Throughout the year there are many festivals in Japan, every region has its fair share of mainly spring, summer, and autumn festivals, but even in winter, some locales have festivities on the calendar. Summer is undeniably the peak of festival season, and fireworks are often part of it. If you visit Japan in summer, chances are you will happen upon a local festival, whether you are in the city or in the countryside.
Kawagoe Matsuri is an October festival not far from Tokyo. They use elaborately decorated floats that you rarely see in the big cities, and the traditional backdrop of Kawagoe makes it a beautiful sight.
Throughout the year there are many lively festivals, or matsuri, that are held throughout Japan. Which festivals are considered the most major ones?
For the spectacular Mitama Festival, the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is decorated with more than 30,000 traditional Japanese lanterns, running all the way from the great torii gate to the main gate of the sanctuary.
The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto is one of the three most famous festivals in Japan with more than 1000 years of history. I’m crazy about this festival which is cool, high-spirited and elegant at the same time.
On August 15th, an annual event called Mantoe matsuri is held at night in the Todaiji temple in Nara. This festival commemorates our ancestors with lit-up lanterns.
Every August 6th, the first atomic bombing in history is commemorated in the city of Hiroshima. In the evening, a beautiful lantern festival is held at the Atomic Bomb Dome. This is the Toro Nagashi matsuri.
The Danjiri Matsuri (float festival) in Osaka started in 1703. The festival was created by the Lord of Kishiwada Castle to pray for an abundant harvest, and it is still going strong today.