Both the seven days including the Vernal Equinox at their middle and the seven including the Autumnal Equinox at theirs are called "o-higan" （お彼岸）. This word originally means "the opposite bank".
We have a traditional custom to visit to the graves of our ancestors in these terms, especially on the Vernal Equinox and the Autumnal Equinox, and hold memorial services for their souls, which are supposed to have been guarding us against misfortune or something. That's why both of them are provided as our holidays.
About me, the graaves of my paternal ancestors are now in charge of my dead father's eldest brother, who is the chief of our "clan" in Osaka. My family rarely visit them for some reason. And the graves of my mother's side are in a city close to neither here Tokyo nor Osaka.
Actually, we have our own grave, where my father rests. It is in a cemetery on a mountain in Osaka, where the view is really fine. Though, since I live in Tokyo, I can't often visit there, either, like the rest of my family.
Yesterday was not only a national holiday but also MY holiday (I usually have to work on the national holidays). I had no plan except for reading at home all day. But an old friend of mine sent me an email in the morning and suggested to meet. I replied to it and agreed to do so at once. We hadn't met for months and we had lots of things to talk about, like our friends, our dating mates, our works and our favorite novels and comics.
The air was still a little bit cold, but it was sunny. After we met near Gaienmae （外苑前） station, we had lunch together in a chain Japanese restaurant. Then we moved to a coffee shop on Aoyama Street where he said the genuine coffee would be served. The coffee was very tasty indeed, though, actually I'm not particular about what I eat or drink.
Next, we visited a Belgian chocolate store near Omotesando （表参道） station, as he wanted to, and then walked to the building of my mother's apartment near Harajuku police station. We went up to the rooftop, where we could enjoy the view of Tokyo. There we watched a wedding procession down in Togo Shrine （東郷神社）. We could even listen to gagaku （雅楽）, or the traditional court music, for the wedding. My friend liked the rooftop and wanted to plan a wine party there for someday, but the caution on a poster on the door told us no eating or drinking there was allowed.
After that, we went to Cat Street. It is a street popuilar among the young people for its fashionable stores, but it was just to check if a sale promoting event I remembered was still on or not. After finding it had been over, we dropped in at an international supermarket to look for some kinds of oranges my girl friend had recommended. After getting the oranges, we went to a chain spagetti restaulant, where we went on chatting over pasta.
As there were still more to talk about, we moved to the next place. Amigo was interested in a Spanish bar and we almost settled down there, but the music was too loud for us. So we appologized to the clerk and got out of there.
Then we got to a cafe bar, named "gekkou-sabou" （月光茶房）, which I had heard to be an excellent one but had never had a chance to visit. When we looked into the cafe through the window, my friend mumbled that the woman behind the counter didn't look friendly, but finally we decided to enter. Soon we found it was actually a nice place. He liked the tender baroque music and memoed the title of the CD. We learned something about coffee beans talking with the shopkeeper. We also enjoyed coffee, imported beer (I had Guinness, as St. Patric's Day was just three days before), sausages and "Sauerkraut" in the comfortable cafe.
A few minutes after we left there, I noticed that I left the books my friend lent me at the cafe. When we turned back, we saw the woman runnning to us to hand the books. After we thanked her and started to walk again, my friend said he felt sorry for what he had said before we entered the cafe. We walked to Shibuya talking and eating the oranges (We knew it was rude to walk eating something.), and at last, we said good bye to each other.
Well, we walked around the towns of Aoyama and Harajuku and could talk a lot. It was a good holiday, thanks to our ancestors.