Around Matsue, Shimane Prefecture – Hori River “Kotatsu Boat” TourSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 10/11/2016 - 10/4/2017
A 50-minute boat tour around the moat of Matsue Castle, a national treasure, is available.
This year, a winter-exclusive kotatsu boat has made its debut! It’s great having your feet warmed by the heat of charcoal briquettes.
“Udon Bus,” Where You Can Enjoy Kagawa Prefecture’s Specialty Sanuki UdonSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 1/6/2016 - 31/3/2017
Kagawa Prefecture is a region famous for having the best udon in Japan. Their specialty, “sanuki udon,” is slippery and smooth, and it has a unique firmness to it. In Japanese, this firmness is referred to as “koshi ga aru,” which means that they “have body” to them.
The “Udon Bus,” which is recommended for people visiting Kagawa Prefecture for the first time, takes passengers around to famous sanuki udon restaurants and sightseeing spots.
The bus offers both an affordable half-day tour of two udon restaurants as well as an efficient day-long tour of sightseeing spots and udon restaurants. The restaurants visited change based on the day of the week and the tour chosen.
Ehime Prefecture – “Nanrakuen” Ume FestivalSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 28/1/2017 - 5/3/2017
Nanrakuen is the largest Japanese garden in Shikoku, boasting a total area of 153,322 square meters.
Every year, 160 trees for 15 different types of plum bloom one after another for a month, making going to view the flowers an amazing experience.
Umemi Teahouse offers free plum tea and has amazake and red bean soup for sale.
Fun events such as umeboshi seed-spreading tournaments are also held during this period.
Gifu Prefecture, Hida-Furukawa - Three Temples PilgrimageSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 15/1/2017 - 15/1/2017
Every year on January 15th, people make a pilgrimage to three temples in Hida-Furukawa: Enko-ji, Shinshu-ji, and Honkou-ji.
The three temples feature large Japanese candles, and the main streets of town are lined with giant 2-meter-tall snow candles.
Many women go out wearing gorgeous kimono for this event.
At night, the “Thousand Candles” event is held along the Seto River. People come and light white candles to pray for love.
And, if their prayers come true, the following year they come back and light a red candle.
Tourists are also free to join in the event.
Nara, Wakakusa YamayakiSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 28/1/2017 - 28/1/2017
The Wakakusa Yamayaki is an event where the 342-meter-high Mt. Wakakusa that overlooks Nara City is lit on fire.
This is a Shinto ritual meant to calm the spirits inhabiting the keyhole-shaped tumulus on the mountain’s summit.
After around 600 fireworks are launched, 33 hectares of grasslands on the mountain are set aflame.
The dynamic scene that unfolds is almost like watching a forest fire. The winter night sky is dyed red, and the view of the entirety of the mountain lit up is magnificent.
Wakayama, Shionomisaki Lighthouse’s Grass BurningSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 28/1/2017 - 28/1/2017
The grass burning is a customary event of Shionomisaki Lighthouse, the southernmost place in Honshu, to eliminate pests and to encourage growth of new plantlife. The event is joined by local folk dances and taiko performances.
In the blink of an eye, flames spread across around 6 hectares of grass overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it burns up in as little as one hour. Visitors can enjoy the flames up close. Fireworks are also launched, setting a fantastical atmosphere.
Visitors can also enjoy being treated to free food, like the local specialty “Shorasan Nabe,” a miso nabe dish filled with fish cakes, pork, and vegetables.
Kanagawa Prefecture – Art Rink in Yokohama Red Brick WarehouseSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 3/12/2016 - 19/2/2017
Yokohama’s famous tourist spot, the “Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse,” is hosting open-air ice skating!
Each year different artists use the entirety of the skating rink as a blank canvas to use as they see fit.
This will be the 12th iteration of the Art Rink, directed by the youngest artists yet: students from Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yokohamahiranuma High School’s art club. Yokohamahiranuma High School has won numerous awards, and its students will bring vividly colorful works to the Art Rink!
Enjoy art and ice skating as you look out over the beautiful scenery of Minato Mirai!
Katsube Shrine – Katsube’s Fire FestivalSaveBookmarked articles are displayed in "Bookmarks" at the bottom right of the page
- 14/1/2017 - 14/1/2017
This fire festival has a history of around 800 years. It is held to pray for good health and avoidance of illness.
The Katsube Fire Festival has been designated as an Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Shiga Prefecture.
During the festival, young men dressed in loincloths set fire simultaneously to 12 large torches. The torches are shaped to look like snakes, and each is 5 meters long, has a diameter of 4 meters, and weighs around 400 kilograms.
The flames from the torches reach over 10 meters in height, making for an amazing spectacle.