10 FESTIVALS WORTH VISITING TO JAPAN IN SUMMER
Ten popular festivals worth visiting during summer vacations in Japan
Tell a friend about Japan:
This is the season of Taiko sounds, evening food stalls, yukata and goldfish: yes, it’s matsuri time!
Summer in Japan brings a lot of creative things to help you survive in hot weather — watermelon and soda, kakigori, matcha, dancing and a yukata are some of them. But there is only one place where you can enjoy them in a truly Japanese manner – this is the summer night of Matsuri, which attracts tourists who decide to go on holiday in Japan for June, July or August.
Although there are many unique festivals throughout the country, here are our top ten festivals in Tokyo and other parts of Japan! Stop waiting, it’s time to buy a tour to Japan and plunge into the spirit of Matsuri!
1. FIREWORK FESTIVAL ON SUMIDA RIVER (TOKYO)
Rumor has it that the first festival took place in 1733. The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is one of the most popular (and crowded) summer festivals in Tokyo. With nearly four centuries of history, he survived the Meiji restoration, and it continued to be held until the world wars. The festival was restored in 1977, and in 2017 it celebrated its 40th anniversary in its current form. Visitors will see an exciting spectacle of 22 thousand fireworks, but be prepared – last year this event was attended by almost a million people, so expect large crowds of tourists!
When: July 29, 2017, 19:05 – 20:30;
Where: Sumida River, Sumida-ku, Tokyo;
Getting there: the nearest station to the 1st venue: Asakusa or Honjo-Adzumabashi, the nearest station to the 2nd venue: Kuramae or Ryugoku.
2. ASA MATSURI SHINJUKU (TOKYO)
Born on the island of Tinsuko and brown sugar, Okinawa’s dance and music culture has always been different from that on the mainland, and Asa Matsuri was no exception. Traditional costumes, drums and dances will look and sound different. The origin of the name is unknown, but there is a theory that it came from the exclamation used in Ace’s original song, “ensaa”. This year it will mark the 44th anniversary of the event, and the organizers expect about a million people to join the fun!
When: July 29, 2017, 12:00 – 20:00;
Where: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo;
Getting there: West exit Shinjuku station.
3. FUKAGAVA MATSURI (TOKYO)
The Fukagawa Festival, officially known as Fukagawa Hatiman Matsuri, is one of the three great Edo festivals along with Kanda Matsuri and Sanno Matsuri. The festival of Fukagawa is held in the ancient temple of Tomioka Hatimangu in Koto district. Beginning in 1642, a procession of Mikos (portable shrines) takes place at the festival. 120 mikos are carried through local streets, while spectators splash water on participants.
When: August 11-15, 2017, 9: 00-21: 00;
Where: Tomioka Hatimangu, 1-20-3 Tomioka, Koto-ku, Tokyo;
How to get there: Monzaen-nakato station, exit 1.
4. Adzabu-Dzuban Matsuri
This festival is officially known as Azabu-Juban Norio Matsuri. “Norio” translates as “summer nights” in accordance with many dictionaries, but with deeper consideration, the following definition is more correct: “avoid the heat and find coolness.” 300 thousand participants of this “trend” festival (most of which are young people) gather here for the sole purpose – to overeat. The kiosks sell regional dishes from all over Japan, from the northern island of Hokkaido to southern Okinawa. Bon Dance in the evening is also an event that is definitely worth visiting for travelers planning a summer vacation in Japan.
When: August 26-27, 2017, 15: 00-21: 00;
Where: Minato-ku, Tokyo, shopping area Azabu-Juban;
How to get there: Azbabu Dzuban station, exit 4.
5. KOENJI AVA OBJECTIVES (TOKYO)
Originating in Tokyo about 56 years ago, this festival is now considered one of the largest and most famous summer events of this kind in Tokyo. 10 thousand dancers pass through the streets of Koenji, thanks to which the small district manages to attract about a million visitors annually. It is populous, but the experience of such unbridled fun is priceless!
When: August 26-27, 2017, 17: 00-20: 00;
Where: Sugunami-ku, Tokyo, Coandjiminami 2nd, 3rd and 4th chome, Coenjikita 2nd and 3rd t; ome
Getting there: Coenji station.
6. SOMA NOMAO (FUKUSHIMA)
Famous for its horse breeding, the Soma region in Fukushima holds the annual 1000-year-old Soma Namaoy festival. It is organized by three different shrines in the area – Ota, Odaka and Nakamura. The highlight of this festival is to recreate the scene of the battle of the troubled period of Sengoku in Japan. Dressed in heavy armor and holding katana swords, several hundred samurai horsemen participate in the battle to capture 40 sacred flags.
When: July 29-31, 2017;
Where: Nomay Guretsu and Khibarigahara field, Soma, Fukushima;
Getting there: JR Haranomati station.