October in Japan – the Month When the Gods Are Absent

After a hot and stuffy summer, there is finally a time of more pleasant temperatures and noticeably better weather. Despite this, playing at online casinos in Japan remains relevant throughout the year, with the kajitabi casinos particularly on trend right now. Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year in Japan and certainly one of the best times to visit the country.

October in Japan – the perfect month to travel

Weather in Japan in October

Autumn in Japan begins with the cessation of the September typhoons. The skies clear up considerably and rainfall decreases sharply – almost to zero. It is sometimes the case that not a drop of rain falls in Tokyo in October.

Autumn in Tokyo doesn’t end until December, around Christmas (here it’s only in December that Japanese maples turn carmine and ginkgo trees turn gold). Of course, the further north you go, the earlier autumn comes. It is similar with the altitude – just move outside Tokyo to see picturesque forests and mountains covered with colourful leaves. The peak of the autumn season is in the Kantō region in November, but strangely in Tokyo autumn comes last.

Kannazuki – “ungodly” October

Kannazuki (神無月) is the tenth month in the traditional lunar calendar. According to shintō tradition, it is the month when eight million Japanese deities (called kami, 神) draw from all over the country to Izumo in Shimane Prefecture. There, at the famous Izumo Taisha chram, the deities discuss weighty matters and plans for the coming year. The time when the kami gather for the annual all-Japanese summit of shintō deities and are necessarily away from their permanent residence has been called “the month (月) without (無) gods (神)”. In Izumo, of course, the same month is called Kamiarizuki (神在月), meaning “month with deities”.

Interestingly, the only deity who does not arrive when called to Izumo Taisha is Ebisu (one of the seven gods of luck), as he is… deaf and does not hear the call for a meeting. Thus, Ebisu is the only shintō deity worth offering prayers to in October.

Where do shintō deities reside?

Japanese kami dwell not only in chrams, but they also permeate all animate and inanimate elements of nature. The home of a deity may be, for example, a huge boulder, a very old tree or a waterfall. The places where shintō deities live can be recognised by the shimenawa rope surrounding them or by offerings (fruit, sake, flowers) left in their vicinity.

Life to the rhythm of the moon

Despite the westernization that Japan has undergone, there are still very many holidays and traditions of the Land of the Cherry Blossom associated with the ancient lunar calendar (太陰暦). Until 1873, the tenth month of the lunar calendar largely coincided with November. After Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar, the tenth lunar month was shifted to coincide with the tenth solar month, and thus October, rather than November as before, was considered an “ungodly month”.

Other autumn traditions related to the lunar calendar include tsukimi (月見), or moon-watching, which falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, and tori-no ichi (酉の市), celebrated on every rooster day in November.