HANKYU NEWSLETTER VOL.176
1: YAMAGATA NIGHT & EARLY TIME ECONOMY
Thank you very much for your kind attendance on our YAMAGATA ONLINE WORKSHOP held on Mar. 17. More than 80 kindly attended to it and could learn unique and original programs of there. We hope that your tour could include even some of them in order to make your tour something special. Also, as informed by our previous e-mail magazines, avoiding major destinations and peak seasons would be important in the near future for Japan bound.
We expect that tons of foreign travelers are now willing to visit such major cities in peak season right after Japan opens its airports and ports, maybe after Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. It means that travelers might not be able to enjoy Japan in such crowded atmosphere, and tour fare must be quite expensive. Yamagata should be such a place which has different peak seasons at reasonable prices. For further details of the workshop, such as movies, flyer, & so on, please kindly ask your person in charge.
2: TRADITIONAL EXPERIENCES - TEA CEREMONY, CALLIGRAPHY, & TAIKO -
As informed by our previous e-mail magazine, we would like to introduce authentic Japanese traditional experiences by a movie. Today, enjoy the movie of an experience of calligraphy. That could be one of the attractions on your tour program, especially on an incentive tour or even on a leisure tour. Please click the following URL. And then, please feel a part of Japanese calligraphy !! You do not have to be so nervous like Mike-san, one of our staffs on the movie. For a real world of the calligraphy, why don’t' have an experience with our tour guide when you visit Japan in the near future!!
3: DIARY BY URUGUAYAN STAFF
As cherry blossoms, a national flower of Japan, begin to bloom, "Ohanami" scenes are seen in various parks. People come together and drink tea, alcohol, eat together and enjoy themselves under these beautiful flowers. There are numerous kinds of "Hana (flowers)", but "cherry blossoms" are a must for Japanese Hanami. In addition, "cherry blossom" can be a synonym for "spring" in Japan.
Hanami is said to have two possible origins, one is a religious event. Farmers in the past predicted what the crops would be like and decided when to plant the seeds based on how the cherry trees had blossomed each year.
The second possible origin is a flower-watching party where people gathered and had fun eating and drinking, much like the Hanami parties that are celebrated today. This type of Hanami began between the nobility and the history of such events is mentioned frequently in Japanese literature.
During Hanami season, we often see Sakuramochi and Ohanami Dango on sale. It is said that when Hideyoshi Toyotomi hosted a large-scale Hanami, he provided everyone with sweets. This began the customs of eating sweets during Hanami.
Sakuramochi is made with baked flour wrapped around a rice cake, like a crepe. It is wrapped with cherry blossom leaves soaked in salt. A pink, white, and green Dango on a stick is called Ohanami Dango. There are many theories as to why these colors were chosen. One that pink and white are said to bring good luck, and green is known to repel evil.
Unfortunately, this year the vast majority of “Ohanami” events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19. We hope that next year the COVID-19 situation will stabilize, and the “Ohanami” can be carried out with foreign tourists. We will be waiting for you!!! You might be recommended to set your tours' dates in March. As you might have known, cherry blossoms' season is getting earlier and earlier by the global warming.