Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sapporo Snow Festival

2024 Sapporo Snow festival will be held from 4th February to 11th February. The Snow Festival is one of Hokkaido’s most famous events, with Sapporo’s main street lined with statues and sculptures made with ice and snow. Every year more

Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Nikko’s Tōshō-gū (日光東照宮), Futarasan shrine (日光二荒山神社), the 103 buildings of the Rinno-ji (輪王寺) and the ruins that surround it, have all been designated as World Heritage Sites. The most famous of Nikko’s many sights, the Tōshō-gū is a shrine dedicated

Owara Kaze-no-bon

Matching their dance with the sentimental mood of the folk song “Etchu Owara” (越中おわら節), the dancers at this festival dance in a more subdued and elegant manner, while parading through town. On occasion, spectators are also welcome to join the

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Serving as a monument to remind of the powerful and disastrous force of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this site is also referred to as a “negative heritage”. Until the bombing on the August 6th 1945, the building had been

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Serving as a monument to remind of the powerful and disastrous force of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this site is also referred to as a “negative heritage”. Until the bombing on the August 6th 1945, the building had been

Kanda Festival

Kanda Festival will be held from 11th May 2023 to 17th May 2023. Internet TV will be available on 13th and 14th May 2023. This festival takes place at Kanda Myōjin (神田明神, Kanda Shrine), which has a history going back


Shiretoko is the southernmost point in the northern hemisphere with seasonal sea ice, which makes it the home for a unique and original natural landscape. It is abundant in marine life represented by salmon, as well as a rich diversity


Of the 130,000 hectare of mountainous terrain in Akita and Aomori prefecture, more than 17,000 hectare has been designated as a World Heritage Site. This area remains completely untouched by humans and includes the world’s largest beech forest, as well

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

This village is famous for its houses with traditionally thatched roofs and its renowned rearing of silkworms. Together with the surrounding mountains and fields, it creates a truly beautiful landscape. Due to the notorious winter snowfalls, this community was occasionally

Sacred Sites in the Kii Mountain Range

The three sacred mountain ranges Yoshino/Omine, Kumano Sanzan and Koyasan and the connecting pilgrimage path have had an immensely important effect on Japanese religious and cultural growth and exchange. This is a place famous as the origin of the special

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

In Nara, which had been the Japanese capital from 710 to 784, before this moved to Kyoto, you can feel the long lasting effect that religion had, and still has, on the city in the form of Buddhist temples and

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyuji Area

The Horyuji Temple (法隆寺), which was completed in the year 607, is known as the world’s oldest remaining wooden structure. It was also Japan’s first ever designated World Heritage Site and during the time following its construction had a profound

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

The ancient monuments of Kyoto are world famous and one of Japan’s most beloved sightseeing spots. The Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) as well as Kinkakuji (金閣寺, golden pavilion) in Kyoto City, Byodoin (平等院) in Uji City and the Enryaku Temple (比叡山延暦寺)

Himeji Castle

Representative of early 17th century Japanese castle architecture, Himeji Castle (姫路城) is regarded as one of Japan’s most impressive wooden structures. The beautiful white stucco walls make the building not only beautiful to look at, but also act at as

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

With a history of about 400 years in mining, this is Japan’s most well known silver mine. It is estimated that 30% of the silver that was in circulation during the 100 years between the middle of the 16th and


Covering an area of roughly 500km2 and a circular circumference of 130km, Yakushima (屋久島) is an impressive granite based island. Despite being a comparatively small island, it has an abundance of mountains over 1,000m, and a climate that ranges from

Gusuku Sites and the Ryukyu Kingdom

Located mainly in the southern part of Okinawa’s main island are the remains of 9 Ryukyu Kingdom castles. The native word “Gusuku” can be translated directly as “castle”. The Ryuku Kingdom (琉球王国) was established in 1429 and remained an independent

Hachinohe Emburi

This festival is carried out in hope of a successful harvest. Dancers wearing hats representing horse head carry out a very unique and stylized dance, in which they wave their heads back and forth, while singing traditional rice farming songs.

Aomori Nebuta

At this festival, giant models of warriors and lantern decorated floats are taken through the city among powerful shouts. One of the many theories about the origin of the festival is that it is based on the “Tanabata” festival, during which

Akita Kanto Festival

This festival originated from the ancient tradition of fending off the evil spirits of the summer, in hope of better health and crops. Participants parade through the streets with giant bamboo sticks to which an uncountable number of paper lanterns

Yamagata Hanagasa Festival

This parade centers around floats, lavishly decorated with flower arrangements, and the accompanying dancers, dancing to Hanagasa Ondo folk songs, with their trademark red flower hats in hand. Over the three days of the festival, more than 1 million spectators

Sannō Festival

This is one of the three major Edo festivals (江戸三大祭). This historic festival centers around Hie Shrine (日枝神社), the patron shrine of a wide area of central Tokyo which includes the Tokyo Imperial Palace compounds, and is meant to express

Chichibu Yomatsuri

This festival, with a history of over 300 years is designated as part of Japan’s “Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties”. On the 2nd and 3rd, cars and floats decorated with paper lanterns parade the city. Some of these have performance

Takayama Festival

This festival takes place in spring and autumn. Several hundreds of people dress up in traditional Japanese attire and dance and parade through town to old Shinto songs led by lion dancers. Designated as one of Japan’s “Important Intangible Folk

Hamamatsu Festival

This festival celebrates the birth of the first son in the last year. With more than 1 million visitors, it ranges as one of the largest festivals in Japan. During the day, there are a number of kite flying competitions

Aoi Festival

The origins of Aoi Matsuri (葵祭) can be traced back to the noble circles of the Imperial court. Among the many Japanese festivals it is known as one of the finest and rarest of its kind. Especially impressive is the

Kyoto Gion Festival

The Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) is one of Japan’s three major festivals. It was first established in the year 869 in Kyoto and then became increasingly popular throughout Japan. Its primary objective has been to worship the Gion god and by

Kyoto Jidai Festival

Established in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the Heian Period move of the capital, this festival takes place at Heian Shrine. What is special about this festival, is that it offers you the chance to view a large

Kōchi Yosakoi Festival

At this festival the unique “Yosakoi Naruko” dance is performed to the clapping rhythm of the Naruko (a wooden percussion instrument). On the evening of the 9th, there is a big fireworks competition at the Kagamigawa riverside and the main

Awa Odori

The Awa Odori (阿波踊り) dance is one of the three Obon dances, and is performed to accompanying shamisen, taiko and flute music. During the festival period, a wide area of the town turns into a pedestrian paradise with dance stages

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival

This festival which takes place at Kushida Shrine (櫛田神社), home to the patron deity of Hakata, looks back onto a history of more than 760 years. The Yamakasa here are large floats decorated with banners and puppets, which are presented

Hakata Dontaku

Between 10:00am and 8:00pm, at 30 different locations in the Tenjin and Hakata districts, the so-called “Dontaku-tai” dance groups will perform displays of their skills. In the afternoon, there is also a parade at the Dontaku Plaza on Meiji Dori.

Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival

Eisa (エイサー) is a traditional Okinawan dance festival, which takes place around the Obon holidays. In 1956, when Koza City (present-day Okinawa City) was established, this event began as an Eisa dance competition. Since then it has evolved into a

Nagasaki Kunchi

This event consists of musical performances in honor of the patron deities of the surrounding villages which are kept at Suwa Shrine. One of the main features of this festival is its international flair, including cultural imports from Holland, Portugal

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