because today hosted the finals of the high school baseball championships in Japan. I write deliberately High School, because the Japanese senior high school with similar or only a very limited, translate in German business language can.

This final will has always been (more precisely since 1915) in a baseball stadium 甲子 园 Koshien instead of. That in turn is a district of 西宫 Nishinomiya, located between Kobe and Osaka. And the name is still in Japan for the most popular sport in the country (although football in recent years seems to catch up) and – for dreams. Baseball is very popular as a school sport, and who makes it to Koshien, is already in hero. Who wins there with his team, is the generic hero – and for some players, the finals there also opens the door to professional baseball. No wonder, take part in the competition for more than 4’000 Schools nationwide participate. And one has to say: The atmosphere in the stadium is huge – It is drummed, sung, made, done. If we know anything about football, even louder and more organized.

Now, it is interesting, the mood or to see. to hear (I once passed the stadium, there as a semi-final took place). It is also fairly interesting, the summary of the game on television. However: Even after all these years in the baseball nation of Japan I can not personally get at the Sports. And I firmly still, the only reason why fans make so much mood, because there is nothing else to do during the game. The rules of baseball is, now so, initially hard to digest. The focus: A thrower, a guy with a baseball bat and a catcher. Litter. Not taken. Captured. Litter. Not taken, captured… Gääääähn. OUT! Next Pfriemel. Litter. Oh, made! Ball flies. Suddenly it looks like on the field like a beehive. Etc.. There is no time limit – this can go on forever.

But good – one can safely describe as a baseball and football in this way. And in baseball, there are – normally – a winner, in football, however, often do not. And so I will Koshien Baseball and remain a mystery. The finalists this year were a high school in Osaka (also Lokalmatadoren) and one high school from Aomori in the north. Ōsaka gewann 3:0. Maximum ball speed of the best thrower: 153 km / h. Thrown by hand, mind you!

Below is a video montage from Koshien 2011, the meaning and the feelings summarizes quite well:


2012 – a nightmare when it comes to holidays

November 24th, 2011 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 1208 reads

The constellation, in the 2012 plays on Japanese workers, thank God there are only about every 30 Years. Unfortunately, there is next year so far. And then again only in 2040.

The Japanese holidays – There are two different types. The traditional holidays such as New Year's, as well as “artificial” Holidays such as the Day of the Sea, for example,. The latter are often not accurate to date, but a system such as “the third Monday in September”. Fortunately, we introduced in Japan several years ago but a clever scheme: If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday a public holiday. If the day falls on a Saturday, however,, one simply has bad luck. And as this 2012 four times the case is, you have to do it with just a bad year.

An overview of the holidays 2012 – gray stands for Holidays, the 2012 fall on a weekend:

1. January New Year's Day (gantan) New Year Sunday
2. January Substitute holiday (furikae kyūjitsu) Substitute holiday Monday
9. January Coming-of-Age Day (Seijin no hi) Day of adult Always on 2. Monday in January
11. February The date of the founding remember の (Kenkoku Kinen no hi) National Foundation Day Saturday
20. March Vernal Equinox の (shunbun no hi) Spring Day- and equinox Tuesday
29. April Showa Day (Shōwa no hi) Showa-Tag (prior Emperor) Sunday
30. April Substitute holiday (furikae kyūjitsu) Substitute holiday Monday
3. More Constitution Day (kempo kinenbi) Constitution Day Thursday
4. More Greenery Day (midori no hi) Greenery Day Friday
5. More Children's Day (kodomo no hi) Children's Day Saturday
16. July Marine Day (umi no hi) Day of the Sea Always on 3. Monday in July
17. September The respect for the elderly の (keirō no hi) Day of respect for old people Always on 3. Montag im September
22. September Autumnal Equinox の (shūbun no hi) Autumn Day- and equinox Saturday
8. October Sports の (taiiku no hi) Sports Day Always on 2. Monday in October
3. November The culture の (Bunka no hi) Day of culture Saturday
23. November Labor Thanksgiving Day (rōdō kansha no hi) Day of thanksgiving for the work Friday
23. December Emperor's Birthday (Tenno tanjōbi) Tennō Birthday Sunday
24. December Substitute holiday (furikae kyūjitsu) Substitute holiday Monday

In memory: And, There are many, some of them quite strange Holidays in Japan. The government wanted to force some years ago, that workers, because they have no right to take vacation or get, occasionally can rest. The sad fact is, still propagated that many companies simply ignore Holidays.


Sommer II: Losglücklos and Dance of Death

August 10th, 2011 | Tagged , | 3 Comments | 759 reads

Summer-Jumbo: Sommer-Sonderziehung

Summer-Jumbo: Summer Special Drawing

Since I've recently written about the summer already here, But I can make out of it like a small series. Part 1 was here. You get used to so over the years on all sorts of things. Christmas, for example,. Like it or not. I've made a habit, in the summer to do something, what I normally never: Get into the massive gambling. Every summer there is the Jumbo Summer サマー ジャンボ 宝くじ Takarakuji (Lottery)-Special Drawing, there is to win a whopping 亿 円 – ichi oku en, i.e. 100 Millionen Yen (about 800,000 Euro). A ticket costs 300 Yen, and how I dress every summer for Losbode front of the station and buy a few lots, Most 连番 (renban – consecutive numbers), because if I バラ (only, non-contiguous lots) buy, I would have to synchronize so many different numbers. Like every year I gain here 300 Yen – for a single final number always wins 300 Yen, was also bei 10 consecutive ones is very difficult to miss. Toll, 10% Discount! Like every year I get myself but this 300 Yen is not even from…

Stage of the local Bon-Odori

Summer – This is also the time of Bon-Odori 盆踊り (see Wikipedia: Obon) – Fixed, where the souls of the dead may not be saved if at least something to be amused. The background is really serious, but have now become temporarily Obon Festivals, where dancing is relaxed and celebrated. The Bon-Odori I mean not so much the huge celebrations, most notably the Awa-odori in Tokushima, but all the small parties in the neighborhood, often cooped up in a small backyard or a mini park-like area, with a stage along with drummers and dancers in the middle and all sorts of amusements and Freßbuden around for children. The beautiful little at these festivals is, that you know and meet many people at once, which can be seen otherwise only sporadically and individually. For children, the whole thing is very nice – not quite as spectacular as a hype, but still.

For years, I have the impression, that it lacks young drummer in our neighborhood. In order to explain: These small parties are often schlager like popular songs played by band; to someone drumming on a large Japanese drum, while all around in kimono dancers dancing slowly in front of him. Rule of thumb: The smaller the neighborhood, the older the dancers. By this I mean really old old… I can only visitors to Japan, is brave, In mid-August to go to Japan, recommend, Bon Odori festivals small search. In my travels across the country many times before I moved it to such parties, and there you can get on very well with people talking and just enjoying the summer. Together with Yakisoba and cold draft beer.

Would appreciate to the point, If someone other small, but fine-Bon Odori can recommend.


Okuizome – The first meal

May 29th, 2011 | Tagged , , | 4 Comments | 1483 reads

Many rituals and customs revolve around children in Japan. One of these is the so-called お 食い初め Okuizome – the “Beginning of the meal”, a ritual with fixed rules and
full of symbols. This ritual is done either on 100., 110. or 120. Day after the birth of the child. As luck would have it, fit it with us: Today was the 110. Day. Na dann! As for the little ones 110 Meet “out” rarely actually eat something, This ritual has more character symbol: Carry this and that but for the child's mouth, But you can not eat the stuff. As with the New Year's dinner The menu is, apart from minor regional differences, as well as fixed, and each dish has its own meaning.
The food consists of 一 汁 三 菜 Ichijū Sansai – a soup and three side dishes, The traditional composition of a meal for happy occasions. In every case to:

1. 赤 饭 Sekihan (= Red Rice), mandatory in Japan happy occasions (Sekihan is sticky rice with red beans. Red and white are for luck / Celebrations),
2. 吸い物 Suimono (sui = saugen, mono = Sache, to German: a [mostly thin] Soup)
3. Pickles (Ko-no-money, kō = smell, mono = Sache) – pickles
4. (尾頭付き) 鱼 fish – namely, a whole, from head to tail. In general, one assumes 鲷 tai – Meerbrassen.

Even a rock is one of them – must be fetched from the local shrine and then brought back to. The stone is supposed to express the desire, that the child is over
his life has always healthy teeth (The tradition is well over 1000 Years old – Even then they obviously feared dentists). Instead of a stone is
but especially in the western and southern part of Japan also like Tako (Octopus) taken, Finally, requiring a lot of bite force. The soup is enough for (Suction)by virtue of, see meaning.
Even the crockery is predetermined in this tradition: Boy is the food served on a black lacquer tray with red interior; Girls on the other hand, a solid red lacquer tray. Of these, the child is eating the 3 年长 (3 nenchō – The three oldest participants in the ceremony) administered.

The time course for Okuizome is chosen wisely: Around 100 Days after the birth of the first teeth start to grow, and the child begins to be other than just food to breast milk or milk substitute used to (in Japanese 离 乳 食 rinyūshoku – “move away – Milk – Food” called).

Photo das vom Tai (Meerbrasse) I could not help me here unfortunately: The tooth bar just looked too impressive. Roasted sea bream also appeared in many Japanese films on – because that's really the most popular, symbolic fish for ceremonial occasions.


Japanese etiquette – a mistake and its consequences

April 5th, 2010 | Tagged , | 8 Comments | 790 reads

This weekend, I experienced an example of etiquette, as it could not be better described. It all started with a farewell party for a colleague, had left the company last week. He was a few years while, has done an excellent job and we were therefore owed him a farewell party.

So it went Friday night to a slightly better izakaya (Japanese pub restaurant). At the entrance there are two large closets with hangers. So jacket, up to the bar and finished. When the ceremony was to end, it went to the closet – go there a lot, but no leather jacket. Jackets only. Nanu? Three times sought, again looked out of place – no, definitely not as. A young employee passes, asks, was los ist, because all around me is a bunch of people – my colleagues sympathetic. I declare, what happened – and he acknowledged that with “The closet is really only for large groups by reservation”. I tell him – friendly – that it was irrelevant: If that is so, you should put a sign. Furthermore, it does not change the, that one in Japan but quite striking leather jacket is gone.

Intermediary being, is also the head of the shop appeared, and who is more experienced in matters of etiquette. He pulls his colleagues aside and correct me immediately: And, there would have to really be a sign. He offers me, immediately 干事 (kanji) to call. If people arrange to meet in Japan to any festivity, is always someone to kanji determined – who has the task, to ensure, that everything is all right, each finds its way, the invoice is paid, etc.. usf.
His group was large: 35 People, also corporate event. So, the kanji called – One of the calls then for the other.

Now, I was less important at the moment the jacket – was the important keys in his jacket. I tell the owner, I'll be half an hour in the area and then look over again. I give him e-mail address and telephone number. 30 Minutes later: The kanji has a hot lead: The jacket was a subordinate of another subordinate suspicious. The latter is no longer available but. Since I do not live alone, So I'm on the way home – no jacket.
On weekends you an email and a phone call from the owner: He goes on Sunday to pick up the jacket. I tell him, that it was time to Monday – Perhaps he might even then have to send the jacket too (I really felt sorry for the owner).

Sunday night another email – He takes the jacket the next day in my company (I left him my card). The key is also there. Tonight, then showdown at the company: The owner is, with jacket. And two pockets: In one: A (pretty expensive) Japanese Sweets. In the other: Fairly expensive cheese cake (as. 20 Euro). The former: From him. The latter of the thief Jack. Add to that a dozen excuses (and a dozen excuses and reassurances from me). Japanese etiquette just… the female employees in my company was pleased at any rate on the two pockets.

The Word of the Day: Apology owabi – the apology. There are some forms of apology in Japan – “owabi” is one of the higher forms (So if you look at – at least formally – “really” excused, So really takes responsibility).

As someone his suit jacket with a black, smooth, at least 5 times heavier leather jacket confused, I do however still propagated a mystery. I would be interested, when he had noticed it and what his wife (if present) had said to…


New Year

January 1st, 2010 | Tagged , , | 11 Comments | 968 reads

The new year has begun so – while in Central Europe have indulged in coffee and cake, It was already midnight in Japan and the Japanese New Year's Eve reached its climax: We left it at the temples but considerable cold in a big bang and haute a few times on the bell. It only occurred to me before on a blogger colleague, because of the “New Year's Eve” said. I'm not sure, whether the last night of the year really has to do with Sylvester the pussycat. Probably not, So I prefer to stay at “i”.

At the suggestion of my wife, I've done this year once the, I've never made New Year's Eve in Japan: I went to a New Year's Eve Party – in Roppongi. That was amazingly lame and not worth talking about – Next year I will certainly prefer, midnight at home “Year-crossing noodles – otoshikoshi stoves” to sip (A Japanese noodle variant). Many Japanese (or even more: Japan Visitor!?) yes pull it before, to go at midnight to a temple or shrine, but since you have to be a fan probably. I did this once – it was full, loud and cold. There was neither contemplative nor a party, and personally I am thirsty for either one or the other after, but not under the “Feel-like-on-weekdays-early-morning-with-the-go U-Bahn – However, at temperatures around the freezing point”. But that is a matter of opinion.

The morning and afternoon of 1. January was quickly altbekanntem scheme over: Morning worship at the shrine with family (takes 15 Seconds), then pull the yearly horoscope (this year: 大吉 Daikichi = very lucky, the best, what's, drawn) and go home to おせち 料理 (Osechi) eat – This is a collection of many small treats, made with great skill and craftsmanship. Beans are always there, and fish, Rogen usw. All components have a special meaning, I, however, each year to forget. This year saw the matter as of:

Highslide JSHighslide JSHighslide JS

Click to enlarge

There are of course special Sake and Sake normal and what else you want to drink so. Normally Osechi so be prepared, that the New Year holidays (1 to 3. January) nothing needs to prepare – ie, There is this food for three days. But, today, hold the bore itself not many Japanese from. Osechi is definitely a matter of taste – I thought it was initially used to, being, but meanwhile I have to angefreudet. The predominant flavors are sweet and sour way. Sharp and salty is generally missing.

On the way to the shrine I found this today on Home:

All kinds of idols

That must be about as expired: “Treasure, with which we decorate the house at the end?” – “Look in the basement after! If there is at least one meter long and made of plastic, add it just before the door!”. In the photo is only a fraction of visible – It was all there: Shinto jewelry items for New Year, dozens of plastic Santas on antennas and transformer boxes, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Michelin Man, the Magi on a giant camel sculpture, etc.. usf. The whole place was festooned with fairy lights also – at night, the whole is certainly not without.

Lastly, as always, our self-made 年 贺 状 (New Year Card) this year – I apologize for, I do not put high-resolution version on the net. As mentioned in an earlier post already, is 2010 Year of the Tiger:

New Year Greetings from Japan

The Word of the Day: Yin-year (tora-doshi). Torah is the Tiger (Most 虎, but in the zodiac sign written 寅), -doshi the year. Tiger years 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950 usw.


Oktoberfest (!)

June 1st, 2009 | Tagged , | 7 Comments | 1072 reads

And, read correctly – Oktoberfest. That was last week in Hibiya Park (between Ginza and the government district, It could not be centrally) instead of. Four years ago I was once there, and it was quite amusing.
Oktoberfest here means a small marquee (I guess times to about. 150 People, to fit in there) and many wooden tables and benches outside. A few cars of Paulaner, HB usw. The beer and food for sale. And a chapel, the blasmusiziert now and then to himself. Most guests (it is usually pretty full) Japanese are naturally; otherwise you can meet the many Americans, Australians and a handful of German. As an example, so to speak at the Munich. It would be nice, when prices were also in Munich: A liter of beer costs beaten 3,000 Yen (as. 24 Euro) and a blow to the sausages 700 Yen (5.5 Euro).

Oktoberfest in Tokyo
Next time in October, please: Fallen into water Oktoberfest in May, Tokyo
The weather was unfortunately a big spanner in the works – There was a mix of rain and shallow turns a minute 10 Minutes of heavy rain. Well, It would be a good idea, to make the Oktoberfest will be held, If it normally takes place: In October. As in Tokyo, namely there's finest beer garden weather.
I am the Saupreiß, of course, left me cold and yeast pretzels – I opted for Bitburger and Currywurst.

Here are the Link the official page – Oktoberfest takes place afterwards also in Yokohama, Sendai, Fukuoka usw. instead of.

The Word of the Day: Heavy rain gou. magnificent rain-. To German: Heavy rain.


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