10 Popular Japanese Festivals (Part 1)

"Yoshida Shirne" © Toyota City (Licensed under CC BY 4.0)

Japanese festivals are traditional festive occasions. Some festivals have their roots in Chinese festivals centuries ago, but have undergone great changes as they mixed with local customs.

In this article, we will introduce 10 popular Japanese festivals you don't want to miss. This article is split into two parts, so be sure to check out part 2 as well!

1) Nebuta Matsuri(ねぶた祭り): Aomori Prefecture

This is #NebutaFestival #ねぶた祭in AOMORI

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Aomori Nebuta is a summer festival. The largest of these festivals is the Nebuta Matsyri held from August 2 to 7, 2018. The highlight of it is daily parade of "Nebuta"(the lantern floats of a brave warrior-figure), flanked the large Taiko drums, musicians and dancers. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country's nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tōhoku region.

2) Akita Kanto Matsuri(秋田竿燈祭り): Akita Prefecture

Pole lanteen Festival is a Tanabata(star festival ) related celebration in Akita from August 3 to 6, 2018. The highlight of the festival is an impression display of Kill wich perfomers dance kanto( long Bamboo poles) with arroys of paper lanterns attached to the end. The Kanto poles come in defferent sizes carrying as many as 46 paper lanterns. Lit by real candles. To the sound of drumps, flutes and chanting. The night parade is the main event of the festival are geld nightly along along Chuodori street in the centee of the city. And the festival also has daytime events, which are geld at Agora plaza.

3) Narita Gion Festival(成田祇園祭): Chiba Prefecture


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Narita Gion Festival is one of the biggest events of the year in Narita and approximately 450,000 a year visitors visit the festival during the summer from July 6 to 8, 2018. Ten festival cars, decorated with wonderful and intricate sculptures and decorations, stalls and one portable shrine parade around Mt. Narita Omotesando for three days. Wy don't you enjoy the stunning summer festival to enjoy the history of Narita and take a trip back through time with the old festival cars and traditional markets? You can find more informations about Narita city on this article

4) Chichibu Night Festival(秩父夜祭): Saitama Prefecture

The festival of chichibu shrine, be held on December 2 and 3, 2018. It's considered one of Japan's top 3 festivals. Tis floats are golded wood carvings are accompanied by drum and flute music. The other attraction us its fireworks display, and stabds selling festival foods and Amazake(Sweet rice wine). The climax take place on the plaza in front of the city hall, when one float after the other is pulled up the slope onto the plaza and they all lined up. 

5) Kyoto Gion Festival(京都祇園祭): Kyoto Prefecture

One of the most famous festivals in japan, it goes for the entire month of July, many events but Yamaboko Junko(山鉾巡行) on July 17 & 24, 2018 is spectacular and very enjoyable.

Yamaboko refers to two types of floats: 23 yama and 10 Hoko, both if them are elaborately decorated and represente unique themes. The festival date back to 860 as a relagipus ceremony to appease the Gods during the out breack of an epidemic, the festival continue to select a local be to be a fivine messenger. The main events of Gion Matsuri take place in the opposite side of Kamo river, the area becomes most exciting in the evening, it swells with food stands, drink vendors and other festival hall marks. The festive evening leading up to the procession are know as Yoiyama, and the processions of floats Yamaboko jinkoThe event involves carrying the shrine deity. You can find more informations about Kyoto city on this article

Hopefully you are excited to visit japan and attend a dynamic matsuri in Japan, you just need an advance planning. As it's not uncommon for accomodations to sell out months in advance! Be sure to read part 2!

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Azra GiiRl

Azra GiiRl

Azra GiiRl

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