Major events and happenings enliven Japan’s Summer and fall
A country the size of California with a population of 127 million inevitably has a phenomenal array of festivals and events happening each week, month, and year. As the “land of the rising sun” gears up to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, the Japanese and tens of thousands of visitors can take advantage of a variety of notable events this summer and fall, including:
MORI BUILDING DIGITAL ART MUSEUM, TOKYO JUNE 2018
The extraordinary Mori Building Digital Art Museum is opening in Tokyo on June 21 in collaboration with art collective group, teamLab. The museum will feature some 50 borderless interactive artworks that allow visitors to immerse themselves physically into three-dimensional artwork and explore a colorful world that has never been seen before. The 100,000-square-foot space’s 520 computers and 470 projectors will offer guests an unprecedented experience as pieces of art move freely around the galleries, form connections and relationships with viewers, communicate with other art pieces and even interact amongst themselves. https://borderless.teamlab.art/
MIYAJIMA FIREWORK FESTIVAL, AUGUST 2018
Every summer, numerous firework festivals paint the skies throughout Japan, the most spectacular of which may be the renowned Miyajima Firework Festival. The small island of Miyajima, famed for its Torii Gate, is less than an hour from Hiroshima. The firework festival provides a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the Itsukushima Shrine, ranked one of Japan’s “three best views,” as the fireworks reflect into the ocean and frame the Torii Gate. The 2018 festival takes place on August 25 and features some 5,000 fireworks, 150 of which are launched from the water. Around 40,000 people visit Miyajima to see the Fireworks Festival, and around 200,000 more gather on the opposite shores of the nearby cities of Hatsukaichi and Hiroshima to watch from a distance.
More info: https://www.japan.travel/en/destinations/chugoku/hiroshima/miyajima/
TOYOSU MARKET LAUNCH, OCTOBER 2018
On October 11, 2018, Tokyo’s world-famous 80-year-old Tsukiji Market will be shuttered and magically reopen 2.3 kilometers away in its new site in Toyosu. Tokyo’s fish market has long been a must for visitors, who marvel at its hygiene, cleanliness and immenseness. But with the burgeoning population of Japan, and the rapid increase in tourism, the market that dates from the 1930s is too small and archaic, and the efficient, modern new facility in Toyosu is designed to accommodate the growing volume of business and foot traffic.
Toyosu Market will be made up of three main buildings: two for seafood, one for fruits and vegetables. All three buildings are connected by elevated pedestrian walkways to the Shijo-mae subway station. Each building contains viewing decks enabling visitors to observe the action from above without obstructing business.
The majority of the restaurants currently located within Tsujiki’s inner market will also move to Toyosu Market and will continue to serve tourists fresh seafood meals. Future plans for Toyosu Market include the construction of an additional tourist facility adjacent to the market, which will feature a hot spring bath, additional restaurants and shops and a hotel.
Entry to Toyosu Market is free of charge and visitors are welcome to explore the public areas.
TUG OF WAR, OKINAWA, OCTOBER 2018
For centuries, Tugs-of-War have been held throughout the island of Okinawa to pray for rain and to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Tugs-of-war are a community-wide ritual in which people of all ages take part, symbolizing Okinawa’s spirit of yuimaaru (cooperation).
After World War II, the tradition was revived as a local festival. The largest and most prominent of these events is the five-century-old Naha Great Tug-of-War. The Naha Festival takes place October 6-8, with the climactic event on Monday, October 8. The “tug’s” rope weighs 50 tons and is 200 meters long; from 1995 through 2005, Naha’s giant rope was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest rice straw rope used in a tug-of-war.
July through October marks the high season for additional tugs-of-wars across Okinawa. To know more: https://www.visitokinawa.jp/attractions/great-tugs-war
To know more about vacationing in Japan, please visit https://www.japan.travel/en/