Japanese Temple Holds "naked Festival"

Japanese Temple Holds "Naked Festival"Crowds of men wearing nothing but loincloths joined a nighttime festival in western Japan, vying to catch wooden sticks said to bring good luck.
The annual "Naked Festival" was held on Saturday on the grounds of Saidaiji Temple in the city of Okayama.

Celebrate Japanese Culture At Annual Festival

Celebrate Japanese culture at annual festivalSatsuki Morimoto takes an umbrella wherever she goes.
“Americans usually don’t carry umbrellas,” she said. “Japanese never forget to take an umbrella as they leave the house. But I’ve gotten used to not having an umbrella.”

Sapporo Snow Festival Opens, Featuring Trump Sculpture Among Others

Sapporo snow festival opens, featuring Trump sculpture among othersThe annual Sapporo snow festival began Monday in the Hokkaido capital, featuring 200 sculptures made from snow and ice, including one of new U.S. President Donald Trump.
Over 2 million people are expected to visit the weeklong 68th Sapporo Snow Festival, which is held at three sites in the city and runs through Feb. 12.

Tourists Drift To Hokkaido For Natural Wonder Of Sea Ice Festival

Tourists drift to Hokkaido for natural wonder of sea ice festivalBraving sub-zero temperatures, visitors from Japan and abroad are wrapping up extra warm for the Shiretoko Drift Ice Festival, which kicked off on Jan. 30 here in this remote town on the Shiretoko Peninsula.
The event is staged at two main venues: the Blue Stage, on the massive Oronkoiwa rock illuminated near the Utoro fishing port; and the hilltop Green Stage, which features a giant ice dome equipped with a bar.

Lantern Festival Begins In Nagasaki

Lantern Festival begins in NagasakiA lunar New Year festival with more than 15,000 lanterns is underway in Nagasaki, western Japan.
The Nagasaki Lantern Festival coincides with the Chinese New Year and symbolizes the city's long history of exchanges with other countries.

Itoigawa Holds Annual Monkfish Festival One Month After Blaze

Itoigawa holds annual monkfish festival one month after blazeSome 5,500 people joined an annual monkfish festival in Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, on Sunday after a massive fire roared through city one month ago.
The festival’s organizer once considered canceling the event, but decided to hold it to cheer up residents, an official of the city’s tourism association said.

Hawk Performs For Year Of Rooster

Hawk performs for Year of RoosterA hawk has helped welcome in 2017, the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac, with aerial performances in southwestern Japan.
Falconer Misato Ishibashi and her bird performed in Saga City on Saturday.

Half-naked Players Battle For Ball In Chilly New Year Ritual

Half-naked players battle for ball in chilly New Year ritualAbout 330 stripped-down male worshippers had a ball despite getting doused with cold water in the sacred annual “Tama seseri” New Year's festival at Hakozakigu shrine here on Jan. 3.
The local participants wore only loincloths in the quaint ritual, which literally means “competing for a ball,” at the shrine in Fukuoka’s Higashi Ward, in the northern part of Kyushu island.

Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2017 Finds New Tokyo Home

Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2017 finds new Tokyo homeWith an exciting new venue on tap, the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2017 is headed for five cinemas in the Ikebukuro district in the capital’s Toshima Ward in March, showcasing about 100 animated works from around the world.
The annual TAAF, entering its fourth year, had been held in a multiplex in the Nihonbashi district.

Hagoita-ichi Paddles Wow Visitors At Fair

Hagoita-ichi paddles wow visitors at fairVarious hagoita wooden paddles decorated with the faces of people in the news this year amused visitors at the annual year-end Hagoita-ichi fair on its opening day at Sensoji temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.
Colorfully decorated hagoita are being sold at the fair, which has about 25 stalls. The paddles feature designs including popular scenes from kabuki productions; portraits of samurai warrior Sanada Yukimura, who was active in the Sengoku warring states period (late 15th century to late 16th century); and comedian Pikotaro — whose “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen” song became a big hit via the internet.

Folk Music Practice Underway For Float Festival

Folk music practice underway for float festivalPeople in a city north of Tokyo are rehearsing a festival they hope will be listed by UNESCO.
The "Chichibu-yomatsuri" in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, features 6 lavish floats pulled by 1,000 participants. It is held on December 2nd and 3rd every year.

Annual Japan-ghana Festival Held In Accra

Annual Japan-Ghana festival held in AccraYoung people from Japan and Ghana have been sharing the cultures of their countries at an event aimed at deepening grassroots exchanges.
The festival has been held in Ghana every year since 2002. It is designed to nurture relations between Japan and the West African nation beyond development assistance.

29th Tokyo International Film Festival Gearing Up With 16 Competition Titles

29th Tokyo International Film Festival gearing up with 16 competition titlesFive world premieres will feature among the 16 films vying for the top prize in the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival beginning on Oct. 25 this year, festival organizers have announced.
Organizers unveiled the full lineup of films at the festival on Sept. 26. The 16 films appearing in the competition section were whittled down from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries. The festival's International Competition Jury, announced the same day, will choose one film to take home the top award, the $50,000 Tokyo Grand Prix.