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Tokyo: O-Zumo Hatsu Basho

First grand sumo tournament of the year at Ryogoku Kokugikan Hall. Dohyo-iri (the ring-entering ceremonies) by yokozuna take place around 3:40 p.m. daily. Then the main matches by maku-uchi (upper-rank sumo wrestlers) start. Advance tickets are sold at Ryogoku Kokugikan Hall, Ticket Pia, convenience ...

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Tokyo: Daikoku Matsuri

Festival featuring a purification ceremony (people coming of age pour icy water over themselves) and hocho-shiki (rite or traditional art of skillfully slicing a large carp using a Japanese knife). Schedule & Key events: ● Jan. 21 from 10 a.m.: Purification ceremony ● Jan. ...

WED

Kyoto: Hatsu Tenjin

First fair of the year featuring street stalls selling used kimono, potted plants, food and other items. The fair is as large in scale as the one at To-ji Temple on Jan. 21. Schedule & Key events: from dawn to dark Location: Kitano Tenman-gu ...

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Tokyo: Usokae-Shinji

Bullfinch exchange ritual. Bullfinches, which are called uso in Japanese, are regarded as symbols of good luck. People exchange old carved wooden bullfinches for new ones. Kasai-bayashi (Japanese festival music) and Sato-kagura (Shinto dance with music) will be performed at Kagura-den Hall. Schedule & ...

SAT

Nara: Wakakusayama-yaki

Grass-burning Festival. This is the traditional festival to herald the arrival of spring in this region. If it rains, it will be postponed to Jan. 29. Schedule & Key events: from 6:15 p.m.: Around 600 fireworks display from 6:30 p.m.: Grass-burning Location: Wakakusayama Hill, ...

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Hyogo: Shunsetsu-sai

Chinese New Year’s Day, according to the lunar calendar. The highlight of this festival is a procession of people in Chinese traditional costumes on the main street in Chinatown and the shopping areas of Motomachi and Sannomiya. Various and colorful events including lion dance ...

SUN

Osaka: Dai-Sagicho-hoe (Tondo)

Big bonfire. New Year’s decorations are burnt in holy fire in prayer for prosperity and good health. Schedule & Key events: from 5 p.m.: Bonfire Location: Ebara-ji Temple, Sakai, Osaka Access: JR Hanwa Line to Tsukuno Station, and then walk 15 min. Festival information ...

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Setsubun Market in Okage Yokocho Street

Setsubun Market in Okage Yokocho Street

It’s a familiar cry heard in February — not the declarations of love brought about by Valentine’s Day, but the shouts of “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Devil out! Happiness in!”) that mean Setsubun is here. Setsubun takes place on Feb. 3 and ...

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Nagasaki: 2017 Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival, a picturesque Chinese event featuring 15,000 lanterns in the shape of various creatures along the streets lit up daily during the festival period. The highlight of this festival is kotei-gyoretsu (a parade of Chinese emperor) and maso-gyoretsu (a parade of the goddess ...

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Kanagawa: 2017 Shunsetsu

Chinese New Year’s Day, Jan. 28, according to the lunar calendar. Various events are scheduled during the festival period. ● Jan. 28 from -noon: Countdown at Kantei-byo and Maso-byo ● Jan. 28, 3:30-8 p.m. Shishimai (Chinese lion dance) performance ● Jan. 29 & Feb. ...

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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 4:30-10 p.m. Ice sculptures lighting up ● Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from 6:30 p.m.: Fireworks display ...

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Kyoto: Gion Corner Toki Tokubetsu Koen

Winter Special Performance. The demonstration of several kinds of traditional Japanese entertainments and arts is staged. Admission is ¥3,150 (¥2,500 for foreign visitors until Feb. 26). For further information, call 075-561-1119 (in English). Schedule & Key events: ● every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and national ...

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Kyoto: Gion Corner Toki Tokubetsu Koen

Winter special performance. The demonstration of several kinds of traditional Japanese entertainments and arts is staged. Admission is ¥3,150 (¥2,500 for foreign visitors until Feb. 26). For further information, call 075-561-1119 (in English). Schedule & Key events: ● every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and national ...

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Yamagata: Zao Juhyo Light-up

Festival featuring the lighting up Juhyo, known as “Ice Monster,” trees covered with frost. Schedule & Key events: ● Dec. 23, 24; Dec. 29-Jan. 3; Jan. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22; Jan. 27-March 5 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Juhyo lighting up Location: along Zao ...

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Yamagata: Zao Juhyo Light-up

Festival featuring the lighting up juhyo, known as “Ice Monster,” trees covered with frost. Schedule & Key events: ● Jan. 1-Jan. 3, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, Jan. 27-March 5 5-9 p.m. Juhyo lighting up Location: along Zao Ropeway Sancho Line, Yamagata Access: ...

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Shizuoka: Atami Baien Ume Matsuri

Japanese Apricot Festival. There are about 470 Japanese apricot trees of 60 species in the garden and they begin to bloom usually from the middle of January. Various entertainments are scheduled during the festival period. Admission is ¥300. Schedule & Key events: ● daily ...

Notice: Event and location information is subject to change.