One of Japan’s most visually arresting festivals, Nebuta (or Neputa) Matsuri takes place in Aomori prefecture in August every year. Beautiful and humungous laterns intricately constructed with washi paper are mounted on floats and paraded through the nighttime streets. They are pushed by groups of locals and accompanied by singing, instruments and dancing.

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But if you can’t make it to Aomori, there’s a little taste of the atmospheric festival which can be seen in Tokyo at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s preserved history and artworks are so beautiful that it has been nicknamed ‘Palace of the Dragon God’. Some parts of the building even inspired Hayao Miyazaki when creating the setting for ‘Spirited Away’. The picturesque venue’s historic hundred step stairs are only open to the public when there is an event on, such as this exhibition.

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The themes are festivals, art, design, craftspeople and technology, incorporating traditional Japanese art like the Nebuta laterns and Edo kiriko glass.

One of Nebuta’s famous laterns have been suspended over water making it look like a ghostly apparition.

Photography is allowed at the exhibition, so this is a great chance to get some stunning shots of the installations, and of the interior of a historically and culturally important building.

The exhibition takes place from 7th July to 2nd September. It’s no coincidence that it starts on the day of Tanabata since Nebuta Festival is related to the celebration.

Information for the exhibition is on the hotel's website (Japanese only).

By - Jess.