Japanese people's hearts leap in anticipation of the festivals that take place each year in towns and villages throughout the country. Japan was traditionally an agrarian society centered on the cultivation of rice and other crops. People lived by the rhythm of the seasons, and the harvest was a major landmark in farm life. Village festivals gave farming families the chance to take time out from work and enjoy themselves for a while. At some temples and shrines, festivals go back several hundred years. They are relaxing occasions that make people feel the weight of history and give them a sense of the sacred--sensations that are all too often forgotten in the pace of everyday modern life.

To the previous category To Japan Atlas Home To the top of this page To the next category Sapporo Snow Festival Nebuta Festival Tanabata Festival Chichibu Yomatsuri Sanja Festival Sanno Festival Gion Festival Aoi Festival Tenjin Festival Danjiri Festival Sagi-mai (White Heron Dance) Awa Dance Yosakoi Festival Eisa Yabusame, (mounted Archery) Imari Tin-Ten-Ton Festival Karatsu Kunchi Festival Hakata Gion Yamakasa Hakata Dontaku Kyoto Jidai Matsuri Onbashira Festival Asakusa Samba Carnival Sumida River Fireworks Display Soma-Nomaoi Festival Akita Kamakura Festival Akita Kanto Festival