Author Archives: tastejapan

Extended Snack Information for June / July 2018

Hello dear subscribers! We hope you’re enjoying the huge bundle of snacks crammed into this month’s super tasty box of Japanese treats.

As usual, enter your password from this month’s flyer at the address below to get even more interesting info and our opinions as you try this month’s snack lineup:


Malc & Rich

Taste Japan


Welcome to the Rainy Season…

Hey guys, June is here which means Japan sees the start of 梅雨 (tsuyuu) or “rainy season” as it’s come to have been known in English.

If you ask the locals, June is the last month that they would recommend to visit so good luck to all of you who have booked a trip during the month! After starting in the middle of June, the rainy season lasts for about six weeks until the humidity clears and the scorching summer begins.

The only place to escape the rainy season is the northern most prefecture of Hokkaido where temperatures remain in the mid-20Cs throughout the summer, which is perfect for most people, especially us Brits!

At least it gives us the chance to introduce some rainy season related vocabulary below, which you can hopefully practice to improve your Japanese…

kanji japanese english
 雨 あめ
大雨 おおあめ
heavy rain
小雨 こさめ
light rain
豪雨 ごうう
heavy rain
台風 たいふう
梅雨 つゆ
 the rainy season
地雨  じあめ
  continuous rain
夕立  ゆうだち
春雨  はるさめ
 spring rain
時雨 しぐれ
drizzling rain
霧雨 きりさめ
misty rain
五月雨 さみだれ
early summer rain

The following table shows the average starting and ending dates of the rainy season for selected regions of Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency:

Region Start End
Okinawa May 8 June 23
Southern Kyushu May 29 July 13
Shikoku June 4 July 17
Kansai (incl. Kyoto) June 6 July 19
Kanto (incl. Tokyo) June 8 July 20
Northern Tohoku June 12 July 27

The rainy season in Japan is is caused by the collision of northern and southern air systems and produces, surprisingly, a lot of rain. The problem for us humans is the humidity at this time of year – you cannot leave your house without dripping almost instantly. A truly tough six weeks.

It doesn’t actually rain every day during rainy season, with Tokyo registering around an average of 12 rainy days in June – that said we did just say it starts in the middle of that month! Let’s just say it’s not the best time of the year so がんばります! (Try your best!).

Extended Snack Info – May / June 2018

Here’s this month’s write-up for all your snacking needs! Much more detail provided than the newsletter including some interesting trivia and trailers for all our snacks this month. Enter the password from your newsletter at the link below and enjoy!

Happy Kodomo no Hi!

Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Day, is a traditional annual event that takes place as part of the Golden Week celebrations on May 5th each year in Japan. The idea of this public holiday is to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.

Although this day has been celebrated since ancient times, it was officially designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948.

Since that time, tt has become a much loved event in Japan and a time for families to do something together. Before May 5th, families across Japan fly carp-shaped Koinobori “streamers” in their gardens or from their balconies – one for each child in the family.

In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, as it is believed that they can overcome all obstacles they face when swimming upstream.

Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto – a type of helmet are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery in children.

It is a wonderful time of the year and a busy time for photography studios. Many families go to the studios, have their kids put on the warrior clothes and get professional snaps taken.

Extra Snack Info – March / April 2018

Here’s this month’s extended information about the contents of your box! Enter the password from your newsletter below and read on….


Detailed Snack Info for Feb / Mar 2018

Opened your box? Have you flyer to hand? Then enter this month’s password at the link below and read on! It’s a good one this month, especially that chocolate bar…

Hina Matsuri – Girl’s Day

Girls Day

In Japanese tradition, the “Hina matsuri” (or Doll Festival / Girls’ Day) is celebrated every March 3rd to wish good health and a happy life to the house’ little girl/s. People put out their heirloom display of dolls attired in costumes typical during the Heian Period (AD 794-1185). Compact sets have recently become popular. Traditionally however, these dolls are displayed in tiers, according to social levels during the Heian Court Period; the top tier occupied of course by the Emperor and Empress. Each family will typically have one set.


The dolls are so pretty to behold and contain so much detail that they really should be on display year round. It is tradition however to put the dolls in storage right after the festival. Old superstition has it that families who are slow in putting back their “hina ningyo” (girl dolls) after the festival would have difficulties marrying off their daughters.

For those of you who would like to see such dolls, Katsuura city in Chiba has been running a public “Big Hina Matsuri” display outdoors on March 3rd each year since January 2001. The display is truly overwhelming, and an amazing sight to behold.