Japanese Summer Festivals
Japanese Summer Festivals
As a land with over thousands of years of history, Japan is steeped in culture and tradition; Festivals are a great way for you and your family to witness and take part in these ancient traditions this summer. Vivid costumes, delicious and authentic street food, lively music, and unique and deeply nostalgic festival games… Japanese summer festivals known as matsuri in Japanese offer a splash of fun for everyone!
Here is a list of family-friendly summer festivals you can enjoy this summer in Japan:
- Gion Matsuri (Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto) July 1-31
The Gion Matsuri takes place throughout the entire month of July with its most popular events taking place on the 17th and the 24th. The festival dates back to 869 during the Jogan era and is most known for its massive floats that can weigh up to 12 tons.
- Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (Asakusa, Tokyo) July 28, 7:00-8:30 pm
The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is the oldest firework festival in the world, dating back to 1732. Roughly a million people flock to this festival every year to see the 20,000 spectacular fireworks that light up the sky. In order to cope with the crowds, we suggest finding rooftops for viewing or leaving early. There are a ton of different street vendors to choose from so enjoy the traditional Japanese festival cuisine!
- Aomori Nebuta Festival (Aomori City, Aomori) August 2-7
As one of the designated top three Japanese festivals, the Nebuta Festival is a Japanese government designated “significant intangible folk cultural asset” event and attracts approximately 2.8 million people each year to Aomori. Each evening, a parade of enormous lantern floats with dancers and musicians march to the beat of the taiko drums across downtown Aomori. You can reserve seating for ¥4,000-7,000 or find a free seat on the sidewalk! ¥4,000-7,000 or find a free seat on the sidewalk!
- Okinawa Eisa Matsuri (Various Locations, Okinawa) Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Starting in 1995, the Eisa dancers parade was originally a eisa dancing competition. Eisa is a form of dance originating from the Okinawa islands and is performed during the Obon Festival to honor the ancestral spirits. Enjoy Okinawan culture as you watch the 10,000 dancers put on a lively performance!
- Awa Odori (Tokushima City, Tokushima) August 12-15
Awa odori is one of the most famous dances in all of Japan and many festivals are held nationwide during the Obon season in mid August. As a traditional dance originating from Tokushima prefecture roughly 400 years ago, the Awa Odori festival in Tokushima attracts about 1,230,000 spectators each year!
- Showa Kinen Park Fireworks Festival (Tachikawa) July 28, 7:20-8:20 pm
- Jingugaien Fireworks (Meiji Jingu Stadium) August 11, 7:30-8:30 pm
- Koenji Awaodori (Koenji) August 25-26, 5:00-8:00 pm
- Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri (Shinjuku) July 28, 12:00-8:00 pm
- Azabu-Juban Noryo Festival (Azabu-Juban) August 25-26, 3:00-9:00 pm
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of traveling with your children to these extremely crowded festivals in the sweltering summer heat? No problem. Bring an extra hand to help avoid your children getting lost in the crowds or as assurance so that you and your partner can have a good time. Maybe even have the kids stay at home so you and your partner can enjoy a romantic night of great food, spectacular fireworks, and lively music. At CareFinder, we are committed to meeting all of your babysitting needs whether you are looking for just an evening babysitter, an international babysitter, a hotel babysitter, a weekend babysitter, an overnight babysitter, a first aid certified childminder, a great au pair, a summer babysitter or a tutor. Sign up on CareFinder to begin your search!