Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Tsugawa Fox Festival

Tsugawa, Niigata, holds it's "Fox Festival" every May to celebrate the nuptials of a local couple. For the event the faces of bride and groom are so painted as to resemble those of the stylized foxes seen at Shinto shrines dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, whose familiar is the fox.

By the by, it's unclear to me why Tsugawa, which is not located in one of Niigata's rice-growing regions, should have a prominent festival honoring Inari. I'll have to do a bit more research, evidently.

Incidentally, vinegared rice wrapped in fried tofu, the latter traditionally favored by foxes, is called inari zushi.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Shirone Kite Festival

One of the largest festivals of its kind in the world, the Shirone (Niigata City) kite festival is held in June every year.

The Nebuta Festival

The most famous nebuta matsuri is held the first week in August in Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on Honshu, Japan's main island. The event typically draws over 3 million visitors, making it one of Japan's top summer attractions.