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Festivals & Events

Japanese Festivals and Events

January – June

Wakakusa Yamayaki
Nara, Japan

This Japan Festival has the traditional and spectacular burning of an entire hill, with attendant fireworks as well.


Toka Ebisu
Kyoto, Osaka

This Japan Festival has parades and lots of other rituals.


Sapporo Snow Festival
Hokkaido, Japan

This Japan Festival has a huge and imaginative ice sculptures.


Naked Festival [Hadaka Matsuri]
Inazawa, Japan

This Japan Festival is when a Shinto man strips off, is shaved completely then runs through the town while thousands of semi-naked men in loin cloths try to touch him.


Omizutori Festival
Nara, Japan

This Japan Festival is at the Todaiji temple in Nara - 1,200 year old ceremonies, especially spectacular on the last night, full of huge, blazing torches and noise-making monks.


Lantern and Flower Festival

Kyoto, Japan

This Japan Festival has arrangements of flowers and massed lanterns, including a 4.6 km path between shrines and temples


Cherry Blossom Time
Tokyo, Japan



Hana Matsuri
Tokyo, Japan

This Japan Festival celebrates Buddha's birthday with Hana Matsuri or 'the flower festival'. There is a colourful parade featuring decorated floats and folk dressed in traditional kimonos singing Buddhist chants, while temples hold ceremonies wherein a flower-decorated altar displays a small statue of Buddha and templegoers are invited to pour sweet tea over him.



Sennin Gyoretsu
Nikko, Japan

This Japan Festival is a massive parade of samurai-dressed folk and dancers around a supremely beautiful shrine in a gorgeous country town of Hot Springs and waterfalls.






July – December

Gion Matsuri
Kyoto, Japan

This Japan Festival is a citywide celebration with lots of street action, but the biggest day is on July 17 with the Yamaboko Parade, where decorated Hoko, which are two-story houses on wheels.


Tenjin Matsuri [Boat Festival]
Osaka, Japan

This Japan Festival involves processions, costumes and hundreds of decorated boats with lights, a million spectators with torches and fireworks.


Sumida River Fireworks

Tokyo, Japan


O-Bon Festival

Festival of the dead, paper lanterns on water, candle ceremonies, lots of kimonos in the streets, and also dancing.



Jidai Festival
Kyoto, Japan

This Japan festival commemorates the founding of Kyoto and thousands of people parade in period costumes spanning 1000 years of Japanese history.



Autumn Festival
Takayama, Japan

This Japan festival has loads of people that have floats, costumes, singing, dancing, and kimonos.



Tori-no-ichi Festival
Tokyo, Japan

This Japan festival is in honour of the Day of the Rooster (according to the Chinese zodiac). There are more than 30 markets that appear all over Tokyo. It's an interesting event that shouldn't be missed if you are in the city.


Chichibu Night Festival (Yomatsuri)

Chichibu, Japan

In one of Japan's most impressive night parties teams of costumed men drag six massive, illuminated floats around the town's narrow streets while kids perform dances and dramas on board, all backed by drums, flutes, fireworks and fuelled by barrels of sake.




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