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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

The area around Kanazawa Station(金沢駅) and the shopping districts of Kohrinbo (香林坊) and Tatemachi (竪町) are all aglow this month. It’s funny how some pretty LEDs can cheer you up about the typical Kanazawa winter weather–thundersnow (that deserves its own entry), clumpy snow, rain, sleet, hail, clouds, and all within the same hour.

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Part 4: 100-Yen Shops

I had planned to do a post with more writing tonight, but the metal grater I was using to grate ginger for dinner decided to take off a chunk of the skin on my right thumb right at the knuckle, so tonight’s post will briefer than usual.

The savior of many an expat with college loans, 100-yen shops carry kitchenware, home repair goods, and anything plastic you might need for your home. They are also the source for inexpensive Halloween costumes and decorations: witches’ hats, capes, garlands, gel stickers, figurines, silly string, banners, etc.

100 Yen Shop in Komatsu

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When it comes to holidays, being an expat in Japan is a mixed bag. Even though I miss my family and friends, I’m quite content to sit out on the insanity of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween, however, is the holiday I miss the most. I first came to Japan in 2005, and I remember that, other than the foreign exchange students, Baskin Robbins, and some foreigner-bars in Osaka, no one really celebrated Halloween. (This may have been different in Tokyo, of course, given the large number of expats living there.)

Baskin Robbins, Hirakata-shi, 2005

Last year, I was shocked to see young Japanese people in Kanazawa dressed up and out at the bars on Halloween weekend. This year, it seems like businesses have really latched onto Halloween as a seasonal/marketing ploy–my coworkers and friends have also expressed their shock that Halloween is booming here.

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