The Shirone Kite Festival is an annual event with origins dating back to the mid 1800's. It's said that residents of Shirone were celebrating the end of a construction project to reinforce the banks of the nearby Nakanokuchi River and accidentally crashed a kite into a West Shirone field. The crash damaged a significant amount of the crop growing in the field and retaliation seemed like the only answer at the time. Residents of West Shirone decided to crash their own kite into the Shirone side of the river.
These days, individuals can register their own "kite fight" teams, with their kites required to meet specific size regulations. The kites have some beautifully ornate designs, and despite the festival's origins being centered around revenge, it's now all in the name of fun.
If you can't get to the region over the festival dates the Shirone Kite Museum is open year round and displays many kites from previous year's events.
The Shirone Kite Festival is held on the banks of the Nakanokuchi River in Shirone, Niigata Prefecture.
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