Ranked among the most famous festivals in Tokyo as well as one of the three largest – the Sendai Tanabata Festival celebrates the colorful Shogun culture. Reminiscent of the Edo Period (1603 – 1867) visitors enjoy stepping back in time as they observe intricate floats and extravagant parades for two full days.
Eisa Okinawan Folk Dance Festival
Drums sound as dancers of all ages display their talents at the three-day Eisa Festival in Okinawa, Japan. Performed during the Obon season, this festival follows the lunar calendar and falls during the summer season. Visitors enjoy cultural dance performances by locals dressed in the traditional style.
Gozan Okuribi (Daimonji Bonfires)
Fires light the night sky on the Daimonji Mountain in Nyoigatake near Kyoto. The fires are lit at 8pm and remain flaming for 30 minutes. Torches and bonfires serve as a form of prayer for the Okuribi people. Blazing bonfires are best viewed from the banks of Kamogawa River or in front of Doshisha University during this festival.
Biwa Lake Fireworks
Observers stand in awe as 10,000 fireworks shoot off into the night sky above Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa in Shiga. Launched from Otsu Port, this night-long festival is a treat for the eyes in addition to being one of the largest and grandest firework shows in all of Asia. This is one of three major festivals in the stunning, natural area.
Also known as the Awa Dance festival, the three-day Awaodori festival is celebrated on Shikoku island, in Tokushima prefecture. The lively city-wide party involves, as the name implies, choreographed dances and music, with performers sporting traditional Obon costumes as they parade through the streets.
“Come on over tonight” or “Yosakoi” in the local dialect, is a fun-filled festival taking place every summer in the vibrant city of Kochi. Created to dispel gloom after a severe recession in 1954, nearly 15,000 dancers, including the mayor and the governor, flood the streets as the festival sweeps over the city.
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