7 Japanese Festivals You CAN'T Miss! [2021]

Written By Vahan Rickards

Published By Sagan Rios (Tankensuru Japan)

source - japancheapo.com 

 

Japan is known for many things; technology, food, sport, history… And festivals. Japan has over 200,000 official festivals every year, so you can be sure to never miss one, no matter when you arrive! 

Winter festivals are cosy, vibrant, and exciting, while Spring festivals celebrate and mark the beginning of cherry blossom (sakura) across the country. Summer festivals can get wild, and groups of performers hit the streets in wonderful clothing to have a good time. In the Autumn, people take it easy, and enjoy the changing colours before the cold begins. However, at the end of the day, all of these festivals have a few things in common; Fun, liveliness, and an unforgettable experience! 

source - jrpass.com 

7. Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri 

This vibrant, wild festival primarily takes place in Kochi prefecture, but other places in Japan also celebrate. This festival began in 1954, after the locals created the ‘Yosakoi Naruko’ dance.

People will line up and dance in any way they like to upbeat, uptempo music. While doing this, they carry clappers called ‘Naruko’, which make clicking noises to add a beat. The festival is inspired by an old folk song called ‘Yosakoi Bushi’. The song is about daily life and the noises made by Naruko. It takes place mid August. 

source - visitkochijapan.com

6. Tenjin Matsuri 

Held in central Osaka, and supported by Tenmangu shrine, this two day festival is held on the 24th and 25th of July. Arguably, the 25th is the best of the two days, because of the boat processions and parades that take place. On the river, the boats are lit up with vibrant lights, and fireworks shoot up into the sky, reflecting off the water and giving an overall buzzing atmosphere to the festival.

source - jrpass.com

5. Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri 

Held in Kishiwada, in Osaka, this is one of Japan’s wildest festivals. Held in the middle of september, there’s no escaping the heat, but this festival is exactly that, fire. Teams run their wooden float through the city and crazy speeds, as the team leaders stand on the tops, hopping, dancing and having fun. The floats can often weigh over 3000kg, so if you’re watching, make sure you don’t get too close!

Source - damoncoulter.photoshelter.com

 

4. Nebuta Matsuri 

A fiery, bright, and sometimes creepy night festival, the Nebuta matsuri lasts for 5 days, from the 2nd to 7th of August. Primarily taking place in Aomori city, the festival only begins at sunset each day, when the floating lanterns, which depict human figures, begin parading the streets. Jolly dancers walk alongside, with lanterns of their own, chanting folk songs and having a good time. The parade continues for hours every night, and it’s one you won’t regret catching! 

 

source - gltjp.com

 

3. Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo)

Tokyo Kanda festival is one of Tokyo’s most famous festivals, and has been going on for hundreds of years. The most action happens midway through May, in the heat of summer. In the morning, portable shrines called Myojin leave Mikoshi shrine and make their way down Tokyo’s streets, accompanied by sometimes thousands of people. The parade turns around at Akihabara, and heads back to the shrine by evening.

source - timeout.com

 

2. Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival) Sapporo

This spectacular snow festival is one of the largest in the world. It takes place in February, and has been around since 1950, when a group of high school students built six snow statues. Since then, the competition has been growing, to have the biggest, most spectacular ice or snow sculpture possible. 

 

source - wordpress.com

 

1. Awa Odori Matsuri 

The largest dancing festival in all of Japan, the Awa Odori uses up almost all the streets in Tokushima city, as men, women and children all dance from the 12th to the 15th of August. More than a million people attend, and even tourists are welcome to join in! Feel the rhythmic music and enjoy!

 source - WAttention.com

 

Credit - Writer & Original Author: Vahan Rickards
References linked 

 

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