In Japan there are four seasons, and in each season special festivals are held.
This article will introduce the 10 best winter festivals, as selected by experts.
These are chances to experience Japan’s time-honored culture, so definitely try visiting them one day.
The fire festival has been held for more than 1000 years, and has been designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset.
The demon that appears in the festival is an ancestor who has changed form, and signifies meeting our ancestors.
A Shinto ritual passed down since the 1200s.
40 kinds of dances are presented all night.
Men in white clothing receive torches containing sacred flames, and run from Kamikura Shrine.
They wear traditional hats, and perform dances with rice-planting movements.
You are also treated to the region’s special Senbei-jiru (cracker soup).
15,000 lanterns (Chinese paper lanterns) are set up around the center of the city, giving it an exotic atmosphere.
Objects of art are lined up at the site, and events such as dragon-dances and parades are held.
The Lunar New Year dishes are also appealing.
9000 men participate in a competition for a sacred talisman.
The champion of a Hadaka Matsuri (“Naked Festival”) in Japan.
From inside the igloo, children shout “Come on in!”
In this event, prayers are offered to the water god in anticipation of an abundant harvest.
In prayer for an abundant harvest, they present a dance all night, while wearing masks.
Among the reverberations of hand drums, demons holding torches descend from the snowy mountain to the shrine, and visit houses.
This is designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset.
Japan’s representative winter festival.
More than 200 snow and ice sculptures are lined up in three sites around the city, which becomes crowded with tourists from inside and outside the country.