On New Year's Eve, yamabushi perform similar rituals to those of the mountain priests at the Hassaku Matsuri, competing with each other after completing 100-day-long austerities.
Yamabushi (mountain priests) perform ancient fire rites throughout the night to pray for a bountiful harvest.
On 25 May each year, people stroll around in masks and costumes, serving sake and keeping an eye out for friends and acquaintances. The object is to make it through the festival without anyone recognising you. Manag…
To really see the feudal era in action, visit on 3 May, when more than a thousand participants in full samurai regalia act out the epic battle of Kawa-naka-jima during the annual Uesugi Matsuri.
This biennial event takes place over one week in October and screens films and retrospectives from all over the world, and also hosts symposiums.
Large crowds of dancers wear hanagasa (flower-laden straw hats) and sing folk songs.