Found in cities like Kanazawa or Nara, the machiya were defined in the streets of Kyōto, which counts 20 000 of them. The machiya found in Kyōto are called kyōmachiya (京町家). These traditional homes bring us back to the Meiji period, where merchants coming from the countryside would move in those houses to which they hanged a noren (small cloth curtain) which served as signboards.
It is no secret that Japan likes festivals: holding each year more than 300 000 feasts named 祭り (matsuri). Historical rituals, ceremonies, carnivals, Japan has it all; here is a list of 10 of those famous matsuri:
1. OROCHON NO HIMATSURI オロチョンの火祭り This festival takes place towards the end of July in the Katsuragaoka Park in Abashiri, Hokkaidō.
While flames rise towards the sky and shamans dance and chant, an ambiance from another world sets in; during this ritual, the native minorities of Oroks’ and Ainus’ ancestors’ souls are supposed to find rest.