Comprises: Tokyo, critical Honshu, Kyoto urban, Western Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa, Northern Honshu, and Hokkaido.
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Extra resources for Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
Spectacular fireworks on the Sumida River near Asakusa; a revival of Edo-era celebrations. JULY Yamagasa Matsuri (Jul 1–15), Fukuoka. Climaxes with a race of giant floats over 5 km (3 miles). Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival, Jul 7). Celebrated nationwide to mark a Chinese legend (see p43). Stems of bamboo are decorated with paper Carrying torches at Nachi no Hi-Matsuri 46 Fall colors at Sounkyo Gorge in central Hokkaido AUGUST Neputa Matsuri (Aug 1–7), Hirosaki, and Nebuta Matsuri (Aug 2–7), Aomori.
Young male devotees wearing fundoshi (loin cloths) jostle for a pair of sacred wands thrown into the darkness by priests. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is also a public holiday. New Year’s Day (J ( an 1) Coming-of-Age Day (2nd Mon in Jan) National Foundation Day (Feb 11) Vernal Equinox Day (Mar 21) Greenery Day (A ( pr 29) Constitution Memorial Day (May 3) Children’s Day (May 5) Maritime Day (J ( ul 20) Respect for the Aged Day (3rd Mon in Sep) Fall Equinox Day (Sep 23) Health-Sports Day (2nd Mon in Oct) Culture Day (Nov 3) Labor Thanksgiving Day (Nov 23) Emperor’s Birthday (Dec 23) One of the snow carvings at Yuki Matsuri, Sapporo 47 48 I N T The Climate of J Japan’s climate varies primar temperate Hokkaido to subt the country is warm, temper are cooler year-round in the distinction is between the Pa Both have a lot of rain in Ju coast also has heavy rainfall but is sunny in winter, while long spells of rain and snow OKINAWA 31/88 24/75 4 26/79 27/81 22/72 °C/F C 19/67 18/64 13/55 5 8 6 3 hrs hrs hrs hrs 152 190 151 113 mm mm mm mm month Apr Jul Oct SHIKOKU 31/88 4 23/73 24/75 20/69 °C/F C 0 kilometers 14/58 4 200 11/52 10/50 0 miles 100 1/33 KYUSHU 6 6 6 hrs hrs hrs hrs 284 301 31/88 24/75 4 24/75 4 °C/F C 6 mm mm month Apr Jul 20/69 14/58 4 11/52 11/52 2/35 5 6 6 4 hrs hrs hrs hrs 178 281 101 81 mm mm mm mm month Apr Jul Oct Jan Kagoshima g Jan HOKKAIDO 25/77 16/61 15/61 °C/F 11/52 5/40 1/33 -2/28 -11/12 6 6 5 3 hrs hrs hrs hrs 60 78 114 102 mm mm mm mm month Apr Jul Oct • S Sapporo Jan NORTHERN HONSHU 28/82 21/70 20/69 16/61 °C/F C 12/54 6/43 5/41 -1/30 6 6 5 2 hrs hrs hrs hrs 101 181 159 194 mm mm month Apr Jul Sendai mm mm Oct Jan • Tokyo o • Kyoto Ko Kobe • • Osaka • Niigata • Nagoya CENTRAL AND WESTERN HONSHU 30/86 22/72 22/72 °C/F C 19/67 13/55 9/48 9/48 0/32 6 5 5 6 hrs hrs hrs hrs 138 171 129 44 mm mm month Apr Jul mm mm Oct Jan I N T R O D U C I N G J A PA N 51 THE HISTORY OF JAPAN F rom the origins of the Japanese race to its military behavior in World War II, Japan’s history is still subject to conjecture.
Zorii are still worn with formal kimonos, and geta with yukata. Geta often tended to be raised off the ground to prevent the wearer’s feet from becoming muddy; in the late 17th century the fashion for courtesans was for 30-cm (12-in) high soles, almost impossible to walk in. Tabi split socks are worn with Making wooden clogs both types of shoes. 42 I N T R O D U C I N G J A PA N Japan’s Festivals: Matsuri Matsuri means both festival and worship, indicating the Shinto origins of Japanese festivals.
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