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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

Kanda Matsuri 神田祭

One of Tokyo's biggest and most exciting celebrations

Featuring over 200 floats and portable shrines known as mikoshi, parades of dancers, musicians, and priests on horses, the Kanda Matsuri is out of this world.

Don't Miss

  • The main parade, which travels through the city of Tokyo
  • Local festival snacks sold throughout the area
  • The live musicians and dancers who join the festivities

How to Get There

The festival is centered around Kanda Jinja, also known as Kanda Myojin, close to JR Akihabara and Ochanomizu Stations.

The festival, however, parades throughout the neighborhood surrounding Kanda Myojin. Held during during the weekend around May 15, you may find it difficult to get to near the shrine or even on some of the major streets of the parade during the event. You will be able to find information at JR Akihabara or Ochanomizu Stations about how best to see the festivities, including crowd information.

Victory at the Battle of Sekigahara

The origins of the Kanda Matsuri date back to 1600, when Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces won the Battle of Sekigahara. Victory celebrations were continued throughout the prosperous Edo Period and continue on to this day.

The main shrine of the festival, Kanda Myojin, is associated with prosperity and good fortune. Ebisu and Daikokuten, two of the Seven Lucky God, also known as the Shichifukujin, are the patron deities of the shrine.

No small event

The festival celebrations go on for around a week, but the two main days are on the final weekend. Saturday is mainly dedicated to parades and Sunday is primarily mikoshi carrying. The parade routes go well beyong the area near the shrine, stretching all the way to Otemachi and Marunouchi, in the heart of downtown Tokyo near Tokyo Station. The area around Nihonbashi is also on the parade routes of some of the mikoshi.

A shared celebration

Despite being one of the greatest festivals in Tokyo, this major event is only celebrated every other year. On even numbered years one of the other great Shinto festivals, the Sanno Matsuri of Hie Jinja in Nagatacho, is celebrated with a major procession in June.

Be prepared for crowds

The crowds on the final weekend are incredible. As you near Kanda Myojin th streets become increasingly packed, much more like the front stage area of a rock festival than perhaps anything else.

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