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Experience Autumn and Little Edo Culture Preserved for More Than 200 Years

July 18, 2018 Rail No Comments Email Email

Experience autumn and Little Edo culture preserved for more than 200 years

Catch a train with Tobu Railway from Tokyo’s Asakusa district for approximately 70 minutes,and you will arrive in Tochigi city, where traditional culture has been preserved since the Edo period – a period of prosperity in Japan that lasted for more than 260 years. The city is often known as “Little Edo”, and preserves not only the old Japanese wooden houses of the period, but the maritime transport influenced culture as well. This year, Tochigi city will be holding the Tochigi Autumn Festival from the 9th to 11th of November.

Tochigi Autumn Festival

The Tochigi Autumn Festival is a biannual traditional festival with over 140 years of history. The main highlight of the festival can be seen within the collaboration of multiple decorated festival floats called “dashi”, and music – both of which have been recognised as part of the artistic culture of Tochigi city since 1874. The festival floats parade through the streets of the city to the sound of “Buttsuke”, an event where multiple floats compete against each other in a musical face off while playing along to festival music.

Dashi Kaikan and Kanahan Ryokan

Dashi Kaikan, a museum of the festival floats, reconstructs scenes from previous festivals through installations produced with digital technologies and real floats, allowing you to immerse yourself in the festival’s experience and truly appreciate the beauty of the decorated dashi floats. The dashi floats from the festival are on permanent display to provide the festive atmosphere at any time of the year.

Walk along the Kuranomachi Promenade near Dashi Kaikan, and you can also explore the local culture of Tochigi city. At the Kanahan Ryokan, an inn established during the Edo period, you can feast on traditional Japanese cuisine that have been prepared using local Tochigi ingredients that were once used during the Edo period, all of which are presented in a modern style. You can also find local craftwork by going to the paper shop along Kuranomachi, where you can purchase traditional paper crafts.

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