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Month held: January

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Decide who makes the best zoni in Japan! “What’s zoni,” you ask? It’s a traditional soup make of mochi pounded rice cakes and vegetables that’s traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day. The mochi used in this event is made from Shibata-produced koganemochi, made from rice planted and harvested by the children of Shibata. This event, the best known of Shibata’s winter events, attracts over ten thousand visitors every year.

Date/ Time:
Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Venue:
7-2 Chuocho 3-chome, Shibata City, Niigata Prefecture

Directions:
● 5 minutes by car from JR Shibata Station on the Uetsu Line
●13 minutes by car from the Seiro-Shibata IC on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway

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Known as a strange custom of Echigo (the former name of Niigata), son-in-law throwing is a Lunar New Year tradition passed down for 600 years in the Yumoto community of Matsunoyama. After the local men who got married in the past year get thrown into the snow, , all visitors to the shrine can say their congratulations while they paint each others’ faces with an ink made of sacred ash mixed with snow. This simple festivity is done to pray for perfect health and family prosperity in the New Year.

Date/ Time:
January 15th, 2017; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
※Son-in-laws are thrown in the beginning

Location:
Next to Yakushido Shrine, Yumoto, Matsunoyama, Tokamachi City

Directions:
25 minutes by bus from Matsudai Station on Hokuhoku Line

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