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Japan’s Top Festivals in 2020

With the arrival of the Olympic as well as Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summertime, Japan is getting ready for record varieties of travelers from all over the world in 2020. Despite the high number of vacationers heading to Japan, Japanese matsuri, or events, provide vacationers a chance to get away the crowds as well as experience Japan’s abundant social heritage alongside residents. A variety of the nation’s top matsuri will take place over the summer, permitting tourists heading to Japan for the Olympic as well as Paralympic Games a possibility to experience Japanese customs while traveling outside of Tokyo.

Hifuri Kamakura Festical, Akita Prefecture, Tohoku – February 14, 2020
Occurring in the little farming community of Kakunodate, the Hifuri Kamakura Festival commemorates the Lunar New Year. Locals and visitors alike participate in the filtration ritual, which entails twirling basketball-sized sacks of coal made up of rice straw above the head with rope. This tradition came from as a way for residents to clear themselves of fiends that may torment the year’s harvest, yet today, the festival provides a possibility for old friends as well as next-door neighbors to capture up.

Kyokusui no Utage, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu – March 2020
Held at the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, this yearly celebration recreates a stylish tradition from the Heian period. Poets dressed in Heian-style 12-layer bathrobes rest among plum trees at the temple and also make up rhymes on narrow strips of paper, all while sipping from cups of purpose that can be located floating down a man-made stream in the shrine’s garden. The rhymes read at a recital later in the day.

Ningen Shogi, Yamagata Prefecture, Tohoku – April 2020
90% of Japanese chess pieces, or shogi, are produced in the city of Tendo. Each year, as the cherry blossoms flower, locals and also travelers gather to see a human chess game, or shogi battle, in Maizuru Park, where 2 specialist chess gamers take on humans dressed as samurai instead of chess pieces. The festival additionally features taiko (Japanese drum) performances and delicious local food specialties like yakisoba noodles as well as takoyaki fish rounds.

Noboribetsu Hell Festival, Hokkaido – Thursday as well as Friday nights, June-July 2020
Noboribetsu is house to the famous Jigokudani, or “Hell Valley,” a volcanic crater locals believe resembles “hell on Earth,” due to the vapor and boiling water that bubble out of little gaps in the frozen ground from the neighboring volcano. This all-natural sensation likewise inspired the regional citizens to start the tradition of the Hell Festival. Spruced up as yukijin, spirited satanic forces that shield the neighboring thermal springs, residents introduce 24 fireworks right into the air while three satanic forces ritualistically defeat drums.

The Gujo Odori Dance Festival, Gifu Prefecture, Chubu – July 13-September 7, 2020
One of one of the most essential dancing events in Japan, the Gujo Odori Dance Festival includes 10 dancings with equivalent songs, the most renowned being “Kawasaki.” Stemming over 400 years ago, this celebration is held over 32 evenings, with the height of the celebration, referred to as Obon, taking place from August 13-16, 2020. Based in the tiny waterfront community of Gujo-Hachiman, citizens and visitors dance together in a big circle all through the night to memorialize their forefathers.

Lotus Festival, Miyagi Prefecture, Tohoku – July-August 2020 (envisioned at leading – Lotuses on Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma ( © Visit Miyagi)
Instead of cherry blossoms, pink lotuses are the star of Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma, which transforms right into a floral paradise each summer season. The lake is so full of the perennials that site visitors can barely see the water’s surface area. Lake Izunuma Uchinuma is an extremely prominent location for pairs in the summer season as tourists can take an enchanting boat ride through the lotus blooms.

Saijo Festival, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku – Mid-October 2020
A spectacle of lights, the Saijo Festival is a spectacular celebration with the piece de resistance being Danjiri, gigantic wood drifts, as well as mikoshi, mobile temples. Both are brought from regional communities to drift on the Kamo River. The main event occurs on October 16, when the Danjiri are set up right into a line on the river financial institutions, permitting the mikoshi to be moved across the banks to the Isono Shrine.

To learn more, go to JAPAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION (JNTO)

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