Winter Journey to Akita Festival Celebration

Japan is one of the countries known for its festival culture, attracting tourists from all over the world every year with many exciting and unique festival activities. These festivals cover various aspects such as religion, culture, and food, and some of them have a long history.

Shimoki-cho Paper Balloon Square

Here, on February 10th every year from 4pm to 8pm, the "Uegi-jōtaimai Sky Lantern Festival" is held, which can be considered a wishful activity to release Kongming lanterns. There will be hundreds of giant sky lanterns, with beautiful wishes and pictures of warriors and beautiful women painted on them! In addition, fireworks will be set off during the event. The giant sky lanterns in the night sky and the colorful fireworks will bloom together, wandering in the sky, making the scene extremely spectacular!

Shin-yama Shrine

Setsubun Oni Festival, also known as Akki Sai, is a traditional festival in Japan that is said to be held to drive away disease and disaster gods. The main feature of the Setsubun Oni Festival is "separation of skin and flesh," which is a ritualistic cutting and skinning ceremony. It is said to be done to worship the gods and seek blessings and peace. Although this ceremony may seem frightening, for the locals, it is a way to show respect for tradition, faith, and culture, as well as to pray for peace and good health. If you want to learn about Japan's traditional religious beliefs and culture, Setsubun Oni Festival is a festival worth experiencing. The festival is usually held every year from the second Friday to Sunday of February, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Omachi Hachikō Street

Every year on the second Saturday and Sunday of February (February 11), a "Great Guan Candy Market" event, which has a history of more than 400 years, will take place from 10:00 to 17:30 or 9:00 to 15:30 on February 11. Legend has it that eating the candy from this market not only wards off evil but also prevents colds. At this time, instead of cherry blossoms, the branches are adorned with many colorful candies, which look very cute and playful.

Various meeting venues within Kakunodate Town

On February 14th, Japan celebrates Valentine's Day, and in Akita, there is a traditional activity called "Kakunodate Fire and Snow Festival," also known as "Swinging Fire Circle," which has a history of over 400 years. Performers swing burning charcoal bags around their bodies to form circles, then swing the hot fire circle towards their heads and fly high in the snow-filled night sky, which is very spectacular. It is said that the origin of this activity is to use the sacred flame to drive away the misfortune in the fields, pray for a good harvest of crops and the safety and health of family members in the new year. After the event, tourists can take the rope used to tie the grass bags home as an amulet. To participate in this activity, you need to make a reservation in advance and pay the fee.

Handsome Park

The Kamakura Festival, held annually on February 15th-16th from 18:00-20:00 in Yokote, Akita Prefecture, Japan, is one of the five major ice and snow festivals in the northeastern region of Japan and has a history of over 450 years. At the festival, 100 snow houses and countless mini snow houses are set up in the city center, squares, parks, and even on the campuses of elementary schools. At night, the lights inside the snow houses create a very romantic atmosphere. The stars twinkle in the snowy fields, as if transported to a real scene from a fairy tale world. Inside the snow houses, there are also shrines to the water god, where people can pray for stability in their homes, a bountiful harvest, and prosperous business. If you want to experience the fun of the Kamakura Festival, head to Yokote City!