Koenji becomes a huge attraction in the summer when it hosts one of Tokyo’s most popular festivals. The Koenji Awa Odori is a summer dance festival and is held annually during the last weekend in August.
Every August 15th Nagatoro holds it’s dual Shinto/Buddhist festival on the banks of the Arakawa River. The popular festival merges two important local customs.
Children, teens, and adults can be seen crowding the Hata Sensuda Sports Park. Tents with the aroma of delicious festival foods wafting from them can also be seen from a distance as people order treats from them, forming long lines that snake towards the parking lot. Everyone here is excitedly awaiting the event of the night – the Hata Fireworks Festival.
One of the unique festivals of the area is the Demon Fireworks Festival, known as the Oni-Hanabi in Japanese. Every summer from early June to the end of July, Noboribetsu holds a special festival to celebrate the demons living in the area.
Japanese summers may bring on the heat and humidity, but they also signal Japan’s love of the festive. Tokyo’s festivals cover the whole spectrum – from congenial goodwill ceremonies to fireworks extravaganzas, summertime in Tokyo is never a dull moment.
Some of these varieties include: ceramic, glass, metal, bamboo, bronze, clay, crystal and so on. Kawasaki Daishi Temple, while not quite known to many tourists, has always beendedicated to the warding of evil through its ceremonies of purification, such as the Yakudoshi (unlucky or critical age in a person’s life), blessings of talismans and charms, burning rites during New Year, year-end cleaning ritual using long brooms, and others.
In keeping with the ancient custom, Yasukuni Shrine holds the yearly Mitama Festival around July 13-16 as part of the Obon festivities. Mitama refers to the spirit or soul of the dead. During this season, Japanese hang lanterns and place offerings at the altars as prayers for their ancestors’ spirits to be freed of their sufferings. Since 1947, the Mitama Festival has lightened up the Yasukuni Shrine grounds with more than 30,000 glittering lanterns or chochin.
To this day the area still produces a vast number of kimono, coming in second only to Japan’s cultural hub of Kyoto. The people of Tokamachi are extremely proud of their home grown artisanship, and host a number of events in May showing their deep connection to Japan’s traditional dress.
In the busiest time of the year in Hokkaido, a small town in the center of the prefecture lights up, literally. Over 10,000 paper lanterns fill up the streets in Takikawa, and people from all over the prefecture and Japan visit.
In Osaka, however, there are plenty of activities to do during the winter which are sure to pull you out of your cosy warm bed and into Kansai’s popular prefecture! Here’s a look at 5 things to do in Osaka during the winter!