Zenkoji, a famous temple in Nagano, will unveil its sacred Buddhist statue to the public from April 5 to May 31 in a rite called Gokaicho, which is held once every seven years. At the time of the ritual, a fair will be held in the center of the city, billed as “Japan’s largest temple town fair.”
The last fair, held in 2009, welcomed a record 6.73 million visitors.
For the nine weekend days and national holidays during the period, the two-kilometer approach from Nagano Station to Zenkoji will become a pedestrian zone. The fair will showcase live concerts and traditional arts performances at the 2,200-square-meter Central Square, where awards ceremonies were held during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.
"It is important to give an impression that there is something going on every day,” Mayor Hisao Kato said at a meeting of the event’s organizing committee. “I hope we can offer visitors our own brand of hospitality.”