Kagurazaka Festival

Jul 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals, Tokyo and Vicinity

In the center of the Tokyo’s Yamanote line you will find Kagurazaka Slope, an area that was once just beyond the walls of the imperial palace grounds, and where artists, politicians and Geisha once mingled. The name Kagurazaka is a combination of kagura (a shrine-dance to music) and saka (hill) and evokes the sites and […]

Aomori Nebuta Festival

Jul 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals

In early August, Aomori Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan hosts the Nebuta & Neputa Festivals, where giant illuminated floats featuring famous warriors and and kabuki actors are paraded through the streets. Accompanied but the thundering sound of beating drums, the music of bamboo flutes and shouts of “rasseera” by Haneto dancers this is […]

Tanabata – Festival of Star Crossed Lovers

Jul 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals

Separated by the milky way, two star crossed lovers are only able to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month based on the lunisolar calendar.  The legend of Hikoboshi (the star known as Alter) and Orihime (the star known as Vega) has roots in China but has been associated with […]

Take your Kids to a Festival in Japan

Jun 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals, Lifestyle

Japan is in the middle of its spring matsuri – festival – season, and the summer fireworks (hanabi) are soon to come. All over the country people flock to the shrines to pay homage and watch the spectacle as the portable shrines – mikoshi – are paraded through the streets by colorfully dressed and shouting […]

Summer Music Festivals in Japan

Jun 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Festivals, Osaka, Tokyo and Vicinity

Whether your taste in music tends towards traditional rock & roll, soul, alternative or contemporary Japanese you are sure to find one of your favorite artists or discover a new favorite when you attend a summer music festivals in Japan.   The line up of artists from the gamut at these three great music events. Fuji […]

A Festival of Revenge in Odawara

May 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals

The Soga Kasa-yaki Matsuri is held annually each May and is a festival that honors an act of revenge by the Soga brothers that took place in May 1193, over 800 years ago. In 12th century Japan, territorial battles were commonplace and were often bloody affairs.  Warlords enacted elaborate military attacks with the sole purpose […]

Yosakoi-Soran Festival in Japan

May 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals

One thing Japan is well known for is its festivals. If you haven’t experienced participating in a Japanese festival, you’re missing out in a fantastic opportunity to truly immerse yourself in Japanese Culture. They are held for many different reasons. From Hokkaido all the way to Kyushu and Okinawa. They celebrate new harvests, or the […]

Kameido Wisteria Festival

Apr 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals

The annual Fuji Matsuri or Wisteria Festival is another chance to take advantage of some of the beautiful spring flowers in Japan.  As the season moves on the pink cherry blossoms give way to the purple blooms wisteria vines throughout the country.  In Tokyo the festival is also an opportunity to take in traditional Japanese […]

Kanamara Festival

Apr 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals

Each April in Kawasaki the Kanamara Festival takes place at the Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki, about thirty minutes by train south of Tokyo.  It’s an unusual festival and one that may cause you to shake your head and look twice at some of the mikoshi (portable shrines) being paraded through town. “Huge pink and […]

Narita Taiko Matsuri

Mar 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Festivals, Tokyo and Vicinity

The Narita Taiko Matsuri is the largest drum festival in the Kanto region and is held each April at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.  The matsuri features two full days of taiko drumming, dancing and parades. Literally, taiko means “fat drum”, and the art form can be traced back the the sixth or seventh century in Japan, […]