Held over the course of a week, the Kamiari Festival draws worshippers from across Japan, but the most important guests are the gods. Gathering to hold matchmaking discussions, the eight million gods will determine the lives of their followers. What happens? The festival begins with the welcoming of the gods on the first day at Inasa-no-hama, a beach about 1km from the shrine from 7 p.m. The gods are then escorted to the shrine and a welcoming ceremony is held. Over the following seven days the gods hold meetings and there are a series of rituals held to entertain them, including wedding ceremonies, before the departure ceremony. During their stay, residents of the area are quiet and refrain from dancing or playing loud music so as not to disturb the meetings. Please note that this is a relatively sombre festival and not all ceremonies are open to the public. The events take place from the 11th to the 17th of the 10th lunar month, which generally means it falls in November, but dates change each year.