NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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八日市大凧まつり Youkaichi-oodako-matsuri Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival

Jp En

Many kite-flying activities take place during the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival. The Yokaichi giant kite is designated as an intangible folk cultural asset.

Yokaichi giant kite-flying started 300 years ago in the mid-Edo period. Kites were flown to celebrate the birth of a boy. For this reason, kite-flying is similar to the display of koinobori on Boy's Day, an important event in Japan. Nowadays, over 100 kites are flown, and they are even flown to celebrate a young person's coming of age.

Yokaichi giant kites are designed with 'hanjimon otako', which features pictures of fishes and birds in the upper section with words written in red to illustrate meanings. This kite, in a sense, is rare because it has cut-out sections that help to diminish resistance from wind. Flying these giant kites involves balancing the strength of the strings with the size of the kite.

The Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival is held annually on the 4th Sunday of May in Aichi-gawa.
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間垣 Magaki Magaki

Jp En

Magaki are cane fences that rise higher than the tops of the eaves of houses, and which can be seen along Nishiho Shore in the town of Monzen, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Nishiho Shore has 80m-high cliffs and gigantic rocks and in winter is buffeted by strong winter monsoon winds blowing in from the Japan Sea. Magaki fences are built to protect the houses from these winds. The fences are built to a height of about 5m, using strong whangee canes (a kind of tall grass, often mistaken for bamboo) closely lined together. Magaki help to cool the houses in summer, while keeping them warm in winter. They reveal the wisdom of the Noto people in adapting to their natural environment.

In November, people start mending the magaki in preparation for the strong winter winds; it's a sign that autumn is ending and winter is coming.
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青山高原 Aoyama-kougen Aoyama Plateau

Jp En

Aoyama Plateau is located near the town of Aoyama in Naka, Mie prefecture. It is a prairie some 800m above sea level and stretches 15km from north to south. The plateau is in the middle of the Murou-Akame-Aoyama National Park, and covers the Nunobiki mountain district with Mt. Kasatori as its main mountain.

Around the top of the plateau is a flat area with sublime views of the Ise Plain to the east, Odaigahara Field to the south, and the Kasaoki Mountains to the west.

In spring, red Asebi azaleas bloom. In autumn, the plateau is full of the waving white ears of Japanese pampas grass. And in winter, trees glazed with ice are very beautiful. The beauty of each season attracts visitors throughout the year.

Tens of windmills were built around the top of the plateau, and the biggest wind-power plant in Honshu is situated up there. There are great views from the plant's observation deck and on a sunny day, you can see Ise Bay, the Chita Peninsula and Iga Basin.

Aoyama Plateau is a resthouse for your heart, a place where you can always enjoy Mother Nature.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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