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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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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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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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 ...

SUN

Tokyo: Ome Marathon

Marathon, with 19,000 runners participated, from Higashi Ome 4-chome area. 9:30 a.m.-10:50 a.m. Marathon for the 10-km race 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Marathon for the 30-km race Location: Higashi Ome 4-chome area and others, Ome, Tokyo Access: JR Ome Line to Kabe Station. Festival information ...

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Nagasaki: 2016 Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival is 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 ...

TUE

Kyoto: Daigoji Godai-rikison Ninno-e

A contest, in which young men and women show their strength by lifting mochi (rice cakes), weighing some 150 kg (for men) and 90 kg (for women), is held in front of Kaido Hall of the temple. Schedule & Key events: from noon: Contest for women ...

WED

Kyoto: Kamigamo Sanyare-sai

A group of boys who have become the age of 15, solemnly go up the steps in line to the shrine for their genpuku, the traditional initiation ceremony of coming-of-age. Schedule & Key events: noon- Location: Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, Kita-ku, Kyoto Access: From JR Kyoto ...

THU

Chiba: Warabi Hadaka Matsuri

Hadaka Matsuri, literally naked festival. Local young men in loincloth holding infants in their arms step into the sacred muddy rice paddy and put a pinch of mud on their infants’ faces. It is believed to protect babies from harm. And then, the young men ...

THU

Kyoto: Baika-sai

Ume (Japanese apricot) Blossom Festival. There are 1,500 apricot trees of 50 species in the garden which is open to the public from the beginning of February to the middle of March, depending on the flowering. Admission to the garden is ¥700. Fee for ...

Notice: Event and location information is subject to change.