THU

Tokyo: Ta-asobi

Rice field work pantomime to pray for a rich harvest of the year, designated as one of National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties. Shishimai lion dance and tengumai dance by men with long red-nosed masks are performed after mikoshi is carried onto the ground ...

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Yokohama Strawberry Festival 2016

Whether they’re in crepes, custard-filled pastries or even in sandwiches, strawberries can be found everywhere in Japan. With candied strawberries, strawberry chocolates, strawberry soft drinks and expensive boxes of luxury strawberries in department stores, consumers are able to enjoy them year round. But just ...

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Akita: Namahage Sedo Matsuri

Festival, designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties, features about 15 namahage (men wearing devil masks) dancing wildly, drumming vigorously, running around and then serving mochi (rice cakes) to people thronged in the shrine precincts. Schedule & Key events: ● ...

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Yamagata: Uesugi Yukidoro Matsuri

Snow Lantern Festival. About 300 yuki-doro (big snow lanterns) and more than 1,000 yuki-bonbori (small snow lanterns) at Uesugi-jinja Shrine and at Matsugasaki Park are lit up. Some more events are scheduled during the festival period. Schedule & Key events: ● daily from 5:30 ...

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Nararurie

Nararurie

Nara Prefecture’s scenic countryside has long attracted visitors, inspiring the likes of tanka poet Yaichi Aizu (1881-1956) and photographers Seiyo Ogawa (1894-1960) and Taikichi Irie (1905-1992). The area’s annual Nararurie festival illuminates the ancient capital’s historical landmarks, including Kasuga-Taisha Shrine and Todaiji Temple, with ...

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World Valentine's Festival

World Valentine's Festival

In Japan, Valentine’s Day involves women giving gifts of chocolate to their boyfriends and male colleagues. In Thailand, however, women pray for true love at popular Hindu shrines, while couples line up to register their marriage with a golden certificate in Bang Rak, Bangkok’s ...

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Osaka Automesse 2016

Osaka Automesse 2016

Osaka Automesse, one of the biggest car shows in Japan, showcases the charms of car customization. With around 1,600 booths selling automobile goods, including hubcaps, mufflers, headlamps and decals, this is the place to go if you’re thinking of jazzing up your ride. Stage ...

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Mt. Isetan Chocolaterie by Kloka

Mt. Isetan Chocolaterie by Kloka

Imagine hot chocolate on tap, literally running out of a faucet. Or how about a special patisserie where you can bake your own original cupcakes. This is the fairy-tale-like fantasy that Kloka, a creative studio that specializes in setting up quirky events, aims to ...

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Akita: Yokote Kamakura

Snow Huts Exhibition. Playing in snow huts is a popular pastime in winter for children living in the heavy snowfall areas. They make snow huts called kamakura in which they play games and eat traditional delicacies. About 100 snow huts, and a number of ...

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Akita: Bonden

Dozens of bonden (sacred bamboo baskets decorated with colorful cloth and streamers, 30 kg in weight and 5 meters in length each) are carried by villagers who vie with each other to be the first in dedicating bonden to the shrines. Schedule & Key ...

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Yamagata: Kuromori Kabuki

Local kabuki (traditional play by men) and kyogen (traditional comic drama) play with a more than 280-year tradition is performed on the makeshift stage set up in the shrine precincts. Schedule & Key events: ● Feb. 15 & 17 from 10 a.m.: Shonen-taiko (Japanese drumming ...

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Tokyo: Tako Ichi

Kite Fair. Kites, regarded as a talisman for preventing fire, are sold at some stalls among many other open-air stalls, which are set up in the precincts and along the approach to the shrine. Schedule & Key events: ● Feb. 6 & 18 10 ...

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Aomori: Emburi

This is a unique harvest festival native to Hachinohe and its vicinities, with a 800-year history, and is designated as one of the National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties. The highlight of this festival is emburi (local dances) performance under the flickering torchlights. Schedule ...

SAT

Niigata: Akatani Dontsuki Matsuri

The festival has an over 700-year history. Local men dressed in only loincloths jostle one another in the shrine precincts to pray for a good harvest and good health throughout the year. Schedule & Key events: 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Location: Kamiakatani-chinjuzan-jinja Shrine, Shibata, Niigata ...

SAT

Okayama: Saidaiji Eyo (Hadaka Matsuri)

Naked Festival. This festival is the largest in scale of this kind. Some 9,000 young men wearing only loincloth vigorously purify themselves by pouring cold water over their bodies in Yoshii River. Then they vie with each other to get a pair of shingi ...

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Hokkaido: Chitose-Shikotsuko Hyoto Matsuri

Hokkaido: Chitose-Shikotsuko Hyoto Matsuri

Ice Festival. Many ice sculptures exhibited on the shore are lit up. Some more events are scheduled during the festival period. Schedule & Key events: ● daily 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Ice sculptures lighting up ● Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays 6:30 p.m.-6:50 p.m. Fireworks ...

Notice: Event and location information is subject to change.