With its countless festivals throughout the year, Japan is truly the land of festivals. The Japanese word for festival is “matsuri”, and it’s a good word to learn! Aichi Prefecture particularly has a great pride for its many traditional festivals, and in particular for having the most number of traditional festival floats. Read on to see where and when you can see these Japanese traditional festivals, and even participate with crafting artworks unique to Aichi Prefecture.
As a collection of the best Float Festival in Japan, 5 festivals of Aichi Prefecture are included in “Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan”, a registered UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage program. These include the Owari Tsushima Tenno Matsuri (Festival) in July, which offers you the breathtaking sight of the floats travelling up the Tenno river at night. The boats are lit up by over 365 glowing lanterns. Another magnificent float festival is Kamezaki Shiohi Matsuri in May, where five elaborately carved floats covered with gorgeous tapestries rush across the beach at low tide, and charge into the water.
Besides floats, an autumn festival also takes place every year on the first Saturday and Sunday of October.
Koromo Matsuri is held in October at Toyota City to pray for an abundant harvest. During the festival, eight floats are paraded in and around the city centre. Inside and on top of the floats the people of the town make music, shout and throw coloured paper strips, giving a vibrant and lively atmosphere. This unique performance leaves you feeling awed as if you are surrounded by the falling leaves and flower petals.
Toyota Oiden Matsuri is held on the last weekend of July at Toyota City, a hosting city of the Rugby World Cup 2019. The Toyota Oiden Matsuri is a fabulous summer festival of dancing, drinking, and fantastic street food. The festival concludes on Sunday evening with one of the nation’s largest firework shows, including traditional hand-held cannon “Tezutsu” fireworks! The finale colossal “Niagara Falls” curtain fireworks is sure to attract many visitors each year.
The Obara district of Toyota City is home to the traditional Japanese artwork of washi paper, dating back to the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). At Obara’s Art and Craft Centre “Washi no Furusato”, one can learn how to craft one’s own piece of washi paper, and thus deepen their knowledge and experience of Japan.
Aichi Prefecture boasts two major ceramic regions, Seto City and Tokoname City. These cities remains true to the traditional Japanese ceramic styles even today. With its long history, why not take a walking tour of the pottery and kilns along the pottery promenade, which has numerous great photography spots including a wall decorated with pots. Any pottery fan will be sure to find treasure here.