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JAPAN

Japan is situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometers, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. Japan consists of four major islands, surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands.

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JNTO TRAVEL PLANNER

Use the "JNTO TRAVEL PLANNER" for train and map information helpful in traveling around Japan.

  • By simply entering the departing and arrival station, get an overview of train transfer method, fares, and travel time.
  • By simply selecting the arrival airport and major train stations around Japan, find routes to stations nearest your destination.
  • Display a map of the arrival train station and areas surrounding sightseeing spots.

Read the "Usage Guide" and use this service for a safe and enjoyable trip in Japan.

Usage Guide

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  1. Home
  2. Attractions
  3. Festivals & Events
  4. Traditional Annual Events

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Attractions

Setsubun Mantoro(Lantern Festival)

Candle fire lights up 3,000 lanterns.
Here you can experience a fantastic world of antiquity.

Date: February 3rd
Place: Kasuga Taisha Shrine
City: Kasugano-cho, Nara City

At Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, each of the more than 3,000 lanterns in the precincts are lit up three days a year, namely on February 3rd and August 14th-15th, between 18:30 and 21:00. This is an event which has continued for 800 years and most of the lanterns have been donated by ordinary citizens with the exception of a handful which had been dedicated by samurai warriors in the Warring States Period. Such scenery lit only by candlelight takes you back into bygone days of no electricity and is full of mysticism. The reflections of the light on the river surface and the vermilion buildings of the shrine strike a beautiful harmony.

There are stone lanterns in the gardens and hanging lanterns in the corridors. The garden lanterns are decorated with strips of Japanese paper inscribed with people's wishes, and are lit by the participants. The hanging lanterns in the corridors come in a variety of designs. It appears that the number of lanterns corresponds to the number of wishes. Formerly, these numerous lanterns were lit up every night, which is quite amazing.

February 3rd marks the transition from winter to spring known as Setsubun, when beans, good luck charms and a votive picture of a horse, which are items for securing a long life, are sold from early morning. It is also worthwhile to take a stroll in the shrine precincts in the daytime. In summer, you can enjoy watching the performance of dancers dressed in ancient kimono.

*Photo (C) Nara City Tourist Association

Directions

Very close to the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop.Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop is on the Nara-Kotsu Bus route from JR or Kintetsu Line's Nara Station to Kasuga Taisha Honden.

 

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Festivals & Events

Traditional Annual Events

Traditional Annual Events