Fresh Soba, Sake Festival Kicks Off

Fresh soba, sake festival kicks off

By Mai Niimi / Japan News Staff WriterOedo Waen, an event at which visitors can enjoy newly brewed sake and soba made from the new buckwheat crop, started Thursday at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.

At the four-day event subtitled "an exposition of soba and Japanese sake," about 100 brands of sake from across the nation, including much-revered Juyondai from Yamagata Prefecture, are served. Twenty soba stands at the venue offer different varieties of soba from places across the nation, such as Hokkaido and Shizuoka Prefecture. Some types of soba are freshly made from buckwheat flour at the stands and boiled shortly before serving.

Gallery: "dream Yosakoy Festival" Tokyo 2017

GALLERY: The 16th “Dream Yosakoy Festival” was held in Tokyo over the holiday weekend with some 70 teams from around Japan gathering in the capital to perform at five locations across the city.

Festival Folk Toys Celebrated At Himeji's Japan Toy Museum

Festival folk toys celebrated at Himeji's Japan Toy Museum

HIMEJI, Hyogo Prefecture--Charming folk toys associated with festivals across the country are being celebrated in their own right at the Japan Toy Museum here.

The "Japanese Festival Through Folk Toys" exhibition is running until Nov. 14 to coincide with the fall festival season. Featuring miniature floats from former Banshu province (in present-day Hyogo Prefecture) and other parts of the country, the exhibition offers an insight into the characteristics of each area.

Takayama's Unesco-listed Autumn Festival Dazzles Crowds

Takayama's UNESCO-listed autumn festival dazzles crowds

TAKAYAMA, Gifu Prefecture--The Autumn Takayama Festival reached its climax here on Oct. 10, having dazzled crowds of visitors over two days with a display of lavishly decorated floats.

Takayama city officials said that about 220,000 sightseers visited the autumn festival, or Hachiman Matsuri, this year to watch the 11 "yatai" floats in a procession leading to Hachimanjinja shrine.

Autumn Festival Starts In Takayama

Autumn festival starts in Takayama

An autumn festival featuring dazzling floats has begun in the central Japanese city of Takayama.

On Monday morning, all 11 floats were taken out of warehouses and moved to the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shinto Shrine at the center of the highland city in Gifu Prefecture.

Traditional Rocket Festival In Chichibu

Traditional rocket festival in Chichibu

People in Chichibu, a city north of Tokyo, launched hand-made rockets on Sunday to express their gratitude for the season's harvest.

The annual festival, held in a mountainous region of the city, dates back several centuries. The rockets, described as dragons, are made from hollowed pine tree logs.

Big Band Festa Kicks Off Autumn Of Music Festivals, Sendai

Big Band Festa kicks off autumn of music festivals, Sendai


The coming of autumn in Sendai seems to inspire not just sweater weather and a chill in the air but also a need for music festivals, outdoor and frequently free. The Nagamachi Big Band Festa was one such festival held late last month. Over the course of five hours or so, eight separate groups took a stage set up just outside of JR's Nagamachi Station, just five minutes from Sendai.

Huge Lantern At Miyoshi Festival Confirmed As World's Biggest

Huge lantern at Miyoshi festival confirmed as world's biggest

MIYOSHI, Aichi Prefecture--Lanterns do not get any bigger than those featured at the Miyoshi Big Lantern Festival--and now this is a fact.

One lantern at the Miyoshi Inari-kaku shrine's festival on Aug. 19-20 has been certified as the world's largest hanging lantern by the Guinness World Records. The lantern, 10.81 meters high and 6.5 meters in diameter, was confirmed by an official Guinness adjudicator who verified the measurement Aug. 19.

Historic Aomori Nebuta Festival Livens Up Aomori

Historic Aomori Nebuta Festival livens up AomoriThe Aomori Nebuta Festival, an annual summer event designated as an important intangible folk cultural asset, kicked off here on the night of Aug. 2, with giant Nebuta floats featuring samurai warriors and kabuki performers parading down this city's downtown area.The Aomori Nebuta Festival, an annual summer event designated as an important intangible folk cultural asset, kicked off here on the night of Aug. 2, with giant Nebuta floats featuring samurai warriors and kabuki performers parading down this city's downtown area.

Samurai Horsemen Show Off Skills In Traditional Fukushima Festival

Samurai horsemen show off skills in traditional Fukushima festival

MINAMISOMA, Fukushima -- Horsemen clad in samurai armor showed off their skills in the traditional Soma Nomaoi festival held in the Soma district of Fukushima Prefecture on July 30.

Events were staged in various areas including the Hibarigahara festival field in the city of Minamisoma. In the Odaka district, where evacuation orders implemented in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster were lifted in July 2016, samurai horsemen returning from the Kacchu Keiba race and Shinki Sodatsusen flag battle performed the kaeri-uma (returning horse) ritual for the first time in seven years.

Gion Festival's Yamahoko Junko Parade Dazzles Kyoto

Gion Festival's Yamahoko Junko parade dazzles Kyoto

KYOTO--Crowds packed the city center streets here for the spectacular sights and sounds of the Yamahoko Junko grand procession at the annual Gion Festival on July 17.

The parade of traditional "yamahoko" floats, some of which are mounted with ceremonial halberds, marked the penultimate headline event at the month-long festival, which is said to have originated between the eighth and 10th centuries with the purpose of warding off curses that were believed to have caused frequent natural disasters and plagues in Kyoto.

Trash-collecting 'samurai' Battle Littering On Streets Of Kyoto For Gion Festival

Trash-collecting 'samurai' battle littering on streets of Kyoto for Gion Festival

KYOTO -- Five trash-collecting "samurai" took to the streets here on July 12 to battle littering for the city's famous Kyoto Gion Festival.

The "Gomi Hiroi Samurai" (trash-collecting samurai) are members of "Jidaigumi Basara," the Tokyo-based branch of the street performance group "Issei Ichidai Jidaigumi" ("Let's go for broke once in a lifetime" period performance group) that bases their singing and dancing performances on traditional theatrical combat -- and cleaning up trash.

1,000 Muddied People Compete At 'gatalympics' In Saga

1,000 muddied people compete at 'Gatalympics' in Saga

KASHIMA, Saga Prefecture--About a thousand people got plastered in mud from head to toe during an outlandish athletic festival held on the tidal flat of the Ariake Sea here on June 11.

About 30,000 people cheered the mud-spattered participants who slid through the sludge on boards and swung over it on ropes like Tarzan among other peculiar activities.

Gallery: Crowds Descend On Asakusa, Tokyo For Sanja Matsuri

GALLERY: Crowds descend on Asakusa, Tokyo for Sanja Matsuri

Over the weekend the streets of Asakusa, Tokyo played host once again to one of the Japan capital’s biggest and, arguably, brashest festivals, the Sanja Matsuri (三社祭).  

Centering around the popular temple complex surrounding Asakusa Shrine and Sensō-ji in the heart of Asakusa, the festival of over 700 years is considered one three great Shinto knees ups in Tokyo (the other two being Kanda Matsuri and Hie Shrine’s Sanno Festival).  Sanja Matsuri is held annually on the third weekend (Fri - Sun) in May to honor the three men who founded Senso-ji, whose spirits now reside in Asakusa Shrine.