Japanese Festivals are Colourful Celebrations

By: Douglas Scott

There is always something happening in Japan and whatever your interest there is an event for you to enjoy.

You can thrill to the spectacle of a Sumo tournament, experience the breathtaking colour of a fireworks festival or marvel at the ornate costumes and settings of Kabuki drama. Including an event in your travel plans offers a unique opportunity to take part in the Japanese culture and meet some of the locals, and is a wonderful way to make your trip to Japan even more memorable.

Japanese Festivals are colourful celebrations that reflect the countries ancient religious beliefs and mark the passing of the seasons. They are an important part of life in Japan and can be enjoyed in cities and towns throughout the country. Whatever time of year you decide to visit, there is sure to be a festival taking place somewhere in Japan, from elaborate displays of snow and ice sculpture at the Sapporo Snow Festival to lively summer events like the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori with its parade of giant illuminated figures.

Japan offers visitors a wealth of entertainment opportunities, both modern and traditional. Contemporary diversions include clubs, discos, live music venues and bars, as well as international performance arts such as opera, ballet, drama and musicals.

For culture lovers who want to sample some of the fascinating Japan boasts a rich sporting history and has plenty to offer both spectators and participants alike.

Martial arts such as Sumo, Karate and Kendo have been popular for centuries and these traditional sports are still widely enjoyed today. Sumo wrestling is one of the most exciting spectator sports for both visitors and locals. Six tournaments, each lasting 15 days, are held annually in Tokyo in January, May and September.

Over recent years Japan has also embraced a number of western sports, including golf, skiing & snowboarding, baseball and football. Baseball is Japans number one sport and the professional league games, which take place from April to October, are a highlight of the sporting calendar.

Lightweight cottons and linens are required throughout summer in most areas. Light to medium weights during spring and autumn, medium to heavyweights for winter months, according to region. Much warmer clothes will be needed in the mountains all year round. There is much less rainfall than in Western Europe.

Japanese style hotels now provide exciting new experiences. Guests receive kimonos and wooden clogs and rooms come equipped with Japanese bathtubs and paper sliding doors.

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