Spring has already started in Japan. It is probably one of the well-loved seasons in the country for most areas are not only blanketed by pink flowers but there are also many traditional celebrations. These events are pretty exciting and lively with fun performances, sakura-flavored snacks, and enjoyable booths. If you happen to be in Kyoto or Nara in April 2018, then you should check out these two interesting spring events!
Kyoto is definitely one of the ideal places to spend spring season in Japan. From April 28 to 29, 2018, the largest sake event will be held in the city. Around 60 sake brewers will come together in order to showcase 200 kinds of sake from all over the country. There will also be special restaurant snacks and special lunch boxes (bento).
The event will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Center from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on April 28, 2018, and from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on April 29, 2018.
Advance tickets are currenlty being sold at 3,500 yen, which comes with a food ticket equivalent to 1,000 yen. On-the-day tickets cost 4,000 yen, which is also inclusive of snacks. If you prefer to come after 3:00 PM, you can purchase cheaper tickets at 2,000 yen (advance) or 2,500 yen (on the day) each. You may also avail of the advance VIP ticket for 12,800 yen, which will allow you to be seated on the second floor and be lavishly treated by a maiko.
If you’re fascinated by the spring season and sake, you definitely should not miss this event!
Another interesting festival to attend this spring is the Kemari Festival in Nara. It is held biannually in spring (April) and autumn (November) at Tanzan Shrine.
The Spring Kemari Festival this year will be held on April 29, 2018, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. It is a spectacular sight to see priests wearing traditional robes and playing Kemari, a Japanese ball game played by royal families.
While watching the festival, you’ll also be able to stroll around the shrine and take in the beautiful aroma of spring. You may also try playing Kemari after the festival. Entrance ticket to this event costs 600 yen.
Tanzan Shrine is 25 minutes by bus from Sakurai Station and is the last stop. The bus runs every hour or two, from the South Exit of the station so it is recommended that you check the schedule (Japanese only).
Spring is not only for flower viewing. If you haven’t decided what to do this spring yet or if your itinerary is looking empty, you should join these two events!