School is starting, the days are getting shorter, the cicadas seem to be quieter. As the long lazy days of summer drift away, it’s time to take a moment and savor all the reasons why we love summer in this month’s installment of the Japan Blog Matsuri — Summer Lovin’.
Itsumo Japan has an excellent write-up of the Gion Matsuri, one of the most famous Summer festivals in Japan. I’ve always wanted to check out this event, and the pictures make make me want to go even more! Check out Reminiscences of Summer in Japan: Gion Matsuri
Tokyo Bounce, one of my favorite sources for all things Japan, takes a look at The Symbols of Japanese Summer. It’s quite insightful and in Japan, you’ll notice these little signs of of the season everywhere during the hot summer months!
The ever excellent Paul from Just Another Day in Japan brings us an entry about his recent trip to Okinawa. I’m dying to get down there, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to Get thee to Okinawa! (Or, get me that is!)
What’s summer without ice cream? I’ll Make It Myself has an interesting review of a healthy alternative to the endless soft cream found in Japan, made with a tofu byproduct called おから or okara. I’ve always been a fan of tofu-based desserts, so now I want to try this Okara Ice Cream!
The Japanese word for summer is 夏 or natsu. So when it came time to come up with the name for the song with the feeling of “Summer Explosion,” natsu somehow turned into “nuts,” and explosion becomes “bang,” and, well…Nuts Bang, everybody! The video is pretty hilarious, too. Oh, man. From the veritable and venerable Lonlee Planet.
One of the ultimate signs of summer is the seasonally omnipresent Ramune, the soda seen at festivals and summertime events all across Japan. It definitely tastes like summer, and brings up nostalgia in a way that only certain flavors can. Have you tried it? Learn more about this tasty beverage from the always awesome Haikugirl!
During the summer in Japan, fireworks festivals abound. It seems like every other weekend, another town is having their annual 花火 (hanabi or the delightfully poetic “fire flower”) show, and the shows are always magical. Learn more about the tradition of the Fireworks Summer Spectacular from Japan Australia!
Rice is nice, bread is tasty, but my heart belongs to noodles. Japan has no end to noodles, and the hot summer months bring delicious cold dishes. Cooking in Japan has a great collection of mouthwatering meals at Summer Noodle Lovin’! These pictures are going to make you want to lick your screen, for real.
Finally, the gorgeous Caroline Josephine from C. Life in Japan (formerly known as Spooning with a Schoolboy) has a sweet post, almost a love letter to summer, looking back over her time in Japan over the past few years. Summer Lovin’ in Japan…love it!
So summer may be melting away like the last drips of your かき氷 (kakigori or shave ice) but don’t let it get you down. After all, there’s all the loveliness that autumn has to bring, right around the corner!
And don’t forget to get your entry into the September Edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri, over at A Modern Girl! The topic this month is “Reasons to Visit Japan” and the deadline is September 24th. Check it out!
Previous Editions of the Japan Blog Matsuri
July 2011 Japanese Drinks at NihongoUp
May 2011 I Can-Ji at Nippon The Bus
April 2011 Education in Japan at NihongoUp
March 2011 Faces of Japan at Haikugirl’s Japan
February 2011 Famous Japanese Events at loneleeplanet