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"The DAIMONGI GOZAN OKURIBI festival Okuribi is a fire lit to send the souls of deceased ancestors on their way after they have returned to this world for the bon festival. In the Daimonji Okuribi festival, 5 mountains (gozan) are used as the stage for an okuribi of huge proportions. The festival starts at August 16 8:00 p.m., when fires are lit on Mt. Nyoigatake to form the Chinese character dai, meaning "large". After this, more fires are lit separately on each mountain..." Kyoto, Japan

I'll make it there one day... Sapporo Snow Festival The annual Sapporo Snow festival also called the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is held each winter in early February. It is Hokkaido`s major event and draws thousands of visitors each year to witness the dozens of large and amazingly elaborate ice and snow sculptures.

Toka Ebisu in Osaka

Toka Ebisu is a celebration which is intended to bring prosperity to those engaged in business and is sort of associated with Osaka since that is the chief merchant city. Like so many other customs in Japan, "luck" is the dominant theme and Toka Ebisu is supposed to bring "luck" for entrepreneurs. In addition to praying at the shrine, you purchase the branches of a tree like those shown in the picture and bring it to your home. You keep it for one year and then return it the following year.

京都・祇園祭~「日本の祭り~京都・祇園祭~」 Kyoto: Gion Matsuri

Devil Dance: Driving Away Evil Spirits Tsuina-shiki Ceremony at Rozan-ji Temple

Doll Display and Court Dance "Hiina" Festival at Ichihime Shrine

長刀鉾/Naginata Hoko The other floats for the Gion Matsuri are also listed in this guide by Kyoto Shimbun (Kyoto Newspaper); translated by Galileo, Inc.

Awa Odori/Awa Dance The downtown area of my adopted-hometown becomes a big street dance for 4 days/nights every August (spouse's restaurant was just next to the yellow sign futon shop...)