The Kanto Festival, one of the largest summer festivals in northeastern Japan, has started in Akita City, featuring long bamboo poles decorated with lanterns. The festival is held to pray for bountiful harvests. About 280 lantern-decorated poles lit up the night sky this year. The largest pole is 12 metres long, with 46 lanterns attached, weighing 50 kilograms. About 1.4 million people are expected to see the four-day festival.