PL Founder's Festival Fireworks Art1 August ( pm - 9 pm)PL Headquarters, Tondabayashi City, Osaka Prefecture Special annual event of the Church of Perfect Liberty climaxing with one of the world's largest fireworks displays, consisting of over 120,000 shots.Access: Tondabayashi Station (Kintetsu Nagano Line)Nagaoka Festival1-3 August Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture Parades include a procession of mikoshi and a procession of 500 people in full samurai armour.Sansa Matsuri1-3 August Morioka, Iwate Prefecture A folk dance festival that attracts 20,000 participants every year.Teams from local schools, companies and community organisations come up with their own set of movements and parade through the streets to the beat of 5,000 drummers and other musicians.The floats are surrounded by costumed dancers who dance to the sound of flutes and drums. It is said that the Aomori Nebuta festival dates back to the 9th century when a local feudal lord used lantern-lit floats to make his forces look bigger.Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri1-7 August Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture A more low-key version of the Neputa festival held in Aomori but still attracts around 1.5 million people every year.The Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri features parades of huge bamboo and paper lanterns in the shape of fans carried on floats.Also features a range of bugaku dances, traditional music and taiko drumming.
Shimizu Minato Matsuri2-4 August Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture Commemorates the reopening of Shimizu port to international trade.Tens of thousands gather to dance in the streets, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the fireworks display over the bay at Hinode Wharf.Wasshoi Hyakuman Summer Festival2-4 August Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture City-wide festival bringing the area's three biggest Gion festivals together in one place. Nebuta Matsuri2-7 August Aomori, Aomori Prefecture A parade of about sixty bamboo and paper lanterns in the shape of historical or legendary heroes.The size of the lanterns ranges from small ones carried by children to 8m tall constructions on festival floats vying to win the competition on the last day.
The lanterns depict popular historical and legendary characters.
After the festival, the floats are cast into the sea as a purification rite that is said to rid the town of future illness and bad fortune.