Japan Tourism Topics
1. A must for those who want to enjoy cherry blossoms all spring long
Cherry blossom season will soon begin! Unnan in Shimane prefecture is one of the few areas in Japan where cherry blossoms bloom from early March, with several varieties emerging to dazzle over the following two months. Deep pink Kawazu cherry blossoms line the Aka River in Daito-cho and Someiyoshino cherry blossoms form a 2km-long tunnel along the Hii River; both can be enjoyed from March to early April. From mid-April, visitors can enjoy the area's distinctive green Gioiko cherry blossoms. Please be sure to visit!
Cherry blossoms in Unnan City
2. Stay at a historical 170-year-old building in the city of water
Shimabara in Nagasaki prefecture is blessed with so many natural springs, it's known as the "City of Water." Hot and cold spring water runs through centuries-old waterways, supplying many of the local properties directly. Horibe House is one of them - built in 1848, it is the oldest house in Shimabara, a historical structure that shows us today just how much everyday use was made of spring water in those days. After completion of repair work, it will open as a facility offering accommodation this March. Come and experience a stay in a historic 175-year-old building and learn some of its secrets!
The Horibe House
3. Taiko drums herald the arrival of spring on Sado Island
On Sado Island in Niigata prefecture, festivals are held around April 15 in several villages, and local ondeko drummers perform gate-ringing ceremonies. Ondeko, performed in 120 districts on the island, is a traditional performing art, and during the ceremonies residents pray for a good harvest and the exorcism of bad luck. If you visit Sado during this season, you might feel blessed with the warmth and happiness of the unique culture and traditions of this island.
4. Try your hand at traditional crafts and a stay in a beautiful Japanese farmhouse
Hiraizumi in Iwate prefecture is a World Heritage town that presents a mysterious snowy landscape in winter. In spring its rows of cherry blossom trees provide a warm welcome to all visitors. At the Hidehira-nuri workshop, which produces the traditional lacquerware of the region, children and adults can try their hand at lacquering, one of the most traditional of Japanese crafts. Then how about rounding off your day with a restful stay at a 150-year-old farm resort in the countryside?
Ochiya / Hiraizumi Club
5. Experience local festivals featuring amazing floats and portable shrines
Held every year on the first Saturday and Sunday in April, Gifu city's Dosan Festival honors the achievements of Dosan Saito, a local war hero from Japan's "Warring States" period in the 15th and 16th century. Enlivened by the participation of many local residents, the festival includes a parade of mikoshi (portable shrines), booths with local products for sale, and a flea market. The accompanying Gifu Festival is a boisterous event during which four large floats decorated with paper lanterns and a mikoshi are paraded through the town to the Inanami Shrine; the day ends with a huge firework display.
Festivals in Gifu
• Items 1-4 are based on information from JNTO Partners
• The above details are correct as of the time of publication, and are subject to change.
If you'd like to download photos and videos of Japan's tourist attractions, please visit the Japan Online Media Center (JOMC).
For media inquiries, including requests to use photographs, please contact the JNTO Press office at firstname.lastname@example.org