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Shichi-Go-San (“7 – 5 – 3”): Celebrating little kids becoming big kids

Starting to see lots of beaming children clad in colorful kimono (girls) or hakama (boys), often clutching sticks of red and white candy, wandering around shrines and temples? Is it late October to mid-November? If so, then it must be  “Shichi-Go-San” – a very special time for children and parents in Japan. “Shichi-Go-San” may seem like a coming-of-age ceremony, and …

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What’s wrong with this picture?

For the average resident of Tokyo, they are invisible – seen so often that they become visual white noise, scrubbed from the conscious mind, but noted if absent.  For the visitor, their presence is ubiquitous, inescapeable and everywhere, marring any scene and impossible to ignore. They are of course the electric power lines skeining their way among and between buildings, …

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Neighborhood Watch – Tokyo style

 Out and about the other day scouting a new route and new sights for a new tour, I came across the following sign in one of the back streets of the Nezu-Sendagi-Yanaka area:  Signs like this are not uncommon, especially in the shita-machi (low city) parts of Tokyo, but they are usually more circumspect in the wording – most tend …

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