In Japan

Japan, a land of rich traditions, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant pop culture, offers a unique festival experience throughout the year. From the serenity of cherry blossom viewing to the electrifying energy of summer fireworks displays, these celebrations showcase the diverse cultural tapestry of Japan. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of taiko drums, witness centuries-old customs, and savour delicious regional specialities as you partake in these unforgettable festivals. Here’s our curated list of the top 10 festivals in Japan that will leave you enthralled:

  1. Gion Matsuri (Kyoto – July): Witness the pinnacle of Japanese festivals at the Gion Matsuri, one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in Kyoto. Elaborately decorated floats parade through the city streets, accompanied by musicians and performers in traditional attire. This week-long festival culminates in a nighttime procession, creating a mystical spectacle with illuminated floats and a palpable sense of history.

  2. Sanja Matsuri (Tokyo – Third Friday-Sunday of September): Experience the vibrant energy of Tokyo’s Shitamachi district at the Sanja Matsuri. Portable shrines, adorned with intricate carvings and colourful decorations, are paraded through the streets, accompanied by lively music and enthusiastic crowds. This energetic festival showcases the spirit of Tokyo’s traditional neighbourhoods and offers a glimpse into local life.

  3. Awa Odori (Tokushima – Mid-August): Immerse yourself in the infectious energy of the Awa Odori, a dance festival held in Tokushima on Shikoku Island. Thousands of dancers in colourful happi coats (festival jackets) fill the streets, performing a synchronized dance to the rhythm of taiko drums and shamisen music. Join the throngs of dancers or simply witness this joyous celebration that lasts through the night.

  4. Takayama Matsuri (Takayama – April 14th & 15th, October 9th & 10th): Travel back in time and experience the grandeur of feudal Japan at the Takayama Matsuri. Elaborately decorated floats, some featuring intricate mechanisms and life-sized puppets, parade through the historic streets of Takayama. Witness the artistry of the floats, the traditional costumes of the participants, and the sense of community that defines this captivating festival.

  5. Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori – August 2nd-7th): Marvel at the towering illuminated floats of the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori. These floats depict historical and mythical figures, illuminated with hundreds of flickering lanterns, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Witness the vibrant parade, the rhythmic beating of taiko drums, and the unique cultural traditions of northern Japan.

  6. Kanamara Matsuri (Kawasaki – First Sunday of April): Embrace the unconventional and celebrate fertility at the Kanamara Matsuri, also known as the “penis festival,” in Kawasaki. This unique festival features a parade with a large phallus-shaped mikoshi (portable shrine), symbolizing fertility and good luck. While seemingly unusual, this festival offers a glimpse into Japan’s diverse and open-minded cultural expressions.


    Sumo, Japan

  7. Sumo Tournaments (Various locations throughout the year): Witness the ancient sport of sumo wrestling at a Grand Sumo Tournament held in various cities throughout the year. Experience the electrifying atmosphere as massive wrestlers clash in the dohyo (sumo ring), accompanied by traditional rituals and passionate crowds. Immerse yourself in this unique sport and appreciate its rich history and cultural significance.

  8. Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival – July 7th): Celebrate a romantic legend and make a wish at the Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, held throughout Japan. Colourful streamers adorned with wishes are strung up on bamboo displays, creating a vibrant spectacle. Write your own wish on a tanzaku (a short piece of paper) and add it to the display, hoping for its fulfilment under the starry night sky.

  9. Yuki Matsuri (Sapporo Snow Festival – February): Embrace the winter wonderland of Hokkaido at the Sapporo Snow Festival. Enormous and intricate snow sculptures, illuminated at night, take centre stage, showcasing the artistic talents of local creators. Explore the various themed zones, witness the impressive ice sculptures, and enjoy winter activities amidst the awe-inspiring snow creations.

  10. Cherry Blossom Viewing (Hanami) – March-April (Varies by Location): Immerse yourself in the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms during Hanami, the cherry blossom viewing tradition. Picnic under a canopy of blooming cherry trees, stroll through parks adorned with delicate pink flowers and appreciate the fleeting beauty of this iconic Japanese symbol.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).