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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
Japan's Largest Danjiri Festival
Neighbourhood teams pull their danjiri (floats) through the streets of Kishiwada, vying for glory.
The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is the largest, if not greatest, danjiri matsuri (float festival) in Japan. Celebrating 300 years of tradition, neighbourhoods compete by racing 35 4-tonne danjiri through the streets of Kishiwada. Held every September, the festival is a direct train ride from Kansai Airport. With the event's immense popularity, it is still possible to get an unobstructed view of the danjiri and the chanting float-pullers. If you follow the path directly opposite Kispa La Park, it is possible to explore the surrounding streets, which have reduced crowds and greater views.

Green Tourism and Sugegasa Hats
Visiting Yamagata to learn a traditional handicraft
The Iide mountain range
An account of a visit to the beautiful village of Iide in Yamagata to make a sugegasa: a traditional Japanese conical hat.

Yonaguni Island
The mystic westernmost island in Japan
Yonaguni is the small westernmost island of Japan. It belongs to Okinawa prefecture and is about a one and a half hour flight from Okinawa. The island is surrounded by beautiful ocean and closer to Taiwan than Japan.

Kyoto's Kitano-Tenmangu
The tale of Sugawara no Michizane
This enshrined deity of scholarship helps those wishing to pass examinations.

Echizen Asakura Mantoya Lightup
Ancient historical ruins lit-up with 15,000 candles
Lit-up lanterns flowing down the Ichijodani River
Echizen Asakura Mantoya in Fukui is an annual summer illumination event held at the ancient historical site, Ichijodani Asakura Ruins - Surrounded by serene mountains.

Tanabu Festival
Three nights of lights, shrines, sake and festive people
The "dashi" shrines of neighborhood gods. 
Tanabu Festival is a centuries old celebration of the end of summer involving colorful lights, massive moving shrines, dancers, food, sake and the best expression of northern Aomori's hospitality. 

Nikko's 1000 Samurai Procession
The Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival
Impressive blue and red samurai warriors in lamellar armor and gold-colored kabuto helmets are an example traditional dress displayed during the procession.
The 1000 Samurai Procession at the Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival.

Introducing Tokyo's Parks & Gardens
Relax and unwind in the concrete jungle's green oases
The east garden of the Imperial Palace
Tokyo has dozens of green spaces, from expansive tree-filled parks to intimate traditional landscape gardens.

Nikko Yabusame Archery Competition
The Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival
An archer on horseback parades through the crowd
Yabusame Archery Competition at the Nikko Shunki Reitaisai Grand Spring Festival.

The Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival
A glorious exhibition of drunken insanity
The pyre up in flames after the men charged with defending it have fled.
The Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival, an outrageous combination of flames, kindling and tons of sake is held every year on January 15th in Nozawa Onsen, a hot spring resort and ski village in northern Nagano Prefecture.

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