Today is December 12 and that means it’s the start of “The Bear Retreats to its Den,” one of Japan’s 72 microseasons that lasts approximately from December 12 – 16. Based on an ancient lunar calendar, Japan divides the 4 major seasons into 72 microseasons. If you want to follow along, there’s an app for that. And it’s beautiful and free (2 of my favorite words)! But now the creators of that app have released a follow-up titled 72 Seasons Nara.
The 72 Seasons Nara app (available in the App Store or Google Play) like its predecessor, follows the cycles of Japan’s 72 microseasons and updates you accordingly. But it’s much more travel-themed. Specifically, the app introduces you to various traditions and customs found in Japan’s ancient capital Nara, and tells you how to get there to experience them yourself.
So if you happen to be in Nara right now you can go to Toshodaiji Temple to observe their annual year-end cleaning ceremony. Afterwards, you can shop at the temple’s gift shop and then grab a seasonal meal at a nearby restaurant, all guided by the app.
And the app also lets you access the other seasons so that you can plan your trip oin advance. It’s free in the app store so give it a try. And if you haven’t played around with the original, I definitely recommend it. It’s been one of my favorite apps to open this year.