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Festivals in Japan give a slice of its cultural life

By Carlton Leisure - 26/05/2016

cherry-blossom-viewing

Festivals are moments of joy and celebration and Japanese festivals are no exception. Festivals in one of the most culturally advanced countries in Asia allow you an opportunity to understand socio-cultural life of this country. So, if you are also planning a trip to Japan plan a trip around these festivals so that you can understand its culture better.

Cherry Blossom Viewing

One of the most popular festivals in Japan Cherry Blossom Viewing is celebrated with much fun and enthusiasm every spring. Also called Hanami, or flower viewing, the custom of seeing foliage is celebrated when the winter departs. The festival is celebrated over one or two weeks when nature is its colorful best. The festival started in the late 8th century and the flower viewing tradition was initiated in the Nara Period. The festival is celebrated to welcome the New Year’s harvest and the beginning of the rice planting season. In some parts of the country parties are held under the cherry blossom tree.

Sumida Fireworks Festival

If you are visiting Japanese capital during summer months you will also get to see one of the most interesting fireworks in the region which is held at the Sumida River. The night sky gets illuminated with dazzling fireworks while thousands of people line the shore to see beautiful sky created by the light and sound. The festival also plays a big role of bringing the entire community together.

Gion Matsuri Festival

Considered as one of the biggest festivals in Japan, Gion Matsuri which is celebrated with much fanfare showcases the liveliest culture of the region. You can see the festival from close quarters during your visit. You will see well adorned portable shrines and floats called mikoshi marching down the streets. This parade is also called as "mobile art museums". Children dress their elegant best and musicians play their best music to make the environment joyful.

Hana Touro Festivals

Another prominent festival in Japanese cultural capital Kyoto, Hana Touro Festival is an ideal occasion to see local culture. On this occasion the locals line the river with 2,600 illuminated lanterns and big ikebana flower displays. A large number of travelers from the different parts of the world come to the city to have a glance over this festival.

Sapporo Snow Festival

If you are planning a tour to Japan during the winter months then plan a trip around the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido. The popular festival allows you much fun and adventure where you will get an opportunity to ski or snowboard in some of the world's most beautiful snow. The area is adorned with several sculptures depicting Japanese castles, structures and landmarks.