Like many prefectures, every season Aichi has several festivals that occur. Aichi in particular, however, is known for its large performance arts culture which is further nurtured by a long history and tradition. Here are some major and minor festivals for each season:
The Inuyama Festival is known for its 13 floats, all with intricately designed three-layer design and lit by 365 lanterns at night (Yes, like the number of days in a year!) On top of these 25 foot floats are also karakuri puppets, which are controlled and move freely around. Surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms in Spring, it is also near the Inuyama Castle, so you can also make a quick stop there for photo opportunities as well.
Every Summer in July, thousands of people come to see the Grand Sumo Tournament at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, where Rikishi (sumo wrestlers) come to battle. Advanced tickets are sold from the end of May, so you may want to reserve yours early if you plan to attend. The Grand Sumo tournament is only held six times a year, and it is a great way to experience traditional Japanese sports and culture, and a must-go for those that love watching sumo at home.
Nagoya Festival and Tokugawaen in Autumn
The biggest festival in Aichi, the Nagoya Fesitval, occurs in Mid October for two days. In this festival, people dressed up as national heroes like Oda Nobunaga, and Tokugawa Ieyasu parade the streets in traditional garb, sometimes riding on horses and accompanied by warriors. With some 700 participants, it is bound to be a great entertaining time, with dances and concerts performed all around the area as well. If you want to have a more quiet time, you can also visit the Tokugawaen, a garden built by the Tokugawa family as a retirement villa, and showcases beautiful red leaves in Autumn.
Bare all at the Hadaka Matsuri in Winter
One of Japan’s more unique festivals, the Hadaka Matsuri (or Naked Festival) of Konomiya is a festival where men gather together in fundoshi (traditional Japanese loincloth) and together carry a portable shrine while splashed with cold water to. One local man is chosen every year as the “Lucky Man” and is shaven of all hair. Participants must chase him and touch him in any way to bring their selves good luck. Significant possibility of catching a cold, you say? When did that ever get in the way of a little fun!