Events:

fall foliage forecast for 2017

Fall color is at peak in the Taisetsu Mountain Range, Hokkaido. (September 24, 2017)

https://tenki.jp/kouyou/expectation.html

when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

https://tenki.jp/kouyou/

https://weathernews.jp/s/koyo/

https://koyo.walkerplus.com/

https://sp.jorudan.co.jp/leaf/

http://www.rurubu.com/season/autumn/koyo/


Current foliage reports (Japanese version only):

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/weather/koyo/


seasonal flowers:




Friday, February 17, 2012

Kamakura and Bonden

Kamakura Festival in Yokote City, Akita Prefecture was held on February 15th and 16th. It is one of the New Year holiday events and used to be held on the 15th day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar. The festival dates back 400 years. 
Yokote Kamakura  festival in 2005
photo by 日本列島お国自慢


















Local children say to visitors from inside a snow house called kamakura, "Haitte tanse!(Please come in!)." Each kamakura house has a household altar dedicated to the god of water. Visitors make monetary offerings to the god. The children serve baked rice cakes and amazake which is a sweet drink made from fermented rice.

There is a household altar dedicated to the god of water in kamakura
at the festival in 2005
photo by 日本列島お国自慢



They are baking rice cakes on a wire sheet over earthen charcoal brazier
at the festival in 2005
photo by 日本列島お国自慢




  

Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr


Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr


Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr



Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr


Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr


Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita-ken by shibuya246 /flickr



Akita Shinkansen by shibuya246 /flickr


Bonden was also an event held on the 15th day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar.


Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr



Bonden or Bonten(梵天) is a large-scale Gohei(御幣) which is a wooden wand with two zigzag paper streamers used in Shinto rituals.

Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr


There are several theories about the origin of this event, but its origin is uncertain.






Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr



The bonden contest was held on February 16th and bonden will be dedicated to the Asahi Okayama Jinja Shrine(旭岡山神社) in Yokote on February 17th.



Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr



The event dates back 280 years.



Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr





Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr





Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr




Yokote Bonden Festival by shibuya246 /flickr



photo by 秋田の車窓から
Inukko Matsuri
Inukko Matsuri(Little Dog Festival) is held in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture on February 11th and 12th. The festival dates back 400 years.

Villages in Yokote were beset by a band of brigands about 400 years ago. The lord of a domain exterminated it.
People put little dogs(inukko), cranes and tortoises made of rice flour at the door and by the window in prayer for keeping off brigands on the 15th day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar.
The festival is said to come from this custom.

photo by 秋田の車窓から
Inukko Matsuri
Children built little snow houses at the door and put inukko in the houses. They stayed up half the night playing.

Little dogs, cranes and tortoises made of rice flour are available at this festival. They are made for decoration now, but people used to bake and eat them after the event to drive away evil until the middle of World War II.


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