Monday, March 11, 2013

Japanese Festival

Nepal festival tour

Japan has a rich tradition of “Matsuri”(festivals).  Matsuri is held to pray for abundant harvest, purify villages or towns, or simply just for fun.  Most festivals are sponsored by a local shrine or temple.  The style of Matsuri is various, such as marching with floats at night, dancing on the streets, the parading with gigantic lanterns, and more.  Michi Travel Japan has selected interesting festivals in Japan for you to experience the Japanese spirit.

Michi Travel Japan is pleased to arrange accommodations for the festival dates.  Please contact us at least 6 months prior to the festival. 

 Omizutori Festival at Todaji Temple (Nara)                                 March 8-9, 2008  

Omizutori is held at Todaiji Temple in Nara, every year in the middle of March. Chosen monks with big torches in their hands walk around the Nigatsudo building, and pray for good harvest, health and peace.  The festival is held late at night, but many people gather around Nigatsudo.  It is believed that being exposed to the sparks of fire bring good fortune.  The excitement will let you forget the coldness of Nara's winter. 

Takayama Matsuri (Takayama)                       April 14 & 15, October 9 & 10, 2008  

Takayama Matsuri is held in spring an autumn every year.  It is considered as one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan.  The festival is originated back to around 1600.  On the festival day, in th daytime hundreds of people wearing traditional clothes march on the streets along with music, and at night floats with 100 lanterns are pulled around the town.

Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)                                                                                July 2008

Gion Matsuri, a festival of Yasaka shrine is widely know for its history and splendor.  About 1100 years ago the festival started to conteract the epidemic spreading across Japan at that time.  The festival is for a month of July, and the highlight is July 17 with 32 floats marching in the city of Kyoto.   

Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori)                                                              August 2-7, 2008                                          

Aomori Nebuta is held from August 2 - 7 every year with more than 3.5 million visitors from all over the world.  Nebuta, gigantic lanterns are paraded in the city, pulled by people dancing around to lively music.  These
Nebuta are based on the characters of Kabuki stories, myths and Japanese history.  The energetic and dynamic festival is to celebrate the short summer up north.

 Sapporo Yukimatsuri (Snow Festival)                                     February 5-11, 2009  

Sapporo Yukimatsuri is held every year with more than two million visitors from all over the world.  During the festival, Sapporo turns into a winter wonderland.  Hundreds of gigantic snow statues and ice sculptures are lined on the streets in the heart of the city.  The competitions of statues and sculptures are
held, as well as live music, food events, and more.  In the evening, the city is lit up, adding a fantastic atmosphere to the festivities. 

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