These two special events will have you delving into Japanese art in two very different ways.

Tokyo is a city full of sights and attractions, with plenty of draws for art lovers from around the world. This winter, the city is hosting two events that are sure to enchant anyone with an interest in art, design and the history of Japanese cuisine.


Girls’ Stationery Fair 2018: A World of Kawaii


Girls’ Stationery Fair 2018
Tokyo Ryutsu Center, Second Exhibition Hall, Halls E & F, Tokyo (Japanese language only)
OPEN: Friday, December 14, and Saturday, December 15, 10 am–5 pm (last entry 4 pm) Sunday, December 16, 10 pm–4 pm (last entry 3 pm)

The Delicious Art of Hokusai



Utagawa Kunisada, The Pine Trees at Atake, from the series Women in Plaid as Benkei.

Collection: Ajinomoto Foundation for Dietary Culture


Katsushika Hokusai, Monkfish

Best known for his iconic ukiyo-e print, The Great Wave, Katsushika Hokusai is one of the most famed artists in Japanese history. But there is more to Hokusai’s repertoire than this instantly recognizable image: he depicted a vast variety of subjects over his life, including lively renditions of the food culture in the Edo period.

Washoku, the traditional dietary culture of Japan, in fact has its roots during this time when Hokusai was active. Back in the Edo period, an extended peace meant agriculture and fishing made great strides, and a gourmet cuisine focusing on respecting fine ingredients and showcasing seasonal flavours was born. Through this special exhibition of the Hokusai Museum, visitors can trace the origins of Washoku food culture through the art of one of the country’s greatest masters and the work of his contemporaries. And, in collaboration with some participating cafés near the museum, visitors can even sample some authentic Edo-style cuisine. A true feast for the eyes and the stomach!

Hokusai and the Gourmet Greats of Edo

Sumida Hokusai Museum, Tokyo hokusai-museum.


OPEN: Tuesday–Sunday until January 20, 2019, 9:30 am–5:30 pm (last entry 5 pm)

SPECIAL HOURS: Open Monday onDecember 24 and January 14 • Closed December 25, December 29–January 1, and January 15


Kinosaki Onsen Nishimuraya HonkanKinosaki Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture

Rated as the “Best Onsen Town” by Lonely Planet, Kinosaki Onsen is one of the best places to experience a traditional and classic Japanese onsen. Many of the rooms look over private gardens and there are two main onsen areas (indoor and outdoor) for guests to enjoy as well as a private gallery of Japanese art, photographs and historical artifacts.

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese-style inn, and is the place to experience what Japan has to offer. Ryokan range from small, family-run inns featuring only a handful of rooms to large, hotel-like establishments with hundreds of rooms. They are popular with both Japanese and international tourists, and some ryokan offer the choice of Japanese-style or Western-style rooms. Prices for a ryokan stay are per person, per night, include dinner and breakfast, and range from ¥3,000 (about $35 CDN) for no-frills budget options to over ¥40,000 (approximately $465 CDN) for luxury choices. Average rates are ¥15,000 to ¥25,000 ($175 CDN to $290 CDN) per person, per night. While some ryokan can be found in busy urban centres, the majority of ryokan are located in more scenic rural landscapes. Ryokan are commonly found in areas where there are hot springs.

Japanese-style guest rooms feature tatami floors, sliding doors and sometimes a small porch or balcony for guests to enjoy. Most rooms accommodate between two and four people, and some ryokan do not accept guests travelling solo, especially during high season.When you rst arrive, there will often be local treats or wagashi (Japanese sweets) and tea waiting for you in your room, on a small table. You might be surprised to see that there is no bed on the tatami floor. Don’t worry—your attendant will come into your room before bedtime and lay out a futon for you to sleep on (futons are rolled up and stored away during the day to offer you more space). Most ryokan follow a similar layout, with guests arriving at a recessed (lowered) entrance hall with a common area containing chairs, couches and sometimes televisions. This entrance, or genkan, is a special area as it is the first impression a guest will have. Shoes are to be left here and slippers are provided for guests to use during their stay. Some rooms will have a sink, private bathroom, fridge and safe, though be prepared for communal washroom areas at some ryokan.


Part of an authentic ryokan experience is staying overnight and enjoying a kaiseki dinner and a traditional Japanese breakfast.

Ryokan are more than just places to stay. Enjoying traditional Japanese meals, as pictured here (Nishimuraya’s breakfast at bottom, kaiseki dinner from Nishimuraya on top), is an integral part of the ryokan experience and should not be missed. Mostryokan offer guests both dinner and breakfast that are included in the price of the stay. Kaiseki dinners are multi-course meals that showcase local and seasonal specialities and treat guests to a taste of Japanese high cuisine. While some ryokan have a common dining area where guests can enjoy their meals, it is more common for overnight guests to take their meals in their room. Many ryokan o erWestern-style meals as well for guests who prefer to have that option.

Bathing areas at most ryokan are segregated by gender, though there are some mixed-gender onsen (hot springs). Baths often rotate gender so that everybody can enjoy the various baths, so pay special attention to the signs—men’s bathing areas are marked with a blue sign, women’s areas with a red sign. Higher-end establishments sometimes offer private baths, which are perfect for couples and families who would like to bathe together. Yukata are Japanese-style robes that are provided in rooms for guests to wear as they relax in the ryokan. Check-in time is usually any time after 3 pm, and dinner is often taken between 6 pm and 7 pm. Guests typically use the onsen before or after dinner or in the morning, before breakfast. Many guests use the baths more than once a day. Reservations for most ryokan can be made online, either through large reservation sites such as, Japanese guesthouses. com or, or directly through the ryokan’s webpage. You can also make reservations through a travel agent or by calling the ryokan. It is rare to get same-day reservations, so plan your visit in advance as many ryokan are in remote areas and fill up quickly.

Ryokan Etiquette Explained

There is a lot of etiquette to follow when you are staying at a ryokan that may seem intimidating to the first-time visitor.

No shoes in the ryokan and no slippers on the tatami

All guests should remove their shoes at the recessed entrance and put on the provided slippers to wear around the ryokan. Slippers should be removed for any room with tatami floors.

Feel free to enjoy complimentary tea and refreshments

Tea and light snacks, often showcasing local specialities or artisanal confectionery, will be provided upon arrival, either in your room or in the common guest area.

No bed? No worries!

Many first-time visitors are confused when they enter their room and see no bed. Not to worry, Japanese futons that are rolled up to provide more space in your room will be laid out on the floor before bedtime.

Do not put your luggage on the tokonoma!

The tokonoma is a decorative display area in your guest room, often featuring delicate artwork. This area is purely for display and should be kept clear of belongings at all times.

¥1,000 per guest is an appropriate amount to tip your attendant. Make sure to wrap your bills in paper or use an envelope!

Tips are given at the beginning of your stay as athank-you to your attendant for the care and good attention you are about to receive. Generally, one attendant will be responsible for looking after you for the duration of your stay. The attendant’s duties include greeting you when you arrive, taking care of your shoes, preparing your futon (and rolling it away the next day), and bringing you your meals and snacks.


How to wear a Yukata

Yukata are provided in your room for you to wear during your stay. Here’s how to get comfy in your yukata:

1. Put your arms through the yukata’s sleeves (keep your underwear on, but feel free to wear nothing else).

2. First, bring the right side of the yukata over your body, and then pull the left side over the right side. Make sure to not do the opposite as that refers to burial clothes in Japan.

3. Wrap the sash around your body and tie at the front. The sash should be over the hipbone for men and around the waist for women. Make sure your yukata is not too loose.

4. For added warmth, you have the option to wear a chabaori—similar to a cardigan—on top of your yukata.

Notable Ryokan not to be Missed

Escape the busy cities and head out into the picturesque Japanese countryside for some of the most peaceful ryokan

A three-hour trip north from Tokyo on the bullet train plus a bus ride and either a long walk or a short drive by private car, one can find the Tsurunoyu Onsen, set among the majestic mountains of the Japanese countryside, near the base of Mt. Nyutou. At one point in history, this onsen was frequented by samurai and local nobility of the Akita region.

Mikawaya Ryokan Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Nestled in the hillside of Hakone Mountain, located an hour’s drive south of Tokyo and offering stunning views of the Myojingatake, Daimonji and Sengen Mountains, the 124-year-old Mikawaya Ryokan offers guests the option of indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths as well as Japanese or Western accommodations. Another reason to visit: the Mikawaya gardens are spectacular year-round.

Takaragawa Onsen Osekaku – Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma Perfecture

The large open-air bath Takaragawa Onsen is situated along the Takaragawa (meaning “river acquiring treasure”) stream, where melting snow from the mountains meets a raging river. This ryokan is ideal for a family stay, fairly easy to get to from Tokyo, and offers a peaceful visit in a beautiful location with a traditional and rustic feel.


“Citrus depressa” is anything but!

“Citrus depressa” may sound like a tropical storm that is about to hit Florida, but this term actually refers to something much tastier. It’s one of several names for a small yet potent citrus fruit that can be found in Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Known as hirami lemon in Japanese, orshiikwaasa in Okinawan dialect, or sometimes Taiwan tangerine, this fruit packs an intensely sour yet nutritious punch no matter what you call it.

Though grown in the southernmost islands of Japan, the popularity of shiikwaasa through-out the rest of Japan seems to have come from the fruit being featured on a television show nearly 20 years ago. The show focused on the numerous nutritious aspects of the fruit, likely leading many Japanese to start adding it to their diets. Like other citrus fruit, shiikwaasa is known to be full of vitamins such as vitamin C and B1, making it helpful in fighting off a cold. Research has also shown this fruit to help fight stomach cancer and even to lower blood pressure. And like many other foods that are part of the Okinawan diet, this fruit is also believed to contribute to a long and healthy life.

But what is a shiikwaasa? It’s green or yellow on the outside, yellow on the inside, and shaped like its orange-coloured citrus family relative, the tangerine. Despite the colour similarities with the lemons or limes that most of us are familiar with, shiikwaasa is much smaller and more sour than the lemons or limes that you would typically find in the grocery store. In fact, the name in Okinawan dialect literally translates to “sour food.”

When shopping for shiikwaasa, the colour can sometimes make finding this fruit a bit confusing. Young, unripe shiikwaasa are green like a lime, with a coarse skin. This is when the fruit is at its most sour, and it reaches this level of maturity between July and October. More mature shiikwaasa take on the yellow colour of lemons, and are slightly sweeter than the less ripe green version. Yellow shiikwaasa are in season between November and January. Both ripe and unripe versions of the fruit are harvested and enjoyed.

Because of the sour taste, shiikwaasa is often used to make things that would typically be sweetened like jams or juices, and its juice is often blended with other fruit juices or diluted with water to mitigate the intensely sour taste. Shiikwaasa juice can also be used to enhance the taste of grilled fish, or in salad dressing. If you’re looking to mix it up, try using shiikwaasa instead of the usual lemon or lime for a stronger punch. The fruit itself is not very juicy, but because it is so sour, just a drop or two will do!


A staple in every Japanese cook’s pantry, this highly nutritious, tasty and versatile ingredient brings a distinctive flavour to diverse dishes, from soups and stews to smoky marinades.

You may be well acquainted with miso soup, but did you know that miso has a long history? Made from fermented soybeans, miso was likely introduced to Japan around 600 AD, at the same time that Buddhism was introduced from China. While this early form of miso was made with whole soybeans, by the 1600s Buddhist monks had discovered the versatility of uses that came from grinding the beans into a paste consistency. Originally made mostly at home, today miso is produced in large quantities in factories that control for optimal mold-growing and fermentation conditions, which can last anywhere from a few days to many years, depending on the type of miso being made.

Today, miso takes the form of a fermented soybean paste most often made with koji (Aspergillus oryzae mold) and a grain such as rice, barley, wheat or rye (though seaweed can also be used in place of a grain). Making miso is generally a two- step process. First, the mold needs to be introduced and grown under controlled and regulated conditions in order to make the koji. Then, this starter culture of koji is combined with soybeans and a grain. Salt is added to stop the fermentation process once it is complete.

Not only is it very tasty, miso is high in protein as well as vitamins and minerals. There are many different types of miso that can be used in endless ways in the kitchen, from sauces to soups to dressings to marinades and glazes. Specific miso-heavy dishes include miso soup, miso-glazed eggplant and root vegetables, miso ramen, miso yaki onigiri, tonjiru, saba misoni, salad dressings, miso black cod and miso-glazed salmon. Miso is a Japanese cooking staple and really should make its way into the fridges of any cook’s kitchen.

Adding miso to a dish amps up the umami. Miso varies greatly in taste, depending on its type (red, white, yellow or hatcho) as well as where it is produced. Local culture, crops used, fermentation length, fermentation vessel, salt content and growing conditions all affect the flavour of miso. It can be sweet, salty, savoury, fruity or earthy, with variations in taste, aroma and colour. White miso, which ranges in colour from white to pale yellow, has the shortest fermentation time and is very popular all over Japan, but especially in the south. While white miso is fermented for two to eight weeks, the other types of miso (yellow, red, hatcho) have longer fermentation periods, usually upwards of two or three years. Northern areas of Japan generally favour the richer red miso, which contains more soy and less grain than the lighter miso varieties. Awase miso,or “mixed” miso, is also very popular in recipes—it comes in many different combinations as it is a mix of different miso varieties. By combining different tastes, an optimal balance of flavours can be created.

While you may be more familiar with miso presented in a soup broth or a sauce, the product starts out like this: as a creamy-looking paste of fermented soybeans. From this form, miso can be used in a vast number of tasty recipes.
When cooking with miso, white and yellow miso can often be used interchangeably, at approximately the same ratio. If you open your fridge and find that you only have red miso available, be very careful to adjust the amount down as the taste is much stronger. And of course there is the ubiquitous miso soup, which is most often made with white miso. To make miso soup, always use dashi: fish stock combined with miso paste. You can fairly easily make your own dashi at home, using kombu and katsuobushi. Dashi powder or paste can be a quick and convenient alternative if you don’t have the time to make your own dashi from scratch.

The type of miso you have also determines its shelf life. White miso has the shortest lifespan—no more than eight or so weeks in the refrigerator—whereas the darker types of miso can last, refrigerated, for many months. When cooking with miso, add it to the dish near the end of the cooking process. This ensures that the miso does not get overcooked (you do not want to boil miso), which removes the beneficial nutrients contained within.

Types of miso

There are four main types of miso—red, white, yellow and hatcho miso. Each variety originates from a different region and each has its own unique taste, texture and colour.

White miso (shiro)

White miso is the mildest and most versatile type of miso. This sweet and very pale-yellow miso is made from fermented soybeans and rice, with the ratio of rice to soy-beans being higher than with any other type of miso.

Yellow miso (shinsu-miso)

Yellow miso, shinsu-miso, is often made from fermented soybeans and barley, and has a saltier taste compared to shiromiso. Shinsu-miso is fermented for a longer period of time than shiro miso and is perfect for soups, stews and marinades.

Red miso (aka)

Red miso, or aka, is the strongest and saltiest miso and ferments for one to three years. Aka is made from fermented soybeans and often rice or barley. It varies in colour between red and dark brown and has a pungent, strong taste.

Dishes That Use Delicious Miso

If you are not already cooking with miso, or are interested in creating new dishes using miso, read on!

Miso Katsu

Deep-fried, panko-crusted pork cutlet served atop white rice and covered in a thick and flavourful miso sauce? Yes, please! Miso katsu is a specialty from Nagoya and uses a dark-coloured (often hatcho) miso to deliver its umami taste. Other meats can be substituted in for the pork if you wish.

Hailing from Okazaki, located in the Nagoya region, hatcho miso is made using traditional techniques and is one of the most famous miso varieties in central Japan.

Hatcho miso

1c1cbf_s_4CHatcho miso is a red miso known as “the miso of emperors” and, unlike the other miso varieties, is made only with soybeans (no grains) and with Aspergillus hatcho mold. This prized miso is matured in authentic wooden tubs weighted down with over three tonnes of rocks! Hatcho miso is also one of the longest fermenting of the miso types: it takes two summers and two winters to fully mature. Hatcho has a higher protein content than other types of miso and is chunkier and more reddish-brown than miso made with rice.

Saba misoni

Simmered mackerel in miso is a (very nutritious) traditional Japanese favourite. Sabameans mackerel in Japanese, and misoni means “cooked in a miso sauce.” Oily mackerel is one of the powerhouse fishes, chock full of omega-3s. Top it with ginger and shallots and you have a perfect, quick and healthy weeknight meal!

Miso nikomi udon

Miso nikomi udon, miso noodle soup, is a hearty and satisfying dish of thick wheat udon noodles simmered in a heavier miso broth and served with various ingredients such as egg, fried tofu, chicken, fish cake, shrimp and green onions. White, red or a mix of the two is the usual miso for this noodle dish.


Goheimochi is a simple dish of smashed rice (regular rice, not the sticky rice as the name would suggest) glazed with miso that is common in the more mountainous areas of Japan. The smashed rice is covered with a miso glaze and crushed nuts, grilled or broiled on flat wood skewers and often enjoyed with sake.

Miso salmon

White miso is the perfect choice for this healthful and simple fish dish. Like mackerel, salmon is high in omega-3s and is a very heart-healthy fish. Most miso salmon dishes use miso, mirin and sake for the marinade. The balance of sweet and salty mixed with sake pairs beautifully with the delicate flavour of salmon.


Considered a winter dish in Japan, tonjiru is a hearty and nutritious pork and vegetable miso soup. The pork imparts a rich flavour and the oil keeps the soup hot, perfect for a cosy winter warm-up! Pork belly is a perfect cut for this soup, which is full of veggies such as carrots, daikon and taro.

Miso yaki onigiri

Grilled rice balls flavoured with miso make for a delicious snack, side dish or yummy late-night treat. These onigiri have a sweet flavour and are often sprinkled with seaweed and sesame seeds. Sometimes the insides are stuffed with other ingredients such as tuna. Miso yaki onigiri are often grilled over an open flame on a wired grate.

Miso ramen

Popular miso ramen is rich and flavourful. Some ramen cooks recommend that the paste used should be Awase, or “mixed” miso, rather than white or red miso paste, and that only pork, seafood or vegetable broth be used (chicken and beef broth having too strong a flavour). White miso is also delightful when used for ramen.


Miso Tan Tan Deluxe: Featuring a miso curry broth, this is one delicious bowl

On the hip stretch of Queen West between Bathurst and Trinity Bellwoods, a game-changing ramen spot recently opened its doors to the neighbourhood—and it’s making miso hungry! (Ahem, sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

The name Ramen Misoya (“miso store”) may be familiar to globe trotting noodle connoisseurs in the city. With over 100 locations across Japan and 30 more internationally, Misoya has established itself as a leader and innovator in the ramen world— more specifically, in the realm of miso (a savoury, umami-rich fermented soybean mixture). In fact, the brand is so committed to a fab culinary experience that its New York City location has been Michelin Guide– recommended since 2013.

Stepping into Misoya from the chilly fall weather here in Toronto, you’ll find your senses instantly delighted. The newly renovated space features a mixture of wood and metal accents, complemented by oversized greyscale photos splashed across the walls. Speakers playing today’s biggest hits will put a little skip in your step as you’re shown to a table. And when the comforting warmth of brewing miso hits your nose and you hear the familiar sizzle of good things to come from the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant, you’ll feel positively dizzy with ramen-ticipation. (Can’t stop, won’t stop with the bad puns.)

Misoya features a hearty menu of soups, sides and much more, but two dishes stand out above the rest: the GOLD Kome Special and the Miso Tan Tan Deluxe. The former is Misoya’s most popular offering, featuring everything you could possibly want from a ramen bowl: fresh noodles, juicy chashu (sliced pork), egg, bean sprouts, green onions, minced pork, menma (bamboo shoots), fried potatoes and—of course—one of the richest, most flavourful miso broths your tastebuds will have encountered on this side of the Pacific. Feeling spicy? Go with the latter to step up the heat and get extra pork, egg and nori (seaweed).

There’s lots of room to experiment with Misoya’s menu, so feel free to mix and match additional toppings to your heart’s content. Sample everything from corn and butter to kimchi and naruto (fish cakes) in your miso bowl. Meat lovers, add more pork or go with karaage (fried chicken) to tide you over until brunch tomorrow… then come back for more!

GOLD Kome Special

This rich, hearty offering is chock-full of everything you could possibly want in a bowl of ramen.


Deliciously juicy, these little dumplings are a popular side dish and a great way to complement your meal.

Pick your toppings!


This holiday season, enjoy premium brewed sake in a class all its own.

Sake brewery Tamanohikari goes above and beyond to ensure its sake is regarded as one of the top-tier brands on the market, and its Junmai Daiginjo Black Label Sake perfectly reflects the brewery’s passionate commitment to excellence.


Junmai Daiginjo

Sake aficionados will recognize that Daiginjo refers to a very high grade of sake, where the rice has been polished down at least 50%. The seimaibuai, or milling rate, is based on how much the rice is polished, as polishing the rice removes fat and protein, revealing the starchy core of the rice grain. This leads to a less harsh, more smooth and refined sake flavour. The Junmai Daiginjo Black Label Sake boasts rice grains that have been polished down to an impressive 35%.

Tamanohikari takes great care in polishing its rice using the henpeiseimai or “flat milling” technique. Normally, polishing rice makes it round, but flat milling preserves as much of the core as possible. Though it’s a painstaking process that takes anywhere from 30 to 48 hours, it’s all part of Tamanohikari’s steadfast philosophy that premium sake is worth the effort.

No compromise on quality

Dedicated to producing only premium products, Tamanohikari has a rigorous vetting process for the rice used in its sake. It’s made with only the highest-regarded variety of grains—only 5% of sake on the market today uses rice of a similar grade. And the brewery goes so far as to visit the fields to make sure the rice is planted and harvested according to strict standards. The water used in this sake comes from a famous source in Momoyama Hills, Kyoto, which is designated by Japan’s Ministry of Environment as one of the top 100 finest water sources in the country.

Tamanohikari brews only Junmai sake—sake made with only rice, water and koji (fermented rice). During World War II, many sake breweries began cutting their sake with other alcohol due to rice rationing, and this practice remains among many companies today. However, in the 1960s Tamanohikari revived the practice of brewing pure Junmai sake, and the company has remained loyal to it ever since.

An obsessive commitment to quality and decades of brewing experience make Junmai Daiginjo Black Label Sake an unforgettably refined sake blend.

Junmai Daiginjo Black Label Sake can be purchased at licensed liquor purveyors throughout Canada, including at the LCBO for $188.75.


Explore a spiritual way to say farewell to the old year and hello to the new with the Buddhist tradition of joya no kane.

New Year’s Eve is a special night marked by big-time celebrations and personal goal-setting. In the West, it’s a good opportunity to think about how the year went, and how we want to improve ourselves in the year to come. In Japan, the personal act of self-reflection and the shared experience of (literally) ringing in the new year happens all at once, in a Buddhist tradition called joya no kane, which means “New Year’s Eve bells.” A practice originally adapted from China, joya no kane has been performed for many centuries, and is a well-loved part of a traditional Japanese New Year. The timeline varies depending on location, but generally the tolling begins by 11 pm on December 31, as temples across Japan each ring a large bell 107 times, with one final strike ringing out at midnight, bringing the total to 108. The number represents the worldly desires that people experience throughout their lives, allowing us to consider the past year with a calm, quiet heart, and start the new year afresh. Each ring that echoes before midnight dispels one of those desires, and the 108th ring, struck precisely at midnight, completes the process of purification.

The temples’ bells are large, beautiful instruments that can weigh over 80 tons, are suspended from the ceiling and are rung from the outside, either by hand with a mallet, or by a large beam that is suspended beside the bell using an intricate system of ropes. Three of the biggest bells are at Houkou-ji and Chion, in Kyoto, and at Todai-ji, in Nara. The bells are usually rung by robed monks who chant sutras as they put the full force of their bodies into ringing the bells. The three-metre-tall bell at Chion is so big, in fact, that it takes 17 monks to ring it!

You can visit many famous temples as a spectator and observe this unique event, but be sure to bundle up and arrive early, as it gets chilly and can also become crowded. Some temples even allow visitors to participate in the ceremony, in some cases for a small fee. Depending on the temple, you may be able to ring out one of the 108 worldly desires all by yourself, or you may get to participate in a larger group of up to 10 people. The experience often comes with little extras, such as rice cakes, amazake (sweet rice wine) or an arrow-shaped hamaya good-luck charm to take home with you. Even if you are not up to braving the crowds, you can sit outside in many cities big and small and listen to the low, soothing echoes as you refresh your soul and set goals to be your best self for 2019.

Ring your cares away

Would you like to participate in this memorable spiritual practice? Not to worry, there are lots of ways to do it, whether or not you’re in Japan.

DO your research

Some Japanese temples offer participant tickets before the 31st, and some are first-come-first-serve on the same day.

DO NOT procrastinate

Temples can get crowded, so don’t wait until the last minute if you want a good view.

DO go local

Check out the joya no kane at the Toronto Buddhist Church in North York!

 Illustration by Chieko Watanabe