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Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri

"Kanda Matsuri" (_cՂ) held every year in May(The Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15th) is one of the most famous festivals of Tokyo, it is also ranked among the three largest festivals of Japan. The festival is more extravagantly held in years ending in odd numbers according to the Western calendar, and the festivals held in even-numbered years are much smaller in scale. The rule to change the scale of the festival in alternate years was decided by the Shogun in the Edo Period. Kanda, the venue of the festival, was formerly the central quarter of Edo (present-day Tokyo) back in the Edo Period.

The main attraction well worth viewing in odd-numbered years is the parade on the Saturday, when some 300 people march through central Tokyo districts such as Kanda, Nihombashi, Otemachi, Marunouchi, and so on. In addition to the portable shrines with a phoenix decorated on the roof there are all kinds of floats, and Shinto priests mounted on horseback line up in rows, producing a spectacular sight. On the Sunday, almost 100 small and large portable shrines gather from each quarter.

Fire Festival

Kumamoto Aso Fire Festival

h̑ΕĂ Dai Himonjiyaki at Aso Fire Festival Mar15
The mountain(Mt. Aso in Kumamoto) is set ablaze to form the largest Chinese character in Japan.
A fire festival which is held over a period of one month in all towns in the environs of Mt. Aso in Kyushu. No-yaki refers to setting fire to the plains in order to maintain the pasture grass in good condition and is carried out in a number of places. The main event is the Dai Himonjiyaki which is held in Ojo-dake on the second Saturday of March. On the mountain slope, a gigantic Chinese character signifying 'fire' measuring 350 m appears. The no-yaki fire spreads nearby and the excitement of this spectacle continues until late into the night.

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Ԍ Hanami

postcard of Hanami

"Hanami" (Ԍ flower viewing in Japanese) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers; which is often refered to "Sakura" flower ( cherry blossoms in Japanese) and is also the national flower of Japan. There are hundreds of cherry blossom festivals held during the time from late March to early May when the sakura bloom all over Japan. It is one of the most popular events of Spring. (picture right: a postcard of Hanami)
- list of popular "Hanami" spots in Japan
- list of Sakura festivals in Japan

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