Hotel Ryumeikan Ochanomizu Honten



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Origin of Tanabata.

When you talk about Tanabata, I am sure you come up with the story of reunion of Hioboshi (Altair) and Orihime (Vegar), which they meet once a year in The Milky Way.People write a wish in a strip of paper and tie it in a bamboo grass wishing upon.When the day rains, the two stars can not meet, they say.
It is said that the origin of tanabata came from Chinee culture in Nara era.There is one legend of a story of Alter and Vegar, and the other legend says the festival was combined with Japanese peculiar event and Kikkouden which means Chinese custom for a wish to improve skills of handicraft and entertainment.

Tanabata festival is held on July 7th in Japan. (there is a region held on August 7th)
The festival is implied for one occasion of Bon festival (the Buddhist festival of the dead) held in the afternoon of the 7th and people display Shoryotana (a stand for offerings to the spirit of the dead) . It was pronounced "tanabata" for tana (shelf) and bata (afternoon). *there are other theories
Also displaying a strip of paper in a bamboo grass started in Edo era.There were people increased to wish for their improvement of learning and by students who studied in teragoya (a private elementary school of the Edo period).

Meaning of a strip paper and display in a bamboo grass

We write a wish or words and drawings associated with the Milky Way in a strip of paper and hung it ties in a bamboo grass.The five colors, sung in a Tanabata song, means blue, red, yellow, white and black implies from Chinese theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements.The theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements means the study of the ancient Chinese five colors of Jupiter/blue, Mars/red, Saturn/yellow, Venus/white and Mercury/black.The study is to be said that universe consists of all these five elements.

Additionally there are many meanings of displaying in a bamboo grass.
Fukinagashi (a tubular streamer) expresses a woven (oru) thread of Orihime and also means to prevent from devil by the five colored thread. We stick the five color paper tapes in a paper balloon or an ornamental ball.
Amikazari (a net display) means a fishing net for a wish of good harvest and fishing catch.
Orizuru (a folded paper crane) means for a wish of a long life with a crane of which an icon of long life.
Kamui (God's dress) means for a wish of sewing skill and wealthy and healthy life by transferring bad luck into the paper doll.
Saifu/Kinchaku (a wallet) means for a wish of luck with money by folding money or hung a real wallet.
Kuzukago (a wastebasket) means for a cherish things. We collect waste of papers and fold them. Then we display putting them in a basket.

We find more joys to display tanabata by knowing these stories and meanings

Tanzaku of Hotel Ryumeikan Honten

Events of Tanabata Festival

Tanabata Festival held in Sendai prefecture in Japan is well- known for the festival.
Many exciting and decorative handmade Sasakazari (Tanabata display) attracts many people during the festival every year.
If you are looking for a nearby our hotel, we recommend the one held in nearby around the Asagaya JR station, which has been bustling with many people since 1953.There are enormous ornaments displayed through a shopping mall and especially people are attracted by many favorite characters put on the ornaments.
Asagaya is also famous for dorayaki (a pancake) of Usagiya. Why not try it when you visit Asagaya?
≪Access to Asagaya area from our hotel≫
Take an express train on JR Chuo line or a local train on Sobu line for by 20 minutes.

Another festival "Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival" is held in Hiratsuka city.The city is a little bit far distance from our hotel, but it is famous for the one of the 3 biggest tanabata festivals in Japan.Hope you can enjoy and join our traditional Tanabata Festival during your stay.

Tanabata festival at Asagaya

Staff blog from our front staff about Tanabata

Mr. K / Senior general manager
"I have visited Tanabata Festival in Sendai because my wife's parents home is there!I was so impressed with many colorful fukinagashi (streamers). Good memories"
Ms. H/ a front staff
"I look for a star when the time of tanabata comes every year. It is difficult to see many stars in a urban sky but I become happy when I find some stars on the day of tanabata.
Mr. K / a front staff
"I have seen the Milky Way only once when I went to my school camp in my childhood.I recall strongly that it was so exciting and dynamic as if the stars approached me so closely because there was no lights in the heart of a mountain. I understood why ancient people interpreted those stars with a Milky Way. "


Tanabata Soumen(thin wheat noodles)

Festive dining of Tanabata.Here is to close with a story about a festive dining.We eat somen (a thin wheat noodles) on the tanabata.
It is not well know actually but it has been eaten more than a thousand years.People had a custom to have eaten seasonable foods and wish for a healthy life to prevent from devils. Somen is one of the seasonable ingredients. It helps to digest easily in summer and also shows alike a thread of orihime and the Milky Way.
It might be more fun with tanabata festival for you to eat the festive dish like somen and hung a strip paper with your wish.

1st,July 2015