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  • Writer's pictureJapan Itinerary Assistant

Japanese Festivals

Japan is known for its vibrant and colorful festivals that are held throughout the year. From large-scale parades to traditional ceremonies, Japanese festivals are some of the most unique and exciting cultural experiences in the world. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or an opportunity to explore Japan’s rich history and culture, there’s something for everyone. Here is a list of some of the most popular Japanese festivals and what to expect when you attend.

1. Gion Matsuri: Held in Kyoto every July, the Gion Matsuri is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. The festival features traditional parades, floats, and other activities. Tourists can enjoy watching the colorful procession of floats, or join in the festivities by wearing a yukata (summer kimono).


2. Tanabata Festival: Held in Sendai every August, the Tanabata Festival is a celebration of the stars Vega and Altair. During the festival, people write their wishes on colorful pieces of paper and hang them on bamboo trees. Tourists can also enjoy traditional dances, music, and food.

3. Kanda Matsuri: Held in Tokyo every May, the Kanda Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan. During the festival, a procession of people carrying mikoshi (portable shrines) parade through the streets. Tourists can enjoy the colorful procession and join in the festivities by participating in the traditional dances.

4. Aomori Nebuta Festival: Held in Aomori every August, the Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Japan. The festival features giant, colorful lanterns that are carried through the streets. Tourists can also enjoy traditional dances, music, and food.

5. Hōnen Matsuri: Held in Komaki every March, the Hōnen Matsuri is a fertility festival that celebrates agriculture and good harvests. During the festival, a procession of people carrying mikoshi parade through the streets. Tourists can join in the festivities by participating in the traditional dances and watching the colorful procession.


6. Sapporo Snow Festival: Held in Sapporo every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most popular winter festivals in Japan. During the festival, giant snow sculptures are displayed throughout the city. Tourists can enjoy ice skating, snow sledding, and other winter activities.


7. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: Held in Kishiwada every September, the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is one of the most exciting festivals in Japan. During the festival, large wooden floats called danjiri are pulled through the streets. Tourists can join in the festivities by participating in the traditional dances and watching the colorful procession.


These are just a few of the many festivals that take place in Japan throughout the year. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something to do and see. From traditional parades and processions to lively music and dancing, Japanese festivals offer a unique cultural experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

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