8. DO NOT BE ABUSED WITH STICKS
Before heading to Japan, learn how to use chopsticks (o-hashi). It is not that difficult. It’s enough to practice a little to impress the locals with their ability to deal with Japanese cutlery. Here are a few etiquette rules regarding chopsticks. Do not swing sticks over the dish, do not use them for pampering, for example, as drum sticks, do not point them at people. Always use two sticks; do not pierce food with one stick. Never put them directly in a bowl of rice and do not pass food to another person with the help of chopsticks – this will be considered a manifestation of a lack of education. Also, you can not use sticks in order to pull the dish to yourself. Do not lick or bite the tips of the sticks. Do not cross them in the shape of an “X”, do not put them on a plate. After stopping your meal, simply place the chopsticks in front of you on the left. Continue reading
CALENDAR TIME FLOWER OF SAKURA
Japanese cherry blossoms stretch from subtropical to temperate latitudes, so all seasonal changes smoothly flow from south to north. On the southernmost island of Japan, Okinawa, the first sakura buds open in January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido, sakura can bloom only by summer.
The beginning and duration of sakura blossom varies from year to year. It is officially believed that in Tokyo, sakura blooms from March 27 to April 7, in Sapporo from March 12 to April 20, in Kyoto from April 4 to 16, in Osaka from April 5 to 13, however, these figures are approximate. Continue reading