(Sep.15) Kinosaki Onsen Moon Festival

On September 15th the Tsukimi (moon-viewing) Festival is held in Kinosaki Onsen.
This festival refers to a Japanese tradition of honoring the full moon and originates from the Heian era (794-1185). Japanese aristocrats used to hold parties where they would gather under the full moon and recite poetry while watching the moon. During those parties they also offered gifts to the moon like rice dumplings, taro (sweet potato), chestnut or green soy beans and prayed for a good harvest. As decoration for the gifts Susuki (Japanese Pampas Grass) was used.
This tradition still exists today. In Kinosaki Onsen the gifts to the moon with the Susuki decoration are displayed at every onsen and on the arched bridges over the Otani River in the beautiful area between the Ichino-Yu bath and the Jizou-Yu bath. Watching the full moon illuminate the willow trees along the river from one of the bridges makes Kinosaki Onsen's Tsukimi a magical experience. 
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