Must Visit in 2024

Atsuta Jingu Festival, June 5

The most important and solemn ritual ceremony at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, where an imperial envoy (a messenger of the Emperor) visits the shrine. We pray for the nation's peace and the Imperial Family's prosperity. Atsuta Jingu Shrine has a long history being established in 113. It is a significant shrine enshrining a sacred sword, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, as one of three ritual vessels. >> Read More

Tokyo National Museum
The 850th Anniversary of Jodo sect Buddhism, Apr.16 – Jun.9

Honen, a founder of the Jodo sect, was a revolutionary Buddhist priest whose teaching was the chanting Amitabha Buddha single-mindedly towards enlightenment. It was greatly developed under the devotion of Tokugawa Ieyasu. >> Read More

Okehazama Festival at Okehazama Battlefield Ruin, May 19

A parade of warriors in armor and lighting of 3,500 lanterns to mourn both defeated armies in the Battle of Okehazama between Oda Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto. Nobunaga's victory and Yoshimoto's downfall marked a significant turning point in Japan's Warring States period, setting a new period for the subsequent unification of Japan. >> Read More

Nagashino Matsuri Festival , Aichi. May 3 -5

To comfort the spirits of the fallen warriors of Oda Nobunaga & Tokugawa Ieyasu and Takeda Katsuyori at the Battle of Nagashino & Shitaragahara in 1575, many Nobori (banners) with the crests of the brave warriors are planted at the festival. The festival has many highlights, starting "Jindaiko" war drum demonstration, a matchlock gun firearms demonstration, and more. >> Read More

Daigoji Temple, Kyoto
Special Exhibition to celebrate the 1150 Anniversary, Mar.20 - May. 6

Daigoji, a World Heritage Site, was founded in 874. Explore the long and splendid history and treasures including the magnificent Sanboin Garden, the black-lacquered Karamon gate decorated with gilded chrysanthemums (the Imperial Family crest) and paulownia (Samurai, Toyotomi Clan crest), Five Story Pagoda, and more, including 75,537 national treasures. >> Read More

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
The Evening Special Visit, Apr.23 - Apr. 30

Kiyomizu-dera Temple illuminated by lights is the very blessing of the Goddess of Kannon. Recall Tamura, a Noh play, performed amidst falling cherry petals. >> Read More

Tokyo National Museum
The 900th Anniversary of the Golden Hall of Chusonji Temple, Jan.23 – Apr.14
Golden Hall of Chusonji Temple_中尊寺金色堂

The eleven Golden Buddhist statues - National Treasures- are displayed and a full-size reproduction of the splendid Golden Hall using 8K technology is worth a visit.

The Shuni-e Ceremony at the Nigatsu-dō of Todaiji Temple, Mar.1 - Mar.15

This year marks the 1,273rd anniversary of the Nigatsudo Shuni-e Ceremony, which began in 752 and has never ceased to be held to pray for national peace and a bountiful harvest. On the evening of the 12th, eleven great basket torches will be lit in the Nigatsudo Hall.

Must Visit in 2023

The 750th anniversary of the Mongolian invasion - Dec.16/2023 - Mar.9

An opportunity to learn about the shocking reality of the Mongol invasion of Japan, as well as picture scrolls of how the warriors of the Kamakura Shogunate fought at the Kamakura Museum of History and Culture

Sannomaru Shozokan - Imperial Collections, Special Exhibition, Nov.3/2023 - Jun. 23
Imperial Palace Sannomau Shozokan Museum_皇居三の丸尚蔵館

Many national treasures are exhibited including paintings of "Tale of Genji," and celebrating the 5th Year of His Majesty's Reign and the 30th Wedding Anniversary of Their Majesties.

Shogoin Monzeki Temple - the first opening to the public, October 7th - December 3rd
Shogoin Monzeki Temple Kyoto_聖護院門跡の庭

The graceful and delicate Shoin room built by Emperor Go-Mizunoo for his concubine is now open to the public for the first time. The elegant and delicate Shoin, with its Katomado windows made of glass and gold-work decorated shelves, is a sight to sigh at.

Izumo Taisha Shrine - Kamiari-sai Festival, November 11-29th
The Kamiarisai Festival of Izumo Shrine, welcoming all deities in Japan at the Inasahama shore_出雲大社神在祭

The festival is staged to welcome the deities from the nation, and it commences at the Inasa-Hama shore. The deities proceed to Izumo Taisha and engage in various sacred and spiritual activities to discuss a person’s peaceful connection with others. This festival is a very sacred and spiritual ritual and attracts us.

Kamigamo Shrine Autumn Special Viewing, October 28th - November 26th

After being purified at Naorae-den hall, we enter the inner garden in front of Honden and Gonden, the holiest main shrines, where the deity, Kamo Wakeikazuchi no Okami is enshrined.

Japanese Drum Music Evening, November 18 & 19th
Japanese Drum Event_和太鼓の夕べ

Junpei Yamada x Higashi Betsuin Premium Concert 2023 - “Kyo Mei San Ko". A grand-scale concert at the Higashi Betsuin Temple in Nagoya will be held. This hallowed space will resonate with the harmonious melodies of Taiko drums and traditional Japanese instruments, seeking to merge the "Shoumyo" of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism with the power of Taiko music.

Jidai Matsuri Festival Kyoto, October 22
Jidai Matsuri Festival Kyoto_平安神宮の時代祭り

Jidai Matsuri (Festival of Age) is one of three great festivals in Kyoto. A long possession wearing costumes typical of each period from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu Shrine is as if you time-travel an 1100-year history, starting the Heian period (794-1192) to the Edo period (1603-1868).

Takayama Autumn Festival, October 9 & 10th
Takayama Autumn Festival Hotei Karakuri Performance_高山秋祭の布袋のからくり人形

Karakuri dolls move across several bars one by one riding piggyback on the Hotei. Once it makes it, loud cheers erupt. It’s held in the center of Takayama city in Gifu prefecture at Takayama Autumn Festival to express gratitude for the harvest to Deity.

Moon-viewing party at Daikakuji, Sep.29-Oct.1
Daikakuji Temple Osawa Pond_大覚寺大沢池

The party known as "Kangetsu-no-yube" began when Emperor Saga floated his boat on Osawa Pond of Daikakuji in Kyoto, one of the three great moon-viewing ponds in Japan, to enjoy the Harvest Moon in the night sky and the reflection on the surface of the pond with cultural figures and aristocrats. You can enjoy the elegant atmosphere of the court culture as well.

Enryakuji Temple, for the first time in 60 years, the Konpon Chudo main hall (national treasure) and corridors are undergoing major renovation.
Enryakuji Konpon Chudo Main Hall Renovation_延暦寺根本中道大改修中

Visitors will be able to see major renovations that they would not normally see, such as the replacement of the roof and repair of the coloring of the sculptures. The major renovation is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

Glover Garden Light-up in 2023, July 20 - October 9
Nagasaki Night View_長崎の夜景

The Glover Garden Light-up in 2023 showcases the captivating night view of Nagasaki, ranking among the world's top three nightscapes alongside Monaco and Hong Kong. Moreover, it stands as one of Japan's premier nightscapes, alongside Sapporo and Kobe."