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When you travel, you want to make sure you don't miss out exciting major events that are held only once a year, right? Or maybe you want to arrange your trip around a season that has a bunch of big festivals going on. This section's a place to introduce major events that are going to be held one-two months ahead, and it covers the entire country. More and more information will be added all year long, so whether you're thinking or not of traveling to the country of festivals keep your eyes fixed on this page and see what kinds of things are going on in Japan!
< February - Vol.3 >
Feb 20 – Mar 31, 2007 | Mito Plum Blossom Festival
Mito City / Ibaraki Prefecture
(Japanese Name: Mito no Ume Matsuri)
Red and white plum blossoms of about 100 breeds and 3,000 trees bloom at once at the end of winter and beginning of spring, and the plum blossoms at Kairakuen have known to be one of the most beautiful and famous for centuries. As being one of the noble cities that were directly ruled by the Tokugawa clans back in Edo Period, the manner of viewing ume blossoms is truly elegant with various cultural subevents held such as outdoor performances of koto (Japanese harp), shakuhachi (bamboo flute), gagaku (traditional court music), tea ceremonies, noh (stage) and more.
[Dates] February 20 (Tue) – March 31 (Sun)
[Time] Kairakuen Business Hours... 9:00 – 16:00
See below for detailed event schedule
[Place] Kairakuen
1-3-3 Tokiwa Town, Mito City, Ibaraki Pref.
[Access from Tokyo]
  From Ueno Station take JR Super Express Super Hitachi to Mito Station (approx 1hr), OR, From Ueno Station take JR Joban Line (local) to Mito Station (2hrs), then take bus bound for Kairakuen for about 15 minutes.
[Inquiry] 029-224-0441
(Mito City Sightseeing Association)
[Official Websites (Top)]
En: http://www.city.mito.ibaraki.jp/kankou/en/index.html
Ch: http://www.city.mito.ibaraki.jp/kankou/ch/index.html
Kor: http://www.city.mito.ibaraki.jp/kankou/ko/index.html
Jpn: http://www.city.mito.ibaraki.jp/kankou/index.html
Photos: Courtesy of Mito City
  Mito Kairakuen
Mito Koumon & Tea Ceremony (Nodate)   Ume Embassadors   Kairakuen Garden
Subevents Schedule
February 25th Sunday
  10:00-15:00 Outdoors Japanese Harp Performance Kairakuen
March 4th Sunday
  9:30-16:00 Folk Festival Mito City Hall (Shimin Kaikan)
  10:00-15:00 Tea Ceremony Kairakuen
  11:00-12:00 Hina Doll Floating (Paper Dolls) Kairakuen
  11:00-12:00 Uta and Shimai Tokiwa Shrine
March 10th Saturday
  10:30-12:00 Hina Doll Foating Kairakuen
March 11th Sunday
  10:00-15:00 Nodate Chakai (Tea Ceremony Edo-Senke Style) Kairakuen
  10:00-15:00 Photo Contest Kairakuen
March 18th Sunday
  10:00-15:00 Nodate Chakai (Ura-Senke Style) Kairakuen
  11:00-12:00 Gagaku Preformance (Traditional Court Music) Tokiwa Shrine
March 25th Sunday
  10:00-15:00 Nodate Chakai (Omote-Senke Style) Kairakuen
  11:00-12:00 Shakuhachi Preformance
(Japanese BambooFlute)
Tokiwa Shrine
■Long Term Events

Man'yu Bus Cruise: Connects Kairakuen, Tokugawa Museum, Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History, Art Tower Mito. Runs Saturdays and Sundays during March 3-18.

Night Plum Blossoms at Kairakuen:
Various subevents will be held at night at Kairakuen Garden. March 10 (Sat) 18:00-21:00.
>> Ibaraki Prefectural Guide
Feb 17– Feb 22, 2007 | Hachinohe Emburi
Hachinohe City / Aomori Prefecture
(Japanese Name: Hachinohe Emburi)
Hachinohe Emburi
Photo: Courtesy of Hachinohe City
Emburi is a folk entertainment representing the Hachinohe Region of the northern prefecture of snow, and is designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset by the country. It is also one of the Three Winter Festivals of Aomori as well as one of the Five Michinoku Grand Snow Festivals.
The biggest characteristic of Emburi is probably the dance performed by dancers called tayu wearing a gorgeous eboshi (a kind of Japanese tophat) designed like a head of a horse praying for good harvest during the year. The movements the tayu make in the dances are in fact the movements of rice growing, expressing the process from sowing all the way to harvesting.
[Place]   Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture
[Access from Tokyo]   
[Admission]   Free except for the following programs
  Oniwa Enburi*  
  Capacity: 100 seats per show
Admission: Y1,000 per seat (inc. amazake & sembei)
  Enburi Koen**
  Admission: Y1,000 per seat
[Inquiry]   0178-46-4040 (Hachinohe City Tourism Bureau)
[Ticket Reservation]   TEL: 0178-41-1661
Hachinohe Tourism and Convention Association
(Hachinohe City Official Website, Japanese)
http://www.pref.aomori.lg.jp/yuki/movie/ (Enburi Movie)
Detailed Schedule
February 17th Saturday
  7:00 Hounou-zuri Chozasan-Shinra Jinja (shrine)
  8:00-9:00 Photography Session Chozasan-Shinra Jinja (shrine)
  10:00-11:30 Emburi Parade (Issei-zuri) Central Hachinohe City
  12:30 Gozen Emburi Plaza in front of City Office
  13:00-16:00 Emburi Koen** Hachinohe City Hall
  18:00/19:00/20:00 Kagaribi (bonfire) Emburi Plaza in front of City Office
February 18th Sunday
  13:00 Emburi Koen** Hachinohe City Hall
  18:00/19:30 Kagaribi Emburi Plaza in front of City Office
    (the only chance to see all-at-once bonfire Emburi)
  18:00/20:00 Oniwa Emburi* Kojokaku (reservation needed)
February 19th Monday, February 20th Tuesday
  13:00/14:00 Emburi Public Performance Plaza in front of City Office
  18:00/19:00/20:00 Kagaribi Emburi Plaza in front of City Office
  18:00/20:00 Oniwa Emburi* Kojokaku (reservation needed)
February 21st Wednesday, February 22nd Thursday
  18:00/20:00 Oniwa Emburi* Kojokaku (reservation needed)
>> Aomori Prefectural Guide
Jan 14 – Mar 11, 2007 | 63rd Atami Plum Garden Plum Festival
Atami City / Shizuoka Prefecture
(Japanese Name: Atami Baien Ume Matsuri)
Atami Baien
Located in one of the warmest parts of Japan during winter, Atami Plum Garden welcomes visitors with early plum blossoms of about 730 trees in 64 different kinds. In addition to providing a pleasant walk among the small pink blossoms, the Garden entertains the visitors and cheers up the early spring mood with performances of Geiko dances, koto (Japanese harp) and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) on the weekends. Complimentary amazake (sweet liquor made from sake lees: non-alcoholic) are given out on Sundays and Holidays.
Plum Blossoms
Geiko Performances
Photo: Courtesy of Atami City
[Dates] January 14 (Sun) – March 11 (Sun)
[Place] Atami Plum Garden (Atami Baien)
9-46 Baiencho, Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture
[Access from Tokyo]
  From Tokyo Station take JR bullet train (Shinkansen Hikari) or local line JR Tokaido Honsen to Atami Station. From JR Atami Station take bus for 15 minutes and get off at Baien Iriguchi bus stop.
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0557-85-2222 (Atami City Tourism Association)
[URL] http://www.ataminews.gr.jp/ume/index.html
(Atami City Tourism Assosiation Plum Festival Information, Japanese)
http://www.rehai.com/atami-eng/atami-eng01.html (About Atami City: English)
http://www.rehai.com/ (Chinese)
http://www.rehai.com/atami-kor/atami-kor01.html (Korean)
>> Shizuoka Prefectural Guide
Jan 27 - Mar 18, 2007 | Plum Festival
Yugawara Town / Kanagawa Prefecture
(Japanese Name: Ume no Utage)
The plum woods spreading out on the mild slope of the mountainside of 626-meter-tall Makuyama Mountain shows a subtle and profound spring scene of gradations of pink. From January 27th to March 18th a festival on plum blossoms are held with special light-up during February 24th through March 11th. With special tea houses and shops selling plum-related goods as well as souvenirs, weekends are especially crowded with visitors coming to appreciate the early spring air.
[Dates] January 27 (Sat) – March 18 (Sun)
[Time] Light-up... 18:00 – 21:00
[Place] Yugawara Plum Woods (Yugawara Bairin)
Yugawaramachi Kajiya, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
[Access from Tokyo]
  From Tokyo Station take local line JR Tokaido Honsen to JR Yugawara Station. From JR Yugawara Station take bus for 20 minutes to Makuyama Koen bus stop.
[Admission] JPY200
[Inquiry] 0465-63-2111 (Yugawara Town Bureau of Tourism)
[URL] http://www.yugawara.or.jp/umenoutage.html
(Ume no Utage Official Webpage, Japanese)

(Yugawara Town Office, detailed schedule, map and access information available in Japanese)

(Yugawara Spa Tourist Association Official Website, English)

(Yugawara Town Office, Chinese)

(Yugawara Town Office, Korean)
>> Kanagawa Prefectural Guide
>> Kanagawa Hot Spring Guide
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