There are numerous "Gion Matsuri" scheduled for late July. "Gion Matsuri" are Shinto festivals usually taking place in the evening hours and centering around the portable shrines carried of rolled along the street. Information as to exact times and locations are not given in the Japanese listings, and so you may want to have a Japanese speaking friend call ahead for details. *July 17, Yawara-machi, Kokinu Yasaka Jinja Tel. 0297-52-3012. *July 22, 23, Ishige-machi, through the center of town, tel. 0297-42-3111. *July 23, 24, Yasato-machi, Kakioka, Kakioka Gion Matsuri, tel. 0299-43-1111. *July 22-24, Tsuchiura Gion Matsuri through the "Menuki Dori" shopping area (route 125 between the west side of the station and Kijo Park). The parades and festivities focus mainly on the late afternoon and evening hours, but last all day. A good opportunity to see traditional Japan. tel. 0298-26-1111. *July 23-26, Makabe Gion Matsuri, through the old section of town, tel. 0296-55-1111. *July 24-28, Shimodate Gion Matsuri, in front of the station. tel. 0296-24-2111. *July 25-27, Ryugasaki Gion Matsuri, central shopping district. tel. 0297-64-1111. *July 25-27, Edosaki Gion Matsuri, central shopping district, tel. 0298-92-2221 *late July, Mitsukaido Gion Matsuri, central shopping district, tel. 0297-23-2111 *July 25, Shimotsuma Matsuri, tel. 0296-43-2111.
A big fireworks display will take place on Saturday, July 22 along the shores of the Tone River in Toride. If it's rainy weather, it will be postponed to the 26th or 27th at dusk.
Saturday evening, July 29, is the time set for a gorgeous display of fireworks along the Kinu River in Mitsukaido. The fireworks are to be launched from the river bank just to the north of the route 354 bridge. tel 0297-22-2121.
Focusing on the mythical character "kappa" (river monster), this annual festival is directed primarily at children. Held on the east side of Ushiku Station, it runs two days, July 29 and 30.
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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