The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has announced new events and attractions in Japan for travelers to enjoy this summer and fall.
Mori Building Digital Art Museum, Tokyo
The Mori Building Digital Art Museum opened in Tokyo on June 21 in collaboration with art collective group, teamLab. The 100,000-square-foot museum will have some 50 borderless interactive artworks that allow visitors to immerse themselves physically into three-dimensional artwork created by the space's 520 computers and 470 projectors.
Miyajima Firework Festival, August 2018
Every summer, numerous firework festivals are held throughout Japan, including the renowned Miyajima Firework Festival. The firework festival in the island of Miyajima, located less than an hour from Hiroshima, provides an opportunity for travelers to experience the Itsukushima Shrine, ranked one of Japan's "three best views," as the fireworks shoot into the ocean and frame the Torii Gate.
The 2018 festival takes place on August 25 and showcases around 5,000 fireworks, 150 of which are launched from the water. Around 40,000 people visit Miyajima to see the Fireworks Festival, and around 200,000 more gather on the opposite shores of the nearby cities of Hatsukaichi and Hiroshima to watch from a distance.
Toyosu Market Launch, October 2018
On October 11, 2018, Tokyo's 80-year-old Tsukiji Market will be shuttered and reopen approximately one and a half miles away in its new site in Toyosu. With the burgeoning population of Japan, and the increase in tourism, the fish market that dates back to the 1930s has become too small. The new, modern facility in Toyosu is designed to accommodate the growing volume of business and foot traffic.
Toyosu Market will be made up of three main buildings: Two for seafood, one for fruits and vegetables. All three buildings are connected by elevated pedestrian walkways to the Shijo-mae subway station. Each building contains viewing decks enabling visitors to observe the action from above without obstructing business.
Most of the restaurants currently located within Tsukiji's inner market will also move to Toyosu Market. Plans for Toyosu Market include the construction of an additional tourist facility adjacent to the market, which will include a hot spring bath, additional restaurants and shops and a hotel.
Tug of War, Okinawa, October 2018
For centuries, Tug-of-War events have been held throughout the island of Okinawa to pray for rain and to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Tugs-of-war are a community-wide ritual in which people of all ages take part.
After World War II, the tradition was revived as a local festival. The largest and most prominent of these events is the five-century-old Naha Great Tug-of-War. The Naha Festival takes place October 6-8, with the climactic event on Monday, October 8. The rope used weighs 50 tons and is about 650 feet long.