Last Saturday, I went to the Narita Drum Festival. It was awesome.
But, don't take my word for it. I have proof.
The Narita Taiko Masturi is one of (if not the) biggest Taiko events in all of Japan. It takes place in (duh) Narita, which you may recall is the city with the giant airport outside of Tokyo. It was about an hour, maybe forty-five minute trip from Nishi-funabashi Station. Basically it's just tons of performances all day by tons of different professional and amateur groups. Also, the temple(s) on Narita-san is (are) gorgeous.
True story: to preserve the history of the site, they keep all the old main-temple buildings when they decide that they need a new, bigger one. So to keep the structure in tact, they tie up the buildings with giant ropes and physically pull it (as in, with lots of human beings) to a new location. That's bad-ass.
Not only are the temple grounds huge (my pictures can't give a good depiction of the scale, unfortunately), it was the first time in the three weeks that I've been living in Japan that I had seen real nature. Look, a waterfall!
Also, if you ever find yourself in Narita, be sure to get some eel. Narita is famous for it. And it is oh so delicious.
Taiko drum performances are really amazing to experience. It's not just about the music; it's about the performance: the bombast, the power, the choreography (yes, choreography). Even this amateur group, on one of the many smaller stages at two in the afternoon, blew my mind. Thank God I had the foresight to actually tape these performances and not just take pictures. Quality's not the best, unfortunately, I could only take it on my little digital camera: