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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN



Cover FEBRUARY 2023


  • Winter in Japan is marked by a wide variety of spectacular events, both traditional and modern, while foods as diverse as sushi and ramen are at their most delicious. In this month’s issue of Highlighting Japan, we introduce some of the many distinctive pleasures of the Japanese winter.


  • An interview with Ogawa Naoyuki, a professor in the Faculty of Literature at Kokugakuin University

  • A festival is held in snowy Sounkyo, Hokkaido in which artworks formed naturally from ice are illuminated at night.

  • Introducing the remarkable Matsutaki Matsuri (“Pine Burning Festival”) held at Oosaki Hachimangu Shrine in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture

  • Fukushima Prefecture’s Kitakata ramen is a local cuisine so loved that it is eaten for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

  • In Taito City, northeastern Tokyo, a spectacular display of winter peonies can be enjoyed at the Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden.

  • Ojiya Fusen Ikki is a winter festival in which colorful hot air balloons float above a snowy white landscape.

  • Ishikawa Prefecture attracts many visitors in winter who come to enjoy sushi with seasonal seafood toppings.

  • Izumi City in Kagoshima Prefecture is one of the world’s major wintering sites for cranes.