Summer festivals in Japan offers many ways to enjoy the warm weather holding a variety of events and amusing activities! If you have never experienced a Japanese summer matsuri, here is a quick look to guide you through what to expect and how to make the most out of it!
Natsu matsuri is a common term that describes all kinds of festivals occurring across Japan in the summer. Nowadays, we mostly acknowledge summer festivals as an occasion to have a good time with friends, families and loved ones.
However, these festivals all have a long history dating from the old times such as Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri, Aomori prefecture’s Nebuta festival, Awa-Odori in Shikoku, and more. We bet hardly you would know about the traditional and cultural reasons for celebrating them. Discover more about natsu matsuri’s origin here!
A star of Japanese traditional festivals must be mentioned is Tanabata, also known as Hoshimatsuri – Star festival, celebrated on July 7th on the lunar calendar every year.
The tale behind it is a sad but beautiful story based on an ancient Chinese legend. It tells the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi, the star-crossed lovers who can only see each other once a year, on the 7th day of 7th month. Want to learn more about Tanabata and its backstory? Check out our article about Tanabata!
In preparation for this iconic summer festival, people hang tanzaku (colorful strips of paper) on bamboo branches! Afterwards, they place them in public areas! You can find them at train stations, shopping centers, and especially in Japanese homes!
People usually celebrate this day by writing down their wishes or sometimes in the form of poetry on the tanzaku. On the next day, the bamboo branches and tanzaku will be set afloat on a river or burned down.
Summer is about to come to an end but if you still want to enjoy a bit of Japanese summer taste, check TokyoTreat out! TokyoTreat sends seasonal Japanese snacks, drinks, sweets, and more right from Japan to your door every month, so you can enjoy all the best Japanese snacks and drinks at your convenience!
If hanami (cherry blossom viewing festival) is how people enjoy the beauty of spring, then firework festival is for enjoying the summer season!
Thanks to firework technology in Japan, fireworks here take forms in many different shapes, styles and colors. They go along well with music based on a certain theme depending on the region.
Many people in Japan anticipate these firework festivals every year. If you’ve already missed the firework festival season this year, check out our article to down some of the most famous firework festivals for your next year summer trip to Japan!
Summer festivals are all about having a fun time with your family, friends and loved ones. Since the air on a summer night is just so fresh and nice enough to move your body a little bit, many traditional festival games are also held in sections for everyone to challenge your skills and win a summer prize!
Goldfish scooping, super ball scooping, and many more fun games are definitely one of the spotlights of summer festivals. If you want to know more, we have a short introduction to these games so check out our Japanese Festival Games for Fun Summer Prizes article!
Yatai food or Japanese street food is also one of the most appealing points of attending a summer festival. While watching fireworks, locals often grab a glass of beer and enjoy the delicious street vendor food at these events!
It is not only about enjoying the freshly cooked taste of the food, but watching the talented vendors prepare the food is also a fun experience. Take a look at Japanese Yatai: Festival Food On Wheels to learn more!
After touring around the tasty Japanese vendor food, we hope you take a chance to satisfy your sweet tooth! Japanese festival sweets are very popular at summer festivals!
Not only children but also adults, you can always find your favorite sweet here from ringo ame, cotton candy, choco banana to taiyaki, crepes,… Discover the sweet paradise at the Japanese summer festival with us at Ringo Ame and Other Japanese Festival Sweets!
Spectacular firework performances, fun games with tasty food are all what make summer festivals one of the most anticipated events of a year.
Have you been to a summer festival in Japan? Share with us your most memorable experience in the comment below!
Summer festivals in Japan are one of the biggest traditional but lively events that most locals love to see. We hope you liked our guide to summer festivals to plan for your next summer trip to Japan!
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