NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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七夕 Tanabata Tanabata

Jp En

Tanabata is a star festival held on 7th July and is one of Japan's five seasonal festivals.

The origin of the festival is supposed to be a Chinese festival called 'Kitsukoden', when people prayed for their advance in needlework and performing arts. Another legend says that the 7th day of the 7th month is the only day of the year when Vega (the weaver girl star) and Altair (the cowherd boy star) are allowed to meet each other. There is also a Japanese legend called Tanabatatsume about a weaver for a god. These legends mixed together to form Tanabata, which then became an important event in the imperial court.

In the Edo period, Tanabata spread to the commoners and took on its present form. Today, people write wishes on oblong cards and decorate bamboo branches. Even after Japan adopted the Western calendar, in many districts Tanabata is still held on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar.

Today there are many Tanabata festivals. Sendai Tanabata held in Miyagi Prefecture and Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata held in Kanagawa Prefecture are very popular as the biggest Tanabata festivals in the country.
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恋路海岸 Koiji-kaigan Koiji (Love-way) Beach

Jp En

Koiji Beach, one of the beaches on the Noto Peninsula, features white sand and strange rocks that give it a 'feminine' aspect unique to the area.

The romantic name of the beach derives from a sad story of a girl's love for a young man. To enable the man to find her, the girl made a bonfire on the shore at night. Each night they met, but another young man became jealous and made the girl light a bonfire in another place near a hole. When the lover came to find the girl, he fell into the hole and died. In grief, the girl drowned herself in the sea.

Today the beach features a statue of the two lovers sitting at peace together and there is also a lucky bell. Behind these is a red torii gate to a Shinto shrine and Benten Island. The combination of the clear blue sea, white beach and red gate is very beautiful.

On 27 July every year, a fire festival is held on Koiji Beach with bonfires and fire torches that turn the night sky red.
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