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The Japanese love celebrating and they love festivals. There are literally thousands of festivals in Japan from the tiny local community festivals just for the residents of one village or city ward, to the huge events such as the Takayama and Gion festivals, attended by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Festivals in Japan are rich and vibrant occasions. Girls put on their best 'yukatta' (a light kimono) and often the men wear traditional dress as well. The streets are lined with food and drink stands selling grilled meat on sticks, 'yakisoba' fried noodles and all manner of food delights. And of course, the Japanese love a drink at these occasions so beer and sake are never in short supply.

In this section we will be collecting together some of our favourite festivals that we think you may like to consider attending whilst in Japan. Some are really famous, other less so, but what we can guarantee is that you will have a lot of fun. Accommodation for major festivals can get booked up as far as a year in advance so if you are looking to attend a big event then let is know as soon as possible so we can get planning. Often though, it is just a matter of seeing what coincides with your visit and heading along for some festival fun and a chance to meet the Japanese at their most laid back.

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Kyoto Hanatoro (Dec & March)

Overview

For a few selected days during the winter months, some of Kyoto's most famous sights and attractive backstreets are lined with lanterns, making for a magical atmosphere. Many temples and shrines extend their visiting hours, allowing lucky winter visitors to experience a different side of Kyoto, and take some very unique photographs.

Along with the lanterns there are other light displays and also floral displays and occasional street performances. Kyoto is a wonderful city at any time of year, but Hanatoro adds an extra touch of sparkle to those visiting during the colder months.

When:
Hanatoro takes place in the Arashiyama district of northwest Kyoto in December (9th to 18th in 2011) and Higashiyama district in eastern Kyoto in March (10th to 20th in 2012).

Where:

Kyoto is one of Japan's must-visit cities, whether it's your first visit to Japan or your twenty-first!

Almost all of our Small Group Tours and Self-Guided trips visit Kyoto, or we can of course tailor a trip for you to include a longer stay in this wonderful city.


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Plan your trip

Many thanks for taking the time to browse our web-site. We very much hope you are enjoying the site we have put together and that it has inspired you to contact us and take the first steps towards your holiday in Japan!

There are many things to consider when planning your Japan trip: time of year you wish to travel; how long you have available; where in Japan you want to go; the things you wish to experience; what budget you have available to name but a few.

Our Tailored Trip Enquiry Form is designed so we can get as clear an idea as possible as to what will make the perfect Japan trip for you.

After we have received your enquiry, one of our Japan-expert travel consultants will get in touch to discuss your trip in more detail so as we can out together a proposal for you. We donít ask for any money upfront to put together a quote and most importantly, every quote we do is 100% tailored for you.

Click for the Tailored Trip Enquiry Form

Donít have time to fill in our Fully Tailored Trip form? Submit a quick Email Enquiry instead.

Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009