Learning About Japan’s Appreciation for Nature

japanese moon festival

I am sure many people back in the United States have heard about the super moon eclipse that took place on September 27 this year. The amazing phenomenon surely lured many people out of their homes during late hours of the night to observe the moon and sky. If you were one of these observers then congratulations for two reason; Not only did you get to see the rare super moon eclipse, but you also subconsciously took part in the Japanese Moon Festival that was held on the very same night.

The festival is held every year during autumn and the participants relax in beautiful surroundings while eating their odango (a type of Japanese sweet dumpling resembling the moon) and moon gazing. Japan is well known for its interest and appreciation for the beautiful simplicity of nature, and it expresses this interest through festivals such as The Moon Festival.

My host family and I drove to Korakuen garden for The Moon Festival, which is among the top three of the best landscaped gardens in Japan. We walked through the garden and enjoyed its beauty as the sun was setting. I especially loved the large koi ponds and the gurgling streams that flow all throughout the garden, and the crisp scent of autumn in the night air.

As I sat in the grass, eating my odango and gazing at the night sky, I felt a strong appreciation for nature. With that appreciation I realized just how important nature really is in Japan. The Japanese people tend to have a lot of appreciation for things that, to a foreigner, my at first seem insignificant. Activities like moon-gazing in autumn or cherry blossom viewing in the spring are just a couple of examples of nature-based activities that play a huge role in Japanese culture.

Read more about how Japan celebrates nature through festivals, pottery and recycling on Eve’s blog post!


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