The only thing better than attending an authentic Japanese village festival is actively joining in the dancing, songs and celebrations with the residents, and that’s what our lucky participants will do! Each traveler will become a Matsuri-festival performer in the annual Sawara Grand Festival, which is one of the UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural assets of Japan.
1.5 hours from Tokyo
Leave Tokyo for Sawara. Arrive at Michi-no-eki “Sawara” and go on a boat from there to enter the town. Explore the town with a local guide. Enjoy your first dance lesson. Participants will learn old festival songs and dances while socializing with the local people and learn to handle one of the great festival carts during the Grand Matsuri event.
Ancient traditional songs and dances which are unique to the city will be performed with the help of our participants, who will be instructed by local cultural masters, and also teach them how to pull, lever and steer one of the great floats during the festival days! Travelers will wear festival clothes and stay in an ancient Japanese market town filled with remarkable architecture.
Join the festival until lunch time and leave for Tokyo. Say good-bye to new friends in Sawara. Hope you come back for the next festival!
SAWARA, an old wealthy merchant town is in Eastern Chiba Prefecture. Sometimes called a “Little Edo” because of the many attractive, historic stone, timber and tile-roofed shops and fireproof storehouses; known as “kura”, dating from the Edo-Period (1603 to 1868) which line the beautiful willow tree-lined Ono River. This river flows through the center of town beneath picturesque bridges before joining the Tone River which flows eastward to the Pacific Ocean. Sawara was also the home of the famed polymath, Ino Tadataka, a former merchant, village leader and astronomer who created Japan’s first accurate modern map which was completed in 1827.
Eighty Days Inc.
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