Hokkaido: Sapporo Autumn Fest
[Early September to early October]
This gourmet festival is held in a wide area of Sapporo City, with numerous booths serving foods and drinks made within the prefecture. Hokkaido is a great source of meat, vegetables, seafood, beer, and dairy.
(Photo Copyright: ©Sapporo City)
Osaka: Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
Originally started from the ritual of praying to the Shinto gods for a good harvest, this festival consists a lot of action and speed when pulling the portable shrines on wheels. Participating men either pull, push or ride these shrines. Injuries are common to participants in this festival.
(Photo Copyright: ©JNTO)
[Oct. 7th, 8th, 9th every year]
The Nagasaki Kunchi has multiple histories of its purpose. It celebrates autumn harvest, but historically also served to keep track of Christians in Japan, after the religion was banned. You will be able to see performances which have roots from China, Portugal, and Holland.
(Photo Copyright: ©Nagasaki City/©JNTO)
Gifu: Takayama Aki Matsuri
[October 9th and 10th every year]
This is very similar to the Takayama Spring festival, and is a parade of 11 floats with puppet performances. It is held at the Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.
Tochigi: Shunki Reitaisai
[Oct. 17th every year]
This festival is held at Toshogu shrine in Nikko, which is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It consists of a parade with a leading mikoshi, followed by hundreds of people dressed up in samurai costumes. There is also a yabusame performance (horseback archery), which is very popular among tourists from foreign countries.
(Photo Copyright: ©JNTO)
Kyoto: Jidai Matsuri
[Oct. 22nd every year]
This is one of the major festivals of Kyoto which started in 1895, and it is a parade of people dressed in authentic historical costumes of different periods of time. The parade starts at the imperial palace, and arrives at Heian shrine, lasting 5 hours.
(Photo Copyright: ©Kyoto Convention Bureau/© JNTO)
Saitama: Kawagoe Matsuri
[3rd Sat. and Sun. of October]
Numerous colorful two-story floats pass by each other in this event, and have musical competitions consisting of drums, flutes, bells, and dancing. Nearby people will cheer, surrounding the floats with hand-held lanterns.
(Photo Copyright: ©小江戸川越観光協会)
Kumamoto: Yatsushiro Myoukensai
Many interesting activities take place in this festival, such as people running aside horses through a river, the Shishi dance, the popular turtle-like dragon dance, and mikoshi (portable shrine) parades.
(Photo Copyright: ©八代妙見祭保存振興会)
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