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Events

Tokamachi City, with beautiful colors in every season,
holds events throughout the year including winter events,
traditional events that started long ago and an art festival that fuses nature and art.
You can always find something interesting in Tokamachi City.

The Tokamachi Snow
Festival

The Tokamachi Snow Festival is a spectacular showcase of the culture
of Tokamachi and the Snow Country. This festival, which has a
history dating back to 1950 as Japan’s first ever contemporary snow
festival,is packed with local character, tradition,heart-warming
hospitality, and pure-white magic.
Across the Snow Festival weekend, visitors can travel between areas
known as “hiroba” which house a collection of snow sculptures,
artistically crafted by both professional artists as well as local
children and families, snow-based games and attractions, and food
and drink – some of which is free! There are tons of activities for adults and children alike, from the snow-centered games to events like the tea ceremony and selection of the new Kimono Queens, who act as ambassadors for Tokamachi. And of course, there is a large fireworks show at night sure to put a smile on your face.
(This year the fireworks show is canceled.)

 
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Mukonage & Suminuri
(Groom Tossing & Ash Smearing)

A unique winter festival which involves men being thrown from a shrine down a snowy hill, and people smearing each other’s faces with black ash. Held in the Matsunoyama area of Tokamachi City, this festival is a great opportunity to experience local culture that anyone can participate in.

Date: January 15th
Place: Matsunoyama Onsen Street

Oshirakura Baito

A winter festival where locals and visitors gather together in large straw and zelkova wood huts known as baito. After enjoying food and local sake together, these huts are set on fire, and the shape of the flames is used to predict the crop conditions for the following year.

Date: January 14th
Place: Oshirakura Community Center Grounds

 
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The Tokamachi Winter Markets
(Chinkoro Markets)

The Tokamachi Winter Markets are the only place where you can buy chinkoro, small handmade rice flour figurines shaped as animals from the Chinese zodiac. As every chinkoro is different, visitors can often spend ages pouring over these good luck charms to find the right one for them.

Date: January 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th (9am to 4pm)
Place: Suwa-cho Street (10-minute walk from Tokamachi Station)

The Tokamachi
Kimono Festival

For one day in May, after the lingering snow has finally melted away, the downtown area of Tokamachi becomes awash with the bright and beautiful colours and patterns of the Japanese kimono.
The Tokamachi Kimono Festival is a celebration of Tokamachi’s
history as a “town of kimono”.

Date: May 3th
Place: Tokamachi downtown area

 
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The Tokamachi Summer Festival
(Tokamachi Omatsuri)

Throughout Japan, summer is the season of local “matsuri” festivals. Tokamachi’s main summer festival is held over three days in late August, and features traditional dancing, mikoshi floats, food stalls and fireworks. It’s a festival which has been handed down over generations and reflects the character and tradition of Tokamachi.

Date: August 25th-27th
Place: Tokamachi downtown area

The Echigo Tsumari
Art Field & Triennale

Once every three years in summer, a huge outdoor contemporary art festival takes place in the Echigo Tsumari region of Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town, attracting over half a million visitors to the area. The Triennale is not just an art exhibition event, but it’s also a gateway to rural Japan – an opportunity for adventure in the beautiful land of Echigo Tsumari. All the artworks, created by both local artists and world famous artists such as Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell, are created to showcase the best of the Echigo Tsumari region’s landscape and culture. Many of the artworks are viewable all year round, and there are also seasonal events and exhibitions held throughout the year. Click the link below for more information.

Date: The Art Trienniale 2018 has ended. Please check back later for updates regarding the next Art Trienniale!
Place: All throughout Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town (The Echigo Tsumari Art Field)

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