Japan’s Most Popular Halloween Parade

Posted on 31. Oct, 2014 by in Culture

Happy Halloween to everyone! It is October 31st today! For some of you, this is the day you have been waiting for all year, to wear your favorite costume. On this Halloween day, I would like to share with you one of the most popular Halloween parade in Japan called, Kawasaki Halloween Parade. This year, the parade was on Sunday October 26th.

This parade is an annual event, in Kawasaki Japan. You pay the entry ticket fee of 1000 yen, approximately $10 each person. A grand prize winner received tickets to Italy plus $1000 cash prize this year.  You have to be at least 6 years old to enter the parade. (elementary 1st grade and older)

Take a look at the video from the parade below. There are many unique costumes you can see in the video.

2014 Kawasaki Halloween Parade

YouTube Preview Image

Here is the person who received the first prize this year.


photo from http://lacittadella.co.jp/halloween_award/#stacktitle1


The comment on the web site mentions this person spent approximately $1500 for this costume. This was his/her 7th year trying to win the grand prize.

In Japan, tick or treating is not common for children to do.  Halloween is something new for Japanese culture. People in Japan adapted the Halloween culture from a country like U.S. The idea of dressing up in a costume has become very popular these days. Many Halloween events such as the parade like this one are organized throughout Japan to give people an opportunity to dress up in costumes.  Going to trick or treating to stranger’s house is not become part of Japan’s Halloween culture yet.

So, if you happen to be in Japan during Halloween, be careful not to knock on stranger’s house saying, “trick or treat”. You might just scare the people who live there. Especially among older generations, Halloween is something they did not grow up celebrating, something totally new.

Have a safe an Happy Halloween everyone!




How to Say Hello in Japanese – things you need to know

Posted on 31. Oct, 2014 by in Culture, Grammar

“Hello” is simply a well known, “Konnichiwa(こんにちは。)” in Japanese.  One of the readers recently asked if there are more than one way of saying hello in Japanese. Well, in today’s blog, I decided to share with you some of the most common ways of saying hi to others in Japanese. Read on!


photo from CLF on flickr.com

Konnichiwa~ こんにちは。

This word might be just the very first Japanese word you learned when you first started learning Japanese. Konnichiwa is almost universal where there are not too many people who does not know what Konnichiwa means these days. You can use Konnichiwa to almost anyone, including your neighbors, friends, co-workers, your boss, and even to strangers.

Almost all the time, your Japanese conversation could start with Konnichiwa, that is as soon as you make eye contact with the person who is there. However, in Japanese, there is one important thing you need to know.

Use of Konnichiwa (こんにちは) really depends on what time of the day it is.

In Japanese, it is not appropriate to say “Konnichiwa (こんにちは)” to someone 10 am in the morning. Konnichiwa (こんにちは) is probably good to use between 12 pm to 6 pm, in my opinion.

This is because, it is most appropriate to use the following greeting depending on the time of the day.


In the morning : Ohayo(おはよう) or Ohayo gozaimasu (おはようございます。more polite) 

During the day: Konnichiwa (こんにちは)

In the evening: Konbanwa (こんばんは)


In English, you might say “hi” to people anytime of the day; however, in Japanese, the above greeting is something useful to know as an etiquette. It is not appropriate to say, Konnichiwa (こんにちは) to someone 8 pm, past dinner time.  Once it is dark outside, it will be more appropriate to say, “Konbanwa(こんばんは)” to your neighbor. There is no fine line as to what time is the cut off or anything, but this is sort of a common approach to take: before noon- Ohayo(おはよう、おはようございます), noon to 6pm or so: Konnichiwa (こんにちは), and after dark: Konbanwa(こんばんは).

You also noticed that there are polite way of saying, good morning, which is Ohayo gozaimasu (おはようございます) To say, just “Ohayo (おはよう)” to someone you don’t know or someone older is a no no. You always want to say  Ohayo gozaimasu (おはようございます) in that case.  “Ohayo (おはよう)” sounds very casual, so it is more common to use between your friends or to someone younger than you.  :)

Conversational Japanese – 2 (At the book store)

Posted on 30. Oct, 2014 by in Culture, Grammar

I personally love going to a book store. It is so relaxing browsing through the books or reading into one specific book you have already been wanting to read. Of course, some of them, you like them so much that you want to buy them to take them home with you. In Japan, there are many types of book stores. You will see some larger book stores, such as Barnes and Nobles here in the U.S; however, you also see much smaller book stores as well. There are also many used book stores that are often very small but yet have many books packed inside. They often sell used comic books.



photo from akaitori on flickr.com

Related to book stores, here are some of the useful Japanese vocabulary to know:


Hon (本、ほん)-books

Honya (本屋、ほんや)-book store

Manga (漫画、まんが)-comic books, graphic novels

Zasshi (雑誌、ざっし)-magazine

Yousho (洋書、ようしょ) -foreign titles

Washo (和書、わしょ)-Japanese titles

Shinbun (新聞、しんぶん)-newspaper


Also, related to books, here is how we count books in Japanese.

is satsu – 1 boook

ni satsu – 2 books

san satsu – 3 books

yon satsu – 4 books

go satsu – 5 books

roku satsu – 6 books

nana  satsu – 7 books

ha satsu – 8 book

kyu satsu – 9 books

jus satsu – 10 books


Useful expressions at the book store.


Zasshi wa dokoni arimasuka?

雑誌は どこに ありますか?(ざっし は どこに ありますか?)

Where are the magazines?


Kono manga no 4(yon) kan wa arimasuka?

この 漫画 の 4巻 は ありますか? (この まんがの よんかん は ありますか?)

Do you carry the #4 of this comic book?


Kongetsu gou no ELLE no zasshi wa mou deteimasuka?

ELLE の 雑誌の 今月号 は もう 出ていますか?(ELLE の ざっしの こんげつごうは もうでていますか?)

Has this month’s ELLE already been out?


Kinou no shinbun wa mada arimasuka?

昨日の 新聞 は まだ ありますか?(きのうの しんぶんは まだ ありますか?)

Do you still carry(have) yesterday’s  newspaper?


Kono sansatsu kudasai.

この 三冊 下さい。 (この さんさつ ください。)

I will take these three books.


Kono go satsu de oikura desuka?

この 五冊 で おいくら ですか? (このごさつで おいくらですか?)

How much will it be for these 5 books?


Hope you got to learn some useful expressions to use at the book store today. Let me know if you have any specific topic in mind!