This fiery celebration takes place in mid-March each year in and around Himure Hachimangu Shrine in the city of Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture.
In preparation for the festival, the thirteen neighborhoods that once surrounded the castle of the famed 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga, construct elaborate floats from straw, bamboo and paper – competing for the best float prize. It’s one of Japan’s deadliest festivals. Once the winner is decided, they are all ceremoniously burned. While the floats go up in smoke with sparks flying, men with made up faces dance wildly in close proximity to the flames. If you’re hanging around the Shiga area, you might also be able to catch the Hikiyama Festival which runs a few days later.
Celebrating the accession ceremony day of the temple’s deity – Emperor Kanmu in 781 in Nara, this annual festival features an opportunity to see Geiko (the geisha of Kyoto) and Maiko, their apprentices. The prayer ceremony takes place on the […]
Taking place in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, the Hikiyama Festival is named for the wheeled festival floats which are pulled along at many traditional festivals. However, the festival is known for ‘kodomo kabuki’ – children’s kabuki. In the case of the […]
Founded in 2009 by comedy giant Yoshimoto Kogyo, the festival has a packed schedule which includes comedy and drama, as well as documentaries, young-director showcases, and development workshops. Despite the name, the Okinawa International Film Festival is decidedly more domestic […]
A performance by Maiko and Geiko from different districts, also known as the dance of the capital. Begun to raise spirits after Tokyo was first declared Japan’s capital, it has been held in the Kaburenjo Theater since 1873 but due […]