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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Festivals & Events

Usuki Takeyoi うすき竹宵

Three local festivals that celebrate Oita's famous bamboo

Oita Prefecture is Japan’s number one producer of madake, or Japanese timber bamboo. In celebration of its heritage, many local festivals use bamboo in various ways. Usuki-Takeyoi in Esuki City , Taketa Chikuraku in Taketa City, and Sen’nen-Akari in Hita City are three such local events worth visiting if you find yourself in the area.

Don't Miss

  • Local craftspeople cutting bamboo and making art with it
  • Bamboo lanterns lighting up narrow streets
  • Light from bamboo lanterns reflecting off the river in the evening

How To Get There

Oita Station is the main hub of the events, which is served by the Kyudai, Hohi and Nippo Main Lines, offering access to much of Kyushu.

For Usuki-Takeyoi, take a 38-minute ride from Oita Station to Usuki Station by limited express train on the JR Main Nippo Line. For Taketa Take-tourou Chikuraku, take the JR Hohi Line from Oita Station for about 80 minutes and get off at Bungo-Taketa Station. For Sen’nen-Akari, take the Kyudai Line from Oita Station and get off at Hita Station.

Usuki-Takeyoi - The celebration of Princess Hannyahime

Each year in November, participants in this festival light up bamboo to guide the soul of Princess Hannyahime to her parents. Making lanterns and art objects from bamboo plays an important part and begins in August with the cutting of bamboo in the mountains.

Community organizations, including local schools, businesses and local government, cooperate to make the lanterns and art. Visit the area during the first week in November to enjoy the beautiful sight of these bamboo lanterns illuminating the town’s streets.

Taketa Take-tourou Chikuraku - The castle festival

Held over three days in mid-November, this festival involves lighting 20,000 bamboo lanterns in the castle town of Taketa. Don’t miss the moment the lanterns are lit around sunset, when the colors are particularly vibrant and stunning.

Sen’nen-Akari - A river of lanterns

During this event some 30,000 bamboo lanterns are lit up around the Kagetsu river that runs through Mameda town. Check out the various concerts and events that are held in Mameda town during the festival, which is hosted in November from 4:30pm to 9pm.

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