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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogMay Events: Five Fantastic Ones to Experience This Spring!

May Events: Five Fantastic Ones to Experience This Spring!

Karina IkedoKarina Ikedo
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April 12, 2024
Three women wearing yukata at one of many May events in Japan.

May is one of the busiest months in Japan because of Golden Week, Japan’s most extended holiday. There are plenty of May events you can enjoy during this time! Wherever you are, you’ll find something to see: a harbor event or a breathtaking wisteria festival. Here are five best Japanese May events you won’t want to miss!

Sanja Matsuri (May 17-19)

Sanja Matsuri is considered one of Japan’s three great shinto (essential festivals) and the largest festival in Tokyo. This lively event celebrates the founders of Sensoji Temple. Held in Tokyo’s iconic Asakusa neighborhood, the activities center around popular tourist attractions Asakusa Shrine and Sensō-ji Temple. 

A bunch of men holding a shrine at the Sanja Festival.
The Sanja Festival is one of the most popular events in Tokyo. Image via Shutterstock

A hundred portable mikoshi (portable shrines), stately parades, and lots of sake come together to create the Sanja Matsuri. Not to mention, the area has many food stalls and festival games in a fun atmosphere of Japanese drums and flutes.

Kobe Festival (late May)

A man and a woman in Carnival costumes at the Kobe Festival.
This festival also has a samba parade! Image via Shutterstock

The Kobe Festival is one of the city’s most famous events. This international celebration is famous for its colored parade floats, energetic street performers, live music performances, and market stalls. The festival also dates back to 1971, and the main samba parade occurs on the third Sunday of May each year. It sees a giant street party that makes the city come alive. On the final day, the celebrations end with an incredible fireworks show over Kobe Harbor.

Tokyo Port Festival (May 18-19)

The Tokyo Port Festival is your chance to connect with Tokyo’s harbor. Moreover, this nautical festival commemorates the opening of Tokyo Port in 1941 with various family-friendly activities. It’s one of the most popular events near Tokyo Bay.

A gathering crowd at the Tokyo Port Festival.
This is one of the liveliest festivals in May! Image via Tokyo Cheapo

This event will generally feature many family-oriented activities at Tokyo International Cruise Terminal. In addition to seeing rare ships, there will be special exhibits, a quiz, food trucks, and more! You can also ride a selection of boats, including water taxis and restaurant ships. There’s also lots of food stalls for your and your friends to enjoy!

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​​The Great Wisteria Festival (April 13-May 15)

Are you wondering where to see wisteria in Japan? There are many places to find them; some spots are widely well-known only for their beautiful wisteria flowers. One unique attraction is Ashikaga Flower Park, located in Tochigi Prefecture. 

The Grand Wisteria Festival in Ashikaga Park, one of many May events.
Ashikaga Park has some of the most beautiful wisterias in the country. Image via Shutterstock

The Ashikaga Flower Park hosts The Great Wisteria Festival. It’s an incredible display of more than 350 types of wisteria in tons of decorative displays throughout the park. A great place to snap some fantastic photos! The park remains open in the evening, with dazzling displays lit at night. For flower lovers, this is a must-see place in Tochigi!

Fuji Shibazakura (April 13-May 26)

The Fuji Shibazakura Festival is held annually and is one of Japan’s most exciting spring events. It is typically held from mid-April to late May or early June. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of stunningly bright flowers leading up to the mountain slopes. They can also enjoy a fantastic contrast between pink flowers, the blue sky, and the mountains.

A bunch of moss phlox (shibazakura) near Mt. Fuji.
Mt. Fuji has some of the most beautiful shibazakura! Image via Shutterstock

At the festival, five types of pink moss are used to create colorful pink carpets in different designs. Don’t miss the festival’s open-air markets selling pots of pink moss, shibazakura-themed souvenirs, and local produce. A food festival is set on the site, with delicious Japanese street food and drinks. This is a great time to see Fuji and enjoy the local delicacies! 

Why should I check out these May events?

May is the perfect month to visit Japan and enjoy outdoor activities in warm and comfortable weather. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, Japan in May is the perfect destination! With late cherry blossom trees and wisteria, May is the ultimate time to explore Japan’s stunning scenery and vibrant culture. 

Carp streamers at one of many May events.
Have you even been to these May events before! Image via Shutterstock

You can indulge in many activities and events, starting with a group holiday. This is the perfect way to enjoy and have a memorable experience of Japanese culture. From stunning flower events to energetic street performers, May is a great month to make the most out of the spring season! Have you been to a May event in Japan? What’s your favorite one? Let us know in the comments below!

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