- Thurs, 15 to Sun, 18 December(2016): Kasuga Wakamiya On-matsuri in Nara city, Nara
- Sat, 17 to Mon, 19 December(2016): A year end fair (Hagoita market) in Taitoku, Tokyo
- Sat. 24 December(2016): Ise daikagura in Kuwana city, Mie Prefecture
- Fri. 9 to Sat. 31 December(2016): The Sendai Lights Pageant in Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture
Thurs, 15 to Sun, 18 December(2016): Kasuga Wakamiya On-matsuri in Nara city, Nara
This festival has a history of 800 years. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is home to the god, Wakamiya, who is considered very young god. This festival is held to introduce many new things to him. On the first night of the festival, Wakamiya is led by a torch to an area designated for him. It is a very marvelous and majestic event. Traditional performances such as kagura and the Jidai-gyoretsu parade are held during the daytime.
- Address：Kasuga Taisha (Noboriojicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture)
- Getting there：From JR Yamato Line& Kintetsu Nara Line “Nara” station, take a bus bound for Kasuga Taisha Honden. Get off at the last stop, and its a 10-minute walk.
- Website：http://www.kasugataisha.or.jp/onmatsuri/1215_18.html (Japanese text only)
Sat, 17 to Mon, 19 December(2016): A year end fair (Hagoita market) in Taitoku, Tokyo
Every year from roughly the 16th to 19th of December, there is a year end fair in Asakusa called Toshi-no-ichi. It will be the last fair of the year where all the ‘lucky goods’ for the new year are sold, and is the most vibrant and busiest fair of the year. The fair is also referred to as “hagoita-ichi”, because the lucky charm, “hagoita” (battledore), is a big seller. Why not drop by Sensouji Temple to get some lucky items for the coming New year? It’s open for the entire day.
- Address：Sensouji Temple (2-3-1 Asakusa, Taitoku, Tokyo)
- Getting there：A 5 min walk from ”Asakusa” station Exit A4
- Website：http://www.senso-ji.jp/annual_event/osamenogoennichi.html (Japanese text only)
Sat. 24 December(2016): Ise daikagura in Kuwana city, Mie Prefecture
This festival has a history of 400 years. This festival is held for those who cannot visit the Ise Grand Shrine, because of travel hardships. The group tours all over Japan through out the year and returns back to Masuda Shrine on the 24th of December, where they play all their songs.
Ise daikagura was passed down by the Ise daikagura kousha, and is designated as the National intangible cultural asset.
- Address：Masuda Shrine (155 Tayū, Kuwana-shi, Mie)
- Getting there：From JR･Kintetsu “Kuwana” station, take a bus bound for “Neo police”, and get off at “Tayu”. It’s a 3 min walk from there.
Fri. 9 to Sat. 31 December(2016): The Sendai Lights Pageant in Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture
This event started in 1986 as a small illumination event. It has grown into an event that now sees about 2.8 million people every year. Half of the funding is donated by both companies and citizens, showing how much this event is cherished by everyone. When the 600 thousand lights are all illuminated, it’s very beautiful.
- Address：Jozenji doori street（Higasi 2 bancho street to Shimin kaikan hall）
- Getting there：From JR “Sendai” station west exit, take Nanboku subway line bound for “Izumi-Chuo”, and get off at “Kotodai-koen”. It’s a 1 min walk from there.
- Hours：Sun-Thurs 17：30～22：00/ Fri & Sat 17：30～23：00/ 31st: 17:30～24：00
- Website：http://www.sendaihikape.jp/ (Japanese text only)