Takigi (Bonfire) Noh Theater (May 11-12, June 1-2)
Noh is a unique type of traditional theater in that all actors wear masks, so emotion is portrayed through subtle bodily movements rather than facial expressions or voice. Takigi Noh is a performance of Noh Theater in which fires are lit around the stage to increase the dramatic effect of the performance.
Takigi Noh will be performed on May 11-12 in Nara at Kofukuji Temple for 3500 yen (5000 yen for both days) and at Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Performance details here.
Performances at Kyoto's Heian Jingu Shrine are on June 1-2 from 5:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M., and tickets go on sale from late April. Admission fees for the 2006 performances were 3,300 yen on the day of the performance and 2,500 yen for advance tickets. Kyoto performance details here. Advance purchase is recommended for either show. Tickets can be purchased inside Japan only (at the shrine itself or at convenience stores), but some Japanese tour operators may be able to procure them for a fee.
Hotaru-ika (Firefly Squid) Sightseeing Tour
(April 7 - May 6)
For one month only, visitors to Japan may view the fishing of Firefly Squid (a small type of squid with natural bioluminescence) from a tourist boat and see the squid mysteriously light up as the ship touches the fishing net. Firefly squid are also quite delicious and can be purchased as a snack. Sleepy guests arrive at the boat between 2:30 and 2:50 A.M., and the boat leaves shore at 3:00 A.M.
Reservations accepted on the day before (from 10:00 - 16:00) if space is still available, but they usually begin taking reservations around March so advance reservations are highly recommended.
To make reservations, please contact the Namerikawa City Tourism Association at 076-475-0100.
Dates: April 7 (Sat) - May 6 (Sun)
Adults: 3000 yen.
Students: (Elementary, Jr. High, High) 2000 yen.Small children not allowed.
8 min. walk from JR Namerikawa Station (JR Hokuriku Line) in Toyama Prefecture, about 3 1/2 hours by train from either Kyoto or Tokyo.
Click here for more information in English.
Cormorant Fishing (May 11 - Oct 15)
Cormorant Fishing, also known as Ukai, is a 1300 year-old fishing method used by fishermen of Nagara Town in Gifu Prefecture. A rope is tied around the neck of a cormorant so that it cannot fully swallow the fish that it catches. It then spits the fish out into the fisherman's bucket and begins "fishing" for more.
Ukai cormorant fishing takes place every night from May11 through October 15 except on the night of the harvest moon (September 26 in 2007), on nights with fireworks shows (July 28 and August 7 in 2007) and during times of high water levels in the river.
Boats depart at 6:15 P.M. (3,300 yen), 6:45 P.M and 7:15 P.M. (both 3,000 yen) and the actual fishing begins at around 7:30 P.M. Chartered boats are also available. Nagara can be reached by bus from Gifu Station, which is about 20 minutes by train from Nagoya.
For more details, and information on how to make reservations, please visit this English website.
Tokyo has 3 major festivals coming up. Click on the links for details about each festival.
Kanda Matsuri : (May 12, 13)
one of Japan's big 3 festivals
Sanja Matsuri : (May 18-20)
one of the largest Mikoshi (portable shrine) festivals
There are many other festivals going on throughout Japan at this time, including
Fukuoka's extravagant Hakata Dontaku Festival (May 3, 4)
Kyoto's elegant and highly ritualized
Aoi (Hollyhock) Festival (May 15)
Nikko's Grand Festival of Spring
which includes a procession of 1000 men dressed as samurai warriors (May 17, 18)
Updates on VJC Special Representatives: HEAR the "Voices from JETAA"
The Visit Japan Campaign (VJC) has nested a home for JETAA to share their personal intimate experiences in Japan. You will hear the inside scoop of how these Americans lived dynamically in a country that is the "East of Ordinary." Hear poignant voices talking about: sakura (cherry blossom) season - [a time of transition and closure for a JET]; a 1500-pound portable shrine carried down 201 stone steps and sexy black jeans worn into the city of Sendai.
Find these insightful voices at: http://www.japantravelinfo.com/blog/
New Tours to Japan for 2007
Pacific Delight Tours (1-800-221-7179)
Japan Super Value 7 Days Tokyo - Kyoto
Brendan Worldwide Vacations (1-800-421-8446)
A Week in Japan Tokyo - Kyoto.
Japan's Heritage Tokyo - Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Takayama - Kanazawa - Kyoto.
Globus Vacations (1-800-221-0090)
Discover Japan 11 days
Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka
Discover Japan with Hiroshima Extension
14 days - Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima.
Tokyo, Beijing & Shanghai 11 Days
Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai
JTB Sunrise Tours are now offering a new series of day tours:
Toyota Motor Plant Tour
Sunrise Sumo Tour
Tokyo, Nagoya & Osaka Tournament
Matsuri "Festival" Tours
Tours are available for the following festivals
JETABOUT Asia Vacations (1-800-348-8150)
Classic Japan 12 days/11 nights
Mongol Global Tour Company (1-866-225-0577)
Treasures of Textiles Japan Tour 12 days, May 12 - 23, 2007
Ritz Tours (1-800-345-1688)
Journey to Japan 10 Days Tokyo - Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Kyoto - Nara - Hiroshima - Osaka.
UA Vacations (1-888-288-7170)
Japan Cherry Blossoms & Onsen 8 Days - Tokyo Atami - Kyoto.
Tokyo Value Air & Hotel Package 5 nights
Osaka Value Air & Hotel Package 5 nights
Information is provided in this Japan Travelers' Page as a courtesy to readers
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accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own
judgment and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright
to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any
loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a
result of utilizing the information.