A proud sense of heritage is clearly in evidence in the huge number and variety of ancient festivals that are still celebrated in modern-day Japan. These can range from the bizarre and gaudy to the downright raucous and dangerous. Health and safety often takes a back seat at the many festivals involving fire, icy waters, and precarious physical challenges. The famed Japanese modesty also seems to evaporate when dancing and performing are the order of the day. Each town in Japan – 100 Hidden Towns has its own specific festivals which are listed with dates and a brief outline. The more eye-catching festivals may well be the major annual draw for the towns, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly and join in the fun.