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Archive for the 'Festivals' Category

12/31/2009

What are you doing New Years Eve?

So it’s the last day of 2009. A tough year for most people, in Japan or elsewhere. For those of you living in Japan, I’m curious to hear how you plan to ring in 2010 tonight. A trip to the local temple maybe? A party at some bar? A quiet evening with family and friends?

Have a look at how RoninDave on youtube spent the last few hours of 2008 one year ago. It will give you a good idea of how people in Japan celebrate New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by 3yen in Festivals | No Comments »

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10/8/2008

An Autumn Festival

Aki Matsuri, another seasonal festival that coincides with autumn in Japan. There are very few cultures that celebrate the start of a season and I find it rather poignant that the Japanese people do with their Shinto beliefs. Anyway, check out this recent video of Aki Matsuri in Kichijoji.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture | No Comments »

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8/27/2008

Name this dance

What festival is this dance related to?

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Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/31/2008

Fireworks on display

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/30/2008

Events Calendar: Catching fireworks at play

During summers in Japan, a line of firework displays are scheduled weekly for the public eye in Tokyo. And usually these fireworks are a wrap up to festivals during the summer so here is a list of events to check out and mark on your calendar if you want to catch these work of art in the sky.

Yokohama 150th Anniversary Fireworks Festival
Sun July 20. Boom Factor: 6,000. 7:30-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR Negishi line); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 0180-99-4045.

Katsuhika Noryo Fireworks Display
Tue July 22. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Shibamata (Keisei Kanamachi line). Tel: 03-3838-5558

Sumida River Fireworks
Sat July 26. Boom Factor: 20,000. 7:10- 8:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa (Tobu Isesaki line, Ginza line, Asakusa line); Kuramae (Oedo line). Tel: 03-5608-6951.

Teganuma Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,500. 7-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Abiko (JR Joban line); Kita- Kashiwa (JR Joban line). Tel: 04-7182-3131.

Sakura Shimin Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-9pm. Nearest stn: Usui (Keisei Main line). Tel: 043-4866-6000.

Ageo Fireworks Festival (Saitama)
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,000. 7-9pm. Nearest stn: Ageo (Takasaki line). Tel: 048-775-5917.

Atsugi Ayu Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom factor: 10,000. 7-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Hon-Atsugi (Odakyu line). Tel: 046-295-5496.

Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 8,000. 7:15-7:30pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR line, Yokohama Municipal Subway); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 045-227-0744.

Edogawa City Fireworks
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 14,000. 7:15-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Shinozaki (Shinjuku line); Koiwa, Ichikawa (Sobu line); Keisei Edogawa, Konodai (Keisei Main line). Tel: 03-5662-0523.

Seiseki Tama River Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom Factor: 4,600. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Seiseki Sakuragaoka (Keio line). Tel: 080-6574-1404.

Enoshima Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom factor: 5,000. 7:15- 8:15pm. Nearest stn: Katase Enoshima (Odakyu line); Enoshima ( Enoshima line); Shonan Enoshima (Shonan Monorail). Tel: 0466-24-4141.

Tateyama Bay Fireworks Festival
Fri Aug 8. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:45pm. Nearest stn: Tateyama (JR line). Tel: 0470-22-8330.

Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Sun Aug 10. Boom factor: 12,000. 7-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Kachidoki; Hamamatsucho; Toyosu. Tel: 03-3248-1561.

Nikkan Sports 2007
Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival Thu Aug 7. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Sendagaya; Shinanomachi (Chuo-Sobu line); Yoyogi (Chuo-Sobu, Yamanote lines); Gaienmae, Aoyama-Itchome; Omotesando (Ginza line). Tel: 03-3547-0900.

Chofu City Fireworks
Sat Aug 23. Boom Factor: about 12,000. 7:20-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Keio Tamagawa. Tel: 042-481-7311.

Festivals
August
Hachioji Festival
Fri 1-Sun 3. Some 1,500 participants stomp around carrying a flotilla of four-ton portable shrines. Day three is the highlight, when the six floats start a running battles, or buttsuke (literally, “hitting”). Nearest stn: Hachioji (Chuo line). Tel: 042-648-1531. www.hachiojimatsuri.jp

Asagaya Tanabata Festival
Sat 6-Wed 10. The highlight of this Tanabata “Star Festival” is the elaborate kusudama decorations. Nearest stn: Asagaya. Minami-Asagaya Tel: 03-3312-6181. www.asagaya.or.jp

Fukagawa Hachiman Festival
Wed 13-Sun 17. One of the three biggest Shrine festivals in Tokyo. Also known as the water-covering festival: water is splashed while the crowd carries 120 portable shrines calling out “Wasshoi!” Nearest stn: Monzen Nakamachi (Tozai line or Oedo line). Tel: 03-3642-1315.
www.tomiokahachimangu.or.jp

Azabu-Juban Festival
Fri 22-Sun 24. Hundreds of food stalls, plus traditional dancing and music. Expect large crowds. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban. Tel: 03-3578-2111. www.azabujuban.or.jp

Asakusa Samba Carnival
Sat 30. Interesting combination of traditional Brazilian dance in Tokyo’s most traditional town. 1:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa. Tel: 03-3847-0038. www.asakusa-samba.jp

Koenji Awa Odori
Sat 23-Sun 24. A huge traditional summer dance festival in this vibrant area of western Tokyo. 6-9pm. Nearest stn: Koenji (Chuo line). www.koenji-awaodori.com

Super Yosakoi Festival 2008
Sat 23-Sun 24. The Tokyo alternative to the southern island of Kochi’s traditional dance festival featuring about 80 amateur teams. 10am-6pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku; Meiji-Jingumae; Omotesando. Tel: 03-5766-1320. www.yosakoi-harajuku.com

Katsushika Noryo Fireworks Display
Kicking off Japan’s hanabi season, the Edo River lights up with about 10,000 fireworks. Head over early to beat the crowds. July 22 7:20-8:20pm, free. Shibamata Baseball Field. Nearest stn: Keisei Kanamachi Line, Shibamata.

The list is courtesy of Metropolis.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture, Misc, Nightlife, Social | No Comments »

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2/27/2008

Art Buff – Tokyo International Arts Festival 2008

All art buffs should put this on their calender as the Tokyo International Arts Festival 2008 will be held throughout March 2008. This year’s lined up will include artists from Argentina, Belgium and Switzerland among the other Japanese artist who will be showcasing their art during the month of March. Now, art is a pretty subjective topic where what’s art to one may not be art to another. But nonetheless, The Tokyo International Arts Festival is a much anticipated event.

Check out a cool video from the event from past years:

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Social | No Comments »

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11/15/2007

Kawasaki’s Halloween Parade

They’re grander than just kids knocking on doors asking for candies here. The video is from last year, this year’s Kawasaki’s Halloween’s Parade’s video is not up yet but a photo of the week in Metropolis showed variety and grand costumes better than it’s western counterparts ;)

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Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | 1 Comment »

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8/22/2007

Taiko Contest

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Taiko
Don’t miss out on the Tokyo International Taiko Contest this Aug 24-25. There will be over 3000 taiko drummers participating and some hailing as far as Sado island. Do look out for an 84 jazz musician turn taiko drummer at the competition. Word has it, he has some pretty interesting chords up his sleaves.

Check out the Aoyama Round Theater, Aug 24-25.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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6/14/2007

Gion Matsuri

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Gion Matsuri (祇園祭;, Gion Matsuri) is an annual festival that takes place in Kyoto and is said to be one of the most famous, if not the most famous festival in all of Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by the beautiful parade, the Yama-boko Junkō (山鉾巡行, Yama-boko Junkō?) on July 17th.

For 3 consecutive nights before the massive parade, known as Yoiyama (宵山), on July 16th, Yoiyoiyama (宵々山), on July 15th, and Yoiyoiyoiyama (宵々々山), on July 14th, Kyoto downtown is closed for pedestrian traffic only. The streets are lined with night stalls selling food such as BBQ chicken skewers, traditional Japanese sweets, taiyaki, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and many other culinary delights. Many Kyoto girls dressed in summer kimono walk around the area, carrying with them traditional purses and paper fans.

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You can even catch a gold fish for good luck too!

During the Yoiyama eves leading up to the parade, some private houses in the old kimono-merchants district, open the genkan, or entryway, to the public, exhibiting some valuable family heirlooms, a customary event known as the Byobu Matsuri or the ‘Folding Screen Festival.’ This is a precious opportunity to visit and observe traditional Japanese residences of Kyoto.

This festival first originated as part of a purification ritual. In 869 CE the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was thought to be a result of the rampaging deity Gozu Tenno. The emperor ordered that the people pray to the god of the Yasaka shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each province in Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en Garden (at the intersection of Oike Street and Omiya Street, Nakagyo Ward) along with the portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine.

The month of July is coming so be prepared to join the month long festival where history and culture meet.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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1/10/2007

Hatsuyume

Hatsuyume is one of the strangest yet quaintest New Year traditions I’ve ever heard of. It’s the first dream that you have in the new year, and is said to fortell what kind of year lies ahead of you. January 2nd is also known as hatsuyume, as it’s the day after the first night of the year (given that most people don’t sleep on New Year’s Eve).

It is said that if you dream of Mt. Fuji, a hawk or an eggplant, you will have good fortune during the year. Why? Well, Mt. Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain, hawks are intelligent and strong birds and eggplants, or nasubi (茄子) sounds like the word nasu (成す) which means acheiving something great.

Sweet dreams, 3yenners.

Image from http://www.h6.dion.ne.jp/~chusan55/kobore1/43nasubi.htm

Link:
Wikipedia’s link on Hatsuyume

Posted by Chidade in Festivals, Japanese Culture | No Comments »

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