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Chichibu Yomatsuri 2021

Chichibu Shrine 秩父神社, 1-3 Banbamachi, Chichibu

One of Japan’s greatest hikiyama (float) festivals, the Chichibu Yomatsuri is held 2-3 December every year and attracts…

Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatoro 2021

Arashiyama, Kyoto Togetsu-kyō Bridge, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto

Hanatoro (花灯路, Hanatōro) is a 10-day long illuminations that takes place in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District in March and…

Sengakuji’s Ako Gishi Sai 2021

Sengakuji Sengaku-ji, 2-11-1 Takanawa, Minato

The story of the 47 ronin is one of Japan’s most celebrated and famous. While in English it…

Oji Fox Parade 2021

Oji Inari Shrine 王子稲荷神社, 1-12-26 Kishimachi, Kita

The legend goes that foxes from all regions would gather under a large tree on New Year’s Eve…

Imperial Family New Year Greeting 2022

Chowaden, Tokyo Imperial Palace 皇居宮殿長和殿, 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda

The traditional New Year greeting by the Imperial Family from the long balcony of the Chowaden Hall. Members…

New Year Firefighter Ceremony 2022

Tokyo Big Sight Tokyo Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto

The New Year Firefighter Ceremony—officially called dezome-shiki (出初式)—is a display of acrobatics and other skills organized by the…

Torigoe Shrine Dondo-Yaki 2022

Torigoe Shrine 2-Chome 4-1 Torigoe, Taito

Dondo-yaki is the ritual from the Heian era typically held on the 15 January. New year ornaments, amulets, and…

Ome Daruma Market 2022

Ome City Hall 1-11-1 Higashiome, Ome

Daruma are hollow, round, traditional Japanese dolls that are usually weighted at the bottom so no matter which…

Daikoku Matsuri 2022

Kanda Myojin 2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda

The association of Kanda Myojin with wealth and good fortune (it is after all home to two of…

Dosojin Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival 2022

Nozawa Onsen Village Shimotakai District

The Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival (野沢温泉道祖神火祭り, Nozawa Onsen Dōsojin Hi-matsuri) is held on 15 January every year and…

Kameidoten Usokae Bullfinch Exchange 2022

Kameido Tenjin Shrine 3-6-1 Kameido, Koto

This annual event held at Kameidoten-jinja in Koto Ward celebrates the passing of good fortune into the year…

Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival 2022

Shimokitazawa Shimo-kitazawa Station, 2-23 Kitazawa, Setagaya

Shimokitazawa Tengu Festival is a novel variation on the Setsubun theme, centering around Shinryuji Temple with a small…

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival 2022

Otaru, Hokkaido Otaru Station, 2 Chome-22 Inaho, Otaru

The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival (小樽雪あかりの路, Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi) began in 1999 with the hope…

Kite Market at Oji Inari Shrine I

Oji Inari Shrine 王子稲荷神社, 1-12-26 Kishimachi, Kita

Kite market (凧市) held on the Day of the Horse every February. The dates depending on the twelve…

Kite Market at Oji Inari Shrine II

Oji Inari Shrine 王子稲荷神社, 1-12-26 Kishimachi, Kita

Kite market (凧市) held on the Day of the Horse every February. The dates depending on the twelve…

Setsubun at Narita-san 2022

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple 成田山新勝寺, 1 Narita, Narita

While setsubun festivals are held at many temples across the country, the rituals at Asakusa’s Sensoji, Takao-san Yakuo-in…

Setsubun (Bean Tossing) at Sensoji 2022

Sensoji Temple Senso-ji, 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito

Traditionally setsubun (節分) marks the day before the beginning of a new season, but in post-Edo times the…

Nara Setsubun Mantoro 2022

Kasuga Taisha Shrine 春日大社, 160 Kasuganocho, Nara

More than 3,000 lanterns are lit at Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara twice a year—in early February for…

Sapporo Snow Festival 2022

Odori Park, Sapporo 大通公園, 7-chrome Odorinishi, Chuo, Sapporo

What started off in 1950 as community event to display six snow statues made by local high school…

Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival 2022

Yokote, Akita 横手市民会館, 13-1 Minamimachi, Yokote

The ritual of hollowing out a mound of snow and building a small hut like an igloo is…

Some no Komichi 2022

Nakai 西武新宿線 中井駅, 1-19-1 Nakaochiai, Shinjuku

Until the 1950s, many dying factories could be found along the river near Nakai Station in Shinjuku Ward…

Saidaiji Eyo (“Naked Festival”) 2022

Saidaiji Kannon-in 別格本山 金陵山西大寺観音院, 3 Chome-8-8 Saidaijinaka, Higashi Ward, Okayama

The Saidaiji Eyō (西大寺会陽), more commonly known as the Hadaka Matsuri (“Naked Festival”), gets more international media attention…

Jindaiji Temple Daruma Doll Market 2022

Jindaiji Temple Jindai-ji Temple, 5-15-1 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu

One of the biggest Daruma Doll Markets in Japan, over 300 stalls selling the round dolls gather around…

Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatoro 2022

Higashiyama, Kyoto Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

Hanatoro (花灯路, Hanatōro) is a 10-day long illumination that takes place in Kyoto’s Higashiyama in March and Arashiyama…