Japan’s summer festivals

Kiriko lanterns in the Wajima Taisai festival - photo by Rob McFarland
Kiriko lanterns in the Wajima Taisai festival - photo by Rob McFarland

This is going to end in tears. Fifteen young men with a five-metre high lantern balanced precariously on their shoulders sprint forward, scattering the crowd in their path. Among a crescendo of shrieking and whooping, they start spinning wildly, their bright yellow shirts a blur, feet skidding on the wet slippery road. Four men clinging to guide ropes attached to the top of the lantern are whirled around while desperately trying to stop it toppling over. Finally, exhausted, the group members lower the wooden structure back to the floor, wet hair matted to their grinning faces, and pause to gulp from large bottles of beer.

This is the Japan you rarely see. A giddy, joyous, playful Japan that is so often hidden behind centuries of ritual and reserve. The reason for this exuberance? It’s the Wajima Taisai festival, one of many summer festivals held throughout the country, and it’s an unmissable opportunity to see the Japanese at their most uninhibited.

Read the rest of this story here.

Published by Rob McFarland

Hi! I'm an award-winning travel writer who divides his time between Sydney, the US and Europe. I regularly speak at travel events and have helped hundreds of aspiring travel writers, PR professionals and tourism operators through my writing courses.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: