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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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Dai-Chochin Matsuri(Giant Lantern Festival)

A festival to ward off evil spirits and pray for a calm sea and a large catch.

Dates: August 26th and 27th
Place: Suwa Shrine
City: 129 Isshiki Aza Miyazoe, Isshiki-cho Oaza, Hazu-gun, Aichi Prefecture

This festival features enormous chochin (paper lanterns), also known as "amazingly gigantic lanterns," which measure over 5 meters in diameter and 10 meters in length. The 12 sets of paper lanterns appearing at the festival are depicted with pictures and Chinese characters which embody all kinds of meanings and stories. The scene of the Dai-Chochin Tsuriage when the huge brightly-colored paper lanterns are hoisted up very slowly is just breathtaking.

The festival originates in a legend dating back about 450 years. At that time, a fire usually ignited to illuminate the surroundings for patrolling was lit at Suwa Shrine in order to drive away sea demons which emerged from the sea, ravaging the fields and bringing serious harm upon the inhabitants. Ever since then, it became the custom to ignite kagari-bi as a Shinto ritual at the festival. These kagari-bi were later replaced by chochin lanterns and competition to produce the biggest and most gorgeous lanterns has resulted in their present form.

The most exciting scene of the festival is when gigantic 1-meter tall candles are lit inside the enormous chochin lanterns. As soon as the candles are lit, the colorful motifs of famous Japanese myths, etc. depicted on the chochin lanterns appear, creating a world of fantasy. This is truly a moment of Japanese myths and old folktales being passed down through the generations. Spectators also experience a pleasant sense of excitement as if witnessing a historic scene.


About 10 minutes' walk from Mikawa-Ishiki bus stop.Mikawa-Ishiki bus stop is about 20 minutes or so from Nishio Station on the Meitetsu Bus bound for Mikawa-Ishiki Station.Nishio Station is about 50 minutes from Meitetsu Nagoya Station on the Meitetsu Nishiosen Line.


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Festivals & Events

Traditional Annual Events

Traditional Annual Events