Japan is unique and one of the top countries you should include in your agenda whenever you plan travelling. Not only is it developing, it’s equally a fabulous tourist attraction in the world. It has many celebrations and organizes many festivals each year. In fact you won’t be bore anytime or anywhere in Japan. Festivals in Japan are generally organized periodically each year and they generally involve processions, costumes, floats, portable shrines, ceremonies, traditional foods, fireworks, music, and dance.
Festivals(matsuri) in Japan generally reflect their cultures, beliefs and histories. If you are curious about Japanese history as well as which festival to attend, then you should check it out here.
Famous must-see Festivals in Japan
This is the most popular and possibly the largest festival in Japan. Festivities run over the month of July accompanied with many other events. The highlight of this festival in Japan is the procession of 33 large floats “yamahobo“. Yamaboko refers to the two types of floats: 23 yama and 10 hoko which is up to 25 meters tall, weigh up to 12 tons. During these festivals in Japan some families display their treasures in front of their home for passengers and visitors to admire.
Tenjin festival in Japan: one of the famous festivals in Japan
Tenjin Matsuri is the festival of the Tenmangu Shrine and honors its principal deity Sugawara Michizane, the deity of scholarship. This festival in Japan is scheduled every July 24 and 25 of the year. It’s one the most top festivals in Japan along with Gion and Kanda. The festival includes two main processions. One procession on land and the other in water. During the land procession, people parade through the streets in colourful costumes, some dressed as characters, some as lion dancers, plus some actual musicians. Then, in the evening, the shrines are loaded onto boats and the procession moves onto the water, with special performance boats floating down the river and a fireworks display.
Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan
Hokkaido is famous for one of these amazing festivals “Sapporo Snow festival or Sapporo Yuki Matsuri” that bring up to two million visitors each year in Japan. It’s usually takes place one week every February in Hokkaido’s Capital Sapporo. Over 100 snow sculptures illuminate the Odori Park each evening creating a magical world. This festival in Japan started in 1950 with some high schoolers who built a few snow statues in Odori Park and today it has become a main attraction in Hokkaido. Besides these, other activities like snow slides, sledding.
One of the top festivals in Japan
Usually this festival in Japan takes place in the month of May. It is also one of the top festivals in Japan, Tokyo along with the Sanno Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. The Kanda Matsuri is the festival of the Kanda Myojin Shrine which enshrines three deities: Daikokuten, the god of good harvest and matrimony; Ebisu, the god of fishermen and businessmen; and Taira Masakado, a revered and deified feudal lord of the 10th century. The Kanda festival is celebrated for the wealth and good fortune of the people.
Nebuta Festival in Japan
One of the colourful festivals in Japan
The Nebuta Matsuri is held every year from August 2 to 7 in Aomori city. It’s one of the colourful festivals in Japan and it features stunning floats shaped as mythological creatures and famous Japanese characters. The main highlight of the festival is the daily parade of enormous lantern floats, taiko drums, musicians and dancers.
This is equally one of the festivals in Japan that draws millions of visitors each year. The festivals honors the three founder of the founders of Senso-ji Temple, enshrined in the Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple. The Sanja Matsuri features about one hundred portable shrines (mikoshi) in which Shinto deities (kami) placed into and paraded about the streets to bring good fortune to the local businesses and residents.
One of the most beautiful festivals in Japan
The spring and autumn Takayama matsuri are among the most beautiful festivals in Japan. It attracts a large number of spectators and visitors in Japan and around the world. The Spring Festival aka “Sanno Festival.” takes place between April 14-15 while the autumn aka “Hachiman Festival” between October 9-10. The main attractions of the festivals in Japan are the Display of festival floats, Karakuri Performance, Mikoshi Procession and yomatsuri.
This festival is usually held every year from August 3 to 6. The main highlight is the display of skill where performers balance kanto (long bamboo poles) with arrays of paper lanterns attached to the end while drummers and other musicians play alongside.
Yokote Kamakura Festival in Japan
Yokote Kamakura Festival aka okote no Yuki Matsuri is one of the festivals in Japan with about 450years of history. It is held every year on February 15 and 16 in the city of Yokote in south east Akita Prefecture. The festival features many igloo-like snow houses, called kamakura, built at various locations in the city.
Aoi Festival in Japan
One of the three famous festivals in Japan, Kyoto
This Matsuri is one of Kyoto’s three most famous festivals in Japan and usually takes place every May 15. Aoi which means “Hollyhock” and the reason why it’s called the Aoi festival is because members of the festival’s procession wear Hollyhock leaves. The festival’s main attraction is a large parade in Kyoto. Over 500 people dressed in the aristocratic style of the Heian Period and walked from the Imperial Palace to the Kamo Shrines.
The Nagasaki Kunchi has about 400 years of celebration and is held annually in Nagasaki on October 7-9. The festival‘s highlights are the dance and show performances by groups representing Nagasaki‘s various city districts.
Chichibu Yomatsuri Japan festival
This is a japan festival with over 300 years of celebration which takes place at Saitama’s Chichibu Shrine. It takes place every December 2 and 3. It’s one of the top Japanese festivals(Gion matsuri and Takayama matsuri) that features floats. Floats are ornately decorated with lanterns, tapestries and gilded wood carvings accompanied by taiko drummers, flute players. The main festival’s attraction is the fireworks which last like about two and a half hours.
One of the top dance festivals in Japan
One of the most famous dance Festivals in Japan is held in mid August during the Obon season. Odori means dance and between August 12 and 15, people come to Tokushima in the thousands to see this “Fool’s Dance”. It’s called the fools dance due to its lyrics which is “Fools dance and fools watch, if both are fools, you might as well dance”. So why not lose up a bit !
Other common Festivals in Japan
Besides these festivals in Japan, there are other fabulous festivals worth visiting in japan. some of them are
Omizutori festival in Japan
Hakata Gion Yamakasa in Japan
Jidai Matsuri in Japan
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