The mid-autumn harvest moon festival (on September 29 in 2023) is a Japanese custom that spread widely from Kyoto during the Heian period (794–1185).
As a custom originating in China, the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on August 15 of the lunar calendar, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and many Southeast Asian countries to admire the most beautiful moon of the year. This classical moon-viewing party is recreated in a modern setting at Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto.
Spend elegant, romantic moments with a special live performance by outstanding artists against the eye-catching backdrop of the Daigoku-den Main Hall, which will be specially illuminated for the event.
[Dates and times]
Thursday, September 28, 2023, to Sunday, October 1, 2023
Doors open 6:15 PM / Concert begins 7 PM / Concert ends 8:30 PM (tentative)
* No cancellations for rain (only cancellations for storms)
Heian Jingu Shrine (Nishi Tennocho, Okazaki, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City)
Thursday, September 28: Hideki Togi / Norichika Togi / Takuma Ishii
Friday, September 29: Aimer/Who-ya Extended
Saturday, September 30: Juice=Juice/BEYOOOOONDS
Sunday, October 1: Akinori Nakagawa/GOZA
All seats reserved, advance purchase: 7,000 yen
Dining plan (limited availability): 20,000 yen
*Dining plans are only available for performances on Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29.
*All prices are tax-inclusive.
*Free admission for children under 3 years old (up to 1 per guardian, seated on lap). Seating for children must be purchased if required.
■ 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!
This will be the first ever light festival hosted at the Tanegashima Space Center. The festival’s theme focuses on the collaboration between nature, space, and art. The Tanegashima Space Center will be the main venue for the festival. Artwork will be exhibited in unusual spaces, including a seaside cave only accessible at low tide, abandoned factories, and empty storefronts, providing visitors with an incredibly unique experience. At the Tanegashima Light Festival 2023, space-themed art pieces set up in the natural landscape of the town of Minamitane on Tanegashima, with its relaxed sense of time and close connection to space, will create a unique atmospheric experience. The festival will be held over nine days from December 9 to December 17, 2023. The festival is held when the starry sky is at its most beautiful. Only at Tanegashima Light Festival 2023 will visitors be able to experience the coming together of the star-filled sky, space center, and works of art!
Various creators with a diverse range of artistic backgrounds will be exhibiting their work in the festival, including Yasuhiro Chida, who has participated in major art festivals all over Europe and was selected as one of nine “Brilliant Light Artists” by Artdex in 2019; Hideki Yoshimoto, the first Japanese artist create installations for the Lexus Design Award Grand Prix, Hermès, and Burj Khalifa in Dubai; Yusuke Murakami, who has worked on videos with artists such as David Bowie and Massive Attack; and Takayuki Ohira, a planetarium creator who developed the MEGASTAR-IIA (with GIGAMASK) planetarium, which was certified by Guinness World Records as having the most projected stars.
Cultural exhibition by a Living National Treasure and a special exhibition displayed inside the National Treasure, Shokoji Temple
(1) Exhibition commemorating the designation of Shokoji Temple as a National Treasure (from September 30 to November 5, 2023)
Set in the main building and grand hall, which were designated as National Treasures in December 2022, a special exhibition will be held displaying the “Pair of Six-Panel Folding Screens Depicting Scenes in and around the Capital in Colors on Paper with Gold Ground,” an Important Cultural Property that is usually not publicly displayed. Other exhibition items include the property of Maeda Harunaga, the 11th daimyo of the Kaga Domain. Visitors will listen to a guide as they point out the painstaking efforts that went into the 23-year-long Heisei era restoration. They will also be able to take a special look at two places that are not usually viewable to the public: Okushoin and the Sutra Repository inside the Kyodo (the sutra library). We have also prepared a tour of the “Seven Wonders of Shokoji Temple”!
(2) Collaboration of National Treasures: Shokoji Temple x Bunraku (held on November 28, 2023)
Bunraku puppet theater is a traditional performance art representative of Japan. Each puppet is controlled by three puppeteers, making it unusual compared to other forms of puppetry.
The delicate movements of the puppet match the narration of the narrator (called a “tayu” in Japanese) with near-human expressiveness, combining with the shamisen performance to draw viewers in. On the stage of Shokoji Temple, Kiritake Kanjuro and others play the role of puppeteer, tayu, and shamisen player in this performance of bunraku. Please enjoy this precious, one-time performance of a Living National Treasure in a National Treasure building.
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.
"Timeless Taste" Japanese culinary event at the State Guest House Akasaka Palace, a National Treasure of Japan
The theme of the event is "Japanese food—the traditional food culture of the Japanese people," and the event marks the 10th anniversary of Japanese food's registration as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Four chefs from famous Japanese restaurants in Tokyo will come together in the Kacho-no-Ma room where the actual dinner event will be held,
and a special multiple-course Japanese meal will be served for this occasion only
(with delicious sake pairings and free-flowing drinks).
This event is not just about enjoying Japanese food.
There will also be time to enjoy Noh theater, one of Japan's leading traditional performing arts, which has also been registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the free time, guests have a chance to speak with makers of Japanese sweets, sake, and tableware.
Time is also allotted for experts to introduce Japanese culture and all its charms in light-hearted conversation to satisfy intellectual curiosity.
Chauffeur service on the day of the event is also included.
This is the first time such an initiative has been attempted at State Guest House Akasaka Palace.
Seating is limited, so the 36 available tickets are guaranteed to be absolutely platinum.
Participants are encouraged to dress formally.
We look forward to warmly welcoming and hosting our guests.
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.
World Heritage Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region: A Unique Spiritual Journey
Okinoshima is an unpopulated island in the Genkai Sea that is approximately four kilometers in circumference. It was registered as a World Heritage site in July 2015 as the “Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region.”
Okitsugu Shrine, which is located on Okinoshima, enshrines Tagorihime no Kami, the oldest of the three Munakata goddesses. Approximately 80,000 National Treasures have been uncovered on Okinoshima, which is why it is also referred to as the “treasure trove of the sea.”
The entire island is an object of worship that is believed to house the spirit of Tagorihime. It has long been protected by strictly observed rules that forbid the general public from landing on its shores.
While people are not usually permitted to come close to this island, this special tour allows passengers to view majestic vistas of Okinoshima from the deck of a cruise ship.
Japanese tea has an 800-year-long history, and the city of Uji in Kyoto is especially renowned as an area that produces high-grade tea.
For a limited time only, visitors will have the chance to freely enjoy the best of Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties in Uji, Kyoto, through a tea tasting pilgrimage that engages all five senses.
Three types of events are available with multilingual support so that foreign visitors may experience Japanese culture with peace of mind. On-site guidance is English-only.
Dates and venues vary per plan, and multiple experiences may be purchased.
Special visit to the World Heritage Site Byodoin Temple to experience the best of traditional Japanese culture
Wednesday, October 18, 2023 to Saturday, October 21, 2023 Byodoin Temple: 4 PM to 9:30 PM
Special night visit to the World Heritage Site Byodoin Temple with an authentic tea ceremony experience
Wednesday, October 18, 2023 to Saturday, October 21, 2023
Byodoin Temple: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Nakamura Tokichi Honten: 6 PM to 8:30 PM
Traditional Edo-period vegetarian fucha cuisine with an authentic tea ceremony experience at Obakusan Manpukuji Temple
Saturday, October 21, 2023
Obakusan Manpukuji Temple: 11 AM to 3:45 PM