Nature & the Outdoors
The Japan International Arts Festival is a new international arts festival to be held on the occasion of the 2025 Japan World Expo. It will be held in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan for a thousand years and a city brimming with history, art, and culture. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has also relocated to the city. The co-creation of art, design, science, technology, and economy will generate creativity all through the city, paving the way to a brighter future toward Japan World Expo in 2025 and beyond: from Japan to the world.
With its main venue as the World Heritage site of Daigo-ji Temple in Kyoto, the idea is to connect with galleries, studios, corporate showrooms, university labs, museums, and more in Kyoto City and Kyoto Prefecture in line with plans put together by the Expo organizers. The first festival will be held from Friday, September 1, to Sunday, October 15, 2023, and is set to recur annually in 2024 and 2025 and even after the Expo in 2026 and 2027.
The Yumeshima Organization to Create New Industry and City will serve as the festival organizer.
Long ago, in Amanohashidate, Tango Province (in what is now Kyoto Prefecture), people would release boats in Asokai Bay to enjoy the different phases of the moon in elegance. According to legend, Amanohashidate is connected to the undersea Palace of the Dragon King as mysterious fire referred to as “dragon lights” would occasionally rise out of the water and ignite the branches of nearby pine trees. This scenery will be recreated for the first time on September 30 (sixteenth-day-old moon), October 15 (new moon), and October 29 (full moon) with moon- and star-viewing boats that will sail across Asokai Bay and illuminate the pine trees of Amanohashidate. Visitors may enjoy this mystical view from Amanohashidate’s Kasamatsu Park, which will be opened at night for a limited time. There will also be performances of traditional performing arts of the Miyazu region, including tachifuri sword demonstrations, ukidaiko drumming, and Miyazu-odori dancing. Since ancient times, Shinto faith has believed the full moon and the new moon to possess a mysterious power called musuhi that creates and sustain all things in heaven and earth. This is why visiting Motoise Kono Shrine and its inner shrine, Manai Shrine, under the full and new moon, is said to increase the divine power of the gods. We will be recreating this "night view of the gods" with special operating hours and illuminations at both shrines.
■ There are many travelers who, despite wanting to enjoy the snow, have not yet had the opportunity to do so.
This is because most places in Japan that offer winter experiences are located in remote mountainous areas, away from major sightseeing and shopping areas. F Village Snow Park is the first facility in Japan where visitors can experience winter sports alongside urban sightseeing due to its location near New Chitose Airport and other major transportation networks. Equipped with a 50-meter snow escalator and artificial snow-making machines, this state-of-the-art facility allows visitors to enjoy winter activities from as early as November 1st. Skis, sleds, and snow gear are also available to rent.
■ Visitors who are encountering snow for the first time in the lives can have fun skiing or sledding with peace of mind as SnowPark staff guide them through every step.
*Foreign language-speaking staff available
*Ski lessons available for a fee (reservations required)
The Aizu region is famous for its history, traditions, and culture, as symbolized by Tsuruga Castle and the young samurai of the Byakkotai (a group that fought for the shogunate against the imperial forces). During the winter season, when this event will be held, the region is also known for its heavy snowfall, and many snow- and winter-related events are held all over. Also known as a rice- and water-producing region, Aizu boasts an abundance of sake, local cuisine, and laid-back, gourmet dining due to its great agricultural conditions.
The main venue for this event will be Tsuruga Castle, the landmark of Aizu-Wakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture. Visitors can climb the castle at night, try on kimonos, experience Aizu's tea ceremony culture, enjoy performances by the Aizu Higashiyama Geigi performing arts troupe, and enjoy sumptuous local meals, all of which are usually not offered to visitors.
Visitors will also be able to tour snow festivals and winter festivals held throughout the Aizu region during this period, as well as take sightseeing tours of the city to fully appreciate winter festivities across the entire region.
As the first full-scale inbound tourism event to be held in Aizu, its content will truly showcase the snow and winter aspects that characterize the region. Each venue also has great spots for souvenir photos to post on social media and remember your visit.
Why not visit Aizu and create your own special memories?
We’re really looking forward to your visit!
International top model and actress Ai Tominaga appears as the first female Shingen-ko in history!
This year’s Shingen-ko Festival will take place over three days from October 27 to 29.
The venue, Kofu Station, is located in the center of Yamanashi Prefecture, the home of Mt. Fuji. Kofu Station is around one and a half hours from Tokyo by express train.
The main event of this festival is the “Largest Samurai Parade in the World,” which is held on October 28. Do you want to wear armor and join the parade of brave and elegant samurai of the Koshu forces, who were said to have been the strongest samurai of Japan’s Warring States Period?
You can also wear your own armor or costumes in the Halloween Parade, which is held before the Samurai Parade.
We have prepared special premium viewing seats with English explanations for those who want to see the exciting Samurai Parade.
Samurai Week, which spans from October 14 to 29, offers various tours where you can appreciate Japan’s rich culture through visits to places related to Takeda Shingen and experiencing the life of samurai by wearing armor, trying ancient sword techniques, and meditating beneath a waterfall (“takigyo”).
We hope you enjoy this special exchange with Japanese culture and make memories to last a lifetime.
This is a special cultural tourism experience program unique to Kyoto offered in conjunction with the Art Collaboration Kyoto (ACK) art fair to be held in Kyoto from October 28 to 30, 2023.
(1) The Kyoto KYOCERA Museum of Art will be specially reserved for the night before the art fair for a one-night-only live art performance together with ACK's VIP guests, exhibiting galleries, and artists.
(2) A special dinner will be held at Komyo-in, a sub-temple of Tofuku-ji Temple that is known for its beautiful autumn foliage, in its normally closed Kanteirou room. The dinner will be followed by a viewing of artworks on display exclusively during the ACK event, and an introduction of the works of Yuta Niwa, a Japanese-style painter who is working on the sliding door paintings at the temple. The beautiful Japanese garden will be illuminated, and meals will be served with a unique Kyoto flair.
(3) This premium excursion allows visitors to tour shrines and temples normally closed to the public and experience Kyoto's traditional industries and culture. Beyond the city of Kyoto, "another Kyoto" awaits. Visitors are taken to Tango Peninsula, also known as "Kyoto by the Sea," via round-trip private helicopter. The tour includes a premium view of Amanohashidate, one of Japan's three most scenic spots, from the sky.
(4) "ACK Kids Program" for children aged 8–13. This program combines a guided tour to see the artworks at the venue with a creative workshop in which children work with artists to create artworks, offering new experiences and perspectives on art.
This event will offer fans of each team and the World Rally Championship in general a truly rare and special experience, as well as a new and exciting way to enjoy the event with new services and a different ambience.
This year, for the first time ever, the Super Room in Toyota Stadium will be available as a hospitality space for guests to use.
Planned tours include the Team Booth Tour, where visitors can get close-up views of cars, drivers, mechanics, and more as they return to the stadium,
and the Course Walk, where visitors can actually walk around the course.
A SS (special stage) spectating plan in the mountainous zone will also be available.
Another plan allows visitors to enjoy the rally more casually by watching the race from the top-ranked seats in Toyota Stadium and actually staying in the outdoor hospitality area.
Considered one of the three great festivals in Japan, Gion Matsuri is a festival held at Yasaka Shrine that has continued for over 1,000 years. This festival begins with the “Kippu-iri” ritual on July 1 and the closing service at Eki Shrine on July 31 for a span of one month. Among the highlights are the parades of yamahoko floats, said to be like moving art museums. They are even registered as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Against the backdrop of the Kyoto City Hall main building, a symbol of the town of Kyoto, leisurely view these yamahoko floats from the comfort of your own premium seat.
Tateyama Kurobe Rediscovery Project utilizing the Kurobe-Unazuki Canyon Route before it opens to the public
Three tours are available, giving visitors a chance to sample the charms of Tateyama Kurobe, a tourism destination in the mountains with a wide variety of natural, historical, and industrial attractions.
(1) An exclusive tour showcasing the construction route built during the construction of the Kurobegawa No. 4 Power Plant. Before the public opening of the route next year, visitors will get a chance to tour the extensive power supply facilities hidden in the depths of the mountains and enjoy views from three points along the route. Visitors can also take special rides on worker vehicles, inclines for transporting materials, and equipment that are not normally accessible. This 3-day, 2-night tour also includes World Heritage Sites in Gokayama and the town of Inami, famous for its wood carvings.
(2) A walking tour offering intimate views of Japan’s Northern Alps. Visitors will tour construction tunnels and elevators in normally inaccessible power facilities, enjoy great views walking in the surrounding mountains of the Japanese Northern Alps, and learn about the history of the facility's development via newly created digital content.
(3) A tour including special content on the history of the construction of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Visitors can learn about and experience the history of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route via video footage of the construction period and a special walking tour of the Tateyama Tunnel, which was a particularly difficult construction project. A special night-time experience, in which visitors will get to stargaze while drinking coffee brewed with famous Tateyama Tamadono spring water, is also available. At the hotel where visitors will stay, local souvenirs will be available, and a special menu using local Tateyama produce will be served.
Akita Inu dogs are popular worldwide.
Due to their fluffy and cute appearance, strong loyalty, and friendly nature, Akita Inu dogs are loved by many people across the globe.
However, the number of Akita Inu dogs are rapidly decreasing due to a lack of breeders. As a result, the opportunity for people to come in contact with them are rare and few.
In this event, participants will join Akita Inu dogs in:
- Guided trekking and canoeing to enjoy the nature of the hometown of Akita Inu dogs
- Making wine made from local ingredients
- Viewing an exhibition about the history and preservation of Akita Inu dogs
By providing these special, one-of-a-kind experiences,
this event provides an opportunity to further enjoy the charm of Akita Inu dogs and their hometown.