71. Tokyo Jidai MatsuriThe Tokyo Jidai Matsuri (not to be confused with the much larger Kyoto Jidai Matsuri) celebrates culture day on November 3rd. It almost never rains on culture day in Tokyo (historically only 3 times in the last 30 years) — so it's a good day for a parade.
The parade takes place in Asakusa (the location of Tokyo's most visited temple: Senso-ji). Participants wear historical costumes. Tokyo's elusive Geisha often make an appearance at the festival.
72. Himeji Castle Festival (Himeji Oshiro Matsuri)A large festival at Japan's best castle in early August. A parade winds through town and ends at Himeji castle. A stage is set up in front of the castle that features a variety of dance acts (including both traditional and popular modern dance such as hip hop).
73. Tori no Ichi (Rake Fair)Held on the days of the rooster in November (according to the Japanese calendar there are at least 3 rooster days spread throughout November each year) at Otori Jinja Shrine in Tokyo (close to Asakusa).
Ornate rakes are sold that are (supposedly) good luck. They're thought to rake in good fortune. The rake market has a lively atmosphere. Whenever a rake is sold the buyer and seller traditionally clap their hands to a rhythm (tejime) to seal the deal.
74. Nagahama Hikiyama FestivalThe Nagahama-Hikiyama Matsuri is one of the largest float parade festivals in Japan. It's held in April. Many of the floats in the parade have small stages with kabuki performances and traditional music.
The festival is credited with preserving an Edo-era musical tradition called Shagiri. All year round, local children perfect their Shagiri skills for a chance to perform at the festival. Shagiri music features flutes, drums, and surigane gongs.
75. Sendai TanabataTanabata is a star festival celebrated throughout Japan. According to legend, the stars Vega and Altair are lovers who are separated all year by the expanse of the Milky Way. They are only reunited once a year (July 7th or August 7th depending on the region).
Tanabata has been celebrated for more than 2000 years in China and Japan. In Japan, people write their wishes on bright strips of paper and hang them outside from bamboo branches (sasa). It's hoped that wishes will be granted by the same celestial forces that reunite these famous lovers of Chinese myth.
The biggest Tanabata festival is the Sendai Tanabata festival (August 6-8 in Sendai city). It attracts about 2 million visitors each year.