Japanese Seasonal Events and Food Culture

Because most of the Japanese islands are located in a temperate zone, near the Asian continent and under the influence of various oceanic currents, there are four seasons in most of Japan, spring, summer, autumn and winter; and with each season, there are specific customs and celebrations using foods representative of that station. Sekku, which defines the division of each season, is still alive in the Japanese culture nowadays.
Throughout these events, Japanese enjoy each season and hope for health, longevity, or the healthy growth of a child.
Many have traced the origins back to traditional ceremonies held in the royal court, of which five were celebrated as official events during the Edo Period.
Here, we introduce the Five-Sekku and important Japanese customs, while also looking at some of the representative seasonal dishes.

  • Hinamatsuri
  • Hanami
  • Tango no Sekku
  • Tanabata
  • Choyo
  • Jyugoya
  • Momijigari
  • Ohmisoka
  • Shogatsu