July 1st is the Day of Yama-biraki
“Yama Biraki” means the beginning of the mountaineering season in Japanese.
On 1 July, Mt. Fuji is opened to climbers, so they can climb the mountain.

There was much remaining snow, so volunteers got the snow off the route of the climb.

Many people in traditional costumes climb Mt. Fuji this day

to express their gratitude to the God of the mountain.





Japanese people have “Tanabata-Matsuri: The Milky Way Festival” on July 7th.
The legend said that once a year on the evening of this day,

“Orihime: the Weaver Star (Vega)” in the west coast of the Milky Way

and “Ushikai: the Herdboy Star (Altair)”

in the east coast are allowed to meet each other.

The Milky Way Festival originated from an old Chinese legend about the two stars.
This romantic festival originated in China long ago and was bought to Japan later.

To hold the Milky Way Festival, children decorate bamboo branches

with “Tanzaku (strips of colored papers) and colorful Origami ornaments.
Children write their wishes on Tanzaku.
It has been said that these wishes will come true some day.
It is as beautiful as a Christmas tree.
The bamboo branches are placed at the front of door or under the eaves.





The Tanabata Festival in Sendai is well-known

and they attract many spectators every year.

The Sendai Tanabata festival began shortly

after the city was founded in the early Edo Period.

The Tanabata festival gradually developed and became larger over the years.

Although the festival's popularity started to dwindle after the Meiji Restoration,

and almost disappeared during the economic depression

that occurred after the World War I, volunteers in Sendai revived the festival in 1928

and established the tradition of holding the festival from August 6 to August 8.


During the World War II it was impossible to hold the festival,

and almost no decorations were seen in the city from 1943 to 1945,

but after the war, the first major Tanabata festival in Sendai was held in 1946,

and featured 52 decorations.

In 1947, the Showa Emperor Hirohito visited Sendai

and was greeted by 5,000 Tanabata decorations.

The festival subsequently developed into one of the three major summer festivals

in the Tohoku region and became a major tourist attraction.

The festival now includes a fireworks show that is held on August 5.





A Chugen or Ochugen is a gift sent from early summer to mid July to

someone to who you have a social obligation or owe a favour.
The special Ochugen sales are held at department stores.
Assortments of canned food or sweets are mainly chosen for Ochugen.





In Japan, Physalis alkekengi’s seeds are used as part of the Bon Festival

as offerings to guide the souls of the deceased.

Also, an annual market is dedicated to the flower called hōzuki-ichi

(Physalis alkekengi Outdoor Market) which occurs in Asakusa around Senso-ji

every year on July 9 and 10.
Many visitors come to this outdoor market to buy colorful and decorative potted Hozuki.





Marine Day (Umi no Hi), also known as "Ocean Day" or "Sea Day",

is a Japanese National Holiday celebrated on the third Monday in July.

The purpose of the holiday is to give thanks to the ocean's bounty

and to consider the importance of the ocean to Japan as an island nation.
Many people take advantage of the holiday and summer weather to take a beach trip.

Other ocean-related festivities are observed as well.





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