Japan | Kanamara “Penis” Festival

Japan | Kanamara “Penis” Festival

Kanamara Matsuri:
4 April

Kanamara Matsuri (also known as the “Penis Festival” or “Steel Phallus Festival”) is an annual festival held at Kawasaki’s Kanayama Shrine in early April. It began in 1978 and the festival had a much quieter life before people started posting YouTube videos of a massive, phallic structure being brought down the road and this remarkably unusual celebration caught wind from foreigners both in Japan and abroad. Around 30,000 are attending the event today.

Best time to arrive:
9am

At 11am the festival opens, but at midday, the main event takes place. Until returning back to Kanayama Shrine, the three mikoshi (portable shrines) make their way down the street and past the train station. In the grounds of the shrine, these mikoshi are on display beforehand, but  due to the popularity of the event, organizers may begin denying entry to the shrine by 11am. There for it is advised to arrive early in the morning for this reason (ideally before 9am).

Event Location:
Kanayama Shrine

The nearest station in Kawasaki-daishi Station on the Keikyu-Daishi Line. From central Tokyo easiest access is from Shinagawa Station.

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Due to the COVID-19, many events have been canceled or dates have been resheduled.
Always check official sites before heading to an event.

Japan | Hanami (花見) Cherry Blossom Festival

Japan | Hanami (花見) Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry blooms or sakura are the images of springtime in Japan. Consistently around February, you’ll begin to see news reports and magazines giving out information about when the cherry blooms will be in full bloom.

For the most part, the cherry bloom trees will blossom all together geologically in Japan: they initially show up in the warm atmosphere of southern Japan and advance toward the Kanto district, which  includes Tokyo, then up to Tohoku in the north and lastly to Hokkaido. Since cherry blooms normally just remain on the trees for around ten days, or fourteen days at most. This is the perfect time to appreciate the cherry bloom season at its peak.

We’ve compiled a list of estimated forecasts, by referring to previous blooming days in Japan. Take a look at this list beforehand if you plan to book a trip to japan during the cherry blossom season. Depending on the region and the temperature conditions, it can take from five to ten days. After the full bloom, the cherry blossom will begin to scatter.

Okinawa:
10 Jan – 12 Feb

Okinawa‘s cherry bloom season starts the earliest in Japan, beginning in mid-January, so there are cherry bloom celebrations and so forth toward the beginning of February to celebrate the full blossom. In the event that you intend to book a trip to Okinawa to enjoy the blossoms, make sure to check blossom forecast ahead of time.

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Kagoshima (Kyushu):
17 March – 4 April

Usually cherry blossom blooms here earlier than in Tokyo, with Kyushu‘s warm atmosphere. Kagoshima in southern Kyushu, for instance, usually has sakura blossoming around March. When booking your trip, make sure to check blossom forecast ahead of time.

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Fukuoka (Kyushu):
22 March – 3 April

In Kyushu, there is a slight slight differences within the regions, however Fukuoka’s cherry bloom season is still earlier  than that of Kanto. When booking your trip, make sure to check blossom forecast ahead of time, as it took a slightly longer time for the flowers to fully bloom in previous years.

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Hiroshima:
22 March – 3 April

In the Chugoku region, which includes Hiroshima, the season will start slightly later than in Tokyo. When booking your trip, make sure to check blossom forecast ahead of time.

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Kyoto:
22 March – 6 April

The old city of Kyoto is hugely popular with travellers during cherry bloom season. Set in the sites of ancient structures you can enjoy the amazing scenery of cherry bloom trees which is a landscape that can only be witnessed in Japan. When booking your trip, make sure to check blossom forecast ahead of time.

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Osaka:
20 March – 4 April

The cherry blossom season in Osaka begins around the same time as Kyoto, Which makes it an ideal destination for travelers to explore two ancient cities in one trip.

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Nagoya:
19 March – 4 April

Often, the timing for the cherry blossom season in Nagoya is usually round the same time as it is in Osaka and Kyoto.

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Tokyo:
17 March – 27 March

Tokyo‘s cherry blossom season begins in late March. Most people tend to enjoy the blossoms at a spot near a train station, river banks, public parks and usually will be crowded with people over the weekends.

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Sendai:
30 March – 10 April

The cherry blossoms in the Tohoku area, and Sendai, will in general blossom later compared with places like Tokyo. You can view the cherry blossoms alongside the rich normal landscapes. In the spring, koi-nobori, or carp banners, can be seen flying close by the cherry blooms in parts of Tohoku outskirts of Sendai.

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Hokkaido (Sapporo):
24 April – 30 April

Hokkaido is the northernmost region of Japan and has the latest cherry blooming season. During the end of April, you can appreciate the amazing scenery of rows of cherry bloom trees, stretching across lush fields that seems to have no end.

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Japan | Sapporo Snow Festival

Japan | Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the largest festivals of the year in Sapporo, held in February for one week. It began in 1950 when high school students built snow statues in Odori Park, central Sapporo. The event is now very large and popular, about a dozen large sculptures are built for the festival along with around 100 smaller snow and ice sculptures. Several concerts and other events are also during this time held.

The Sapporo Snow Festival attracts over two million people every year. Entry is free and takes place across three main sites:
Odori Park, Tsudome and Susukino. As the name implies, this festival is all about snow and ice sculptures.

Odori Park:

Odori Park is the festival’s main venue where you will find Most of the snow and ice sculptures, as well as plenty of warm drinks and delicious food choices. Some of the ice sculptures can be over 15 meters tall and 25 meters wide.

Tsudome:

Opened from the #1st January, The second-largest site, Tsudome includes a variety of snowy activities as well as snow slides, snow rafting and family-oriented activities to enjoy.

Susukino:

The Susukino site is the smallest of the 3, it features over 100 ice sculptures and is the location of the Ice Sculpture Contest.

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Due to the COVID-19, many events have been canceled or dates have been resheduled.
Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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