October is a beautiful month to witness different festivals in Japan as the weather is pleasant and ideal for traveling around the country. Different regions celebrate varieties of traditional festivals. Some of these attract a lot of tourists who are interested in getting to know the country’s culture deeply. Here are two exciting Japanese festivals you can join this October 2017!
One of the huge events that you can attend in Japan is the Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival. It will be held from October 4 to 6, 2017, in the charming city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima.
Celebrated annually, this festival is attended by thousands of people who are eager to see seven large floats adorned with hundreds of paper lanterns. These floats are paraded throughout the city at night, with the accompaniment of festival music by taiko drummers positioned at the base of the floats.
During the festival, several stalls can be seen lining the streets, selling different kinds of goods such as food and alcohol.
Besides attending the festival, you can also do some side trips and visit popular places such as the Nihonmatsu Castle, Obama Castle, Dake Onsen, and many more.
To get to the festival venue from Tokyo, take a bullet train from Ueno going to Koriyama. From there, you can take a local train to Nihonmatsu.
Sawara Grand Festival is a grand event occurring twice a year, in July and October, in Sawara, Chiba. For the second festival in 2017, this 300-year long tradition is scheduled to happen from October 13 to 15.
The festival is known for displaying four-meter tall dolls representing popular figures in Japanese history. These dolls are paraded in floats created by talented craftsmen. Festival music can also be heard during the parade with the help of small gongs, drums, and other instruments. Many people attend this festival as it has been designated by the Japanese government as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
Besides attending the festival, you can also tour around Sawara, Chiba, which is a popular historic canal town known as “Little Edo.” You can enjoy boat rides on the city canal for 1,300 yen. There are also plenty of sake breweries and tiny restaurants in the area if you are interested.
Don’t forget to include these two festivals in your itinerary if you’re coming to Japan in October. They are sure to be fun, exciting, and dynamic activities which can be a unique experience for local and foreign travelers alike!