Updated: July 24, 2017
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The Ultimate Guide to Japan's Summer Festivals!

Summer is the season filled with festivals, and if you are in Japan, don't you want to have a traditional yet exciting festival experience? Check out the following festivals!

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Aomori Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori)

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Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is one of the major three summer festivals in Japan. "Nebuta" is referred to warriors carried on floats, parading to the center of the city. You get to watch gigantic lantern-floats with performers in unique costume dancing to traditional music.

Date: 2017/8/2-7
Location: Aomori City
Access:JR Aomori Station

Sendai Tanabata Festival (Miyagi)

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Sendai Tanabata Festival is also one of the major three summer festivals in Japan. It is the traditional yet probably the most elegant summer festival that Japan has to offer. Its colorful decorations are all made of colored paper. There are many ways to enjoy Sendai Tanabata Festival, so check out the article linked below!

Date: 2017/8/6-2017/8/8
Address: Kotodai Park: 3-9 Honmachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi
Access: Just a few minute walk from JR Sendai station to Chuo-dori (where you can see Tanabata decorations hanging from the ceiling), less than a minute walk from Kotodai-koen station to Kotodai Park (where Omatsuri Hiroba is).

Akita Kanto Festival (Akita)

Akita Kanto Festival is another major festival in Japan. They parade and perform with a bamboo pole with lamps hanging on the street of Akita. You get to watch unique and energetic performance!

Date: August 3rd to August 6th
Location: Kanto O-dori
Access: A 15 minute walk from JR Akita station

Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo)

Kanda Matsuri is one of the famous festivals in Japan, and it only happens once in two years, which makes the event even more special! People parade around Tokyo with Mikoshi (float) on their shoulders, and it is such an energetic event. You don't want to miss the chance to join the most exciting festival!

Date: 2017/5/11-5/17
Address: 2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Access: A 5 minute walk from Ochanomizu station (JR, Metro), a 7 minute walk from Akihabara station (JR, Metro)

Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)

Gion Matsuri is one of the most popular, traditional festivals that happens throughout the month of July every year. Their main event is called "Yamaboko Junkou" where they parade the streets of Kyoto with a float with children on it. At night the lanterns light up and adds festive feels to the refined atmosphere of Kyoto's street.

Date: July 1-31st
Location: Yasaka Shrine
Access: A 10 minute walk from Kawaramachi station

Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka)

Funatogyo12 http://www.tenjinmatsuri.com/
Tenjin Matsuri is one of the most popular summer festivals in Osaka and in Japan. Their fireworks that finalizes the festival is also a popular event aside from boat cruising the river. This is such a beautiful and energetic event that you don't want to miss.

Date: July 25th, 2017
Location: Osaka Tenmangu
Access: Around a 5 minute walk from Minami-mori
machi station and Osaka Tenmangu station
For more information on summer festivals in the Kansai region, check out the link below!

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival (Nagasaki)

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival is a vibrant and exciting festival where you get to enjoy a variety of performances! Nagasaki's traditional performance from different district is showcased on this day, and their dragon dance is the most famous performance that you must watch!

Date: 2017/10/7-9
Location: Suwa Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, Otabi-dorkoro and Nagasaki-shi Koukaidou-mae Hiroba
Access: JR Nagasaki station

Eisa Festivals (Okinawa)

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Wondering what Japan's tropical island's festival looks like? Join Eisa Festival in Okinawa! This festival attracts around 300,000 people every year, and this popular festival is usually held at the end of the summer. Their performances include eisa dancing, along with taiko (Japanese drums) performance.

Date: 2017/9/15-17
Address: 2-1-1 Moromizato, Okinawa
Access: Less than a minute walk from Okinawa-shi Undo Koen bus stop or a 10 minute walk from Sonda bus stop.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa (Fukuoka)

Hakata Gion Yamasaka is a popular festival where huge floats parade the town of Fukuoka! Their floats are very colorful and outstanding, and surprisingly weigh 1 ton, which adds dynamics to the event! They also have a pre-procession ritual where they display elaborately decorated floats around the city.

Date: 2017/7/10-15
Location: around Hakata station
Access: Tenji station or Hakata station

Summer Sonic

Japan also have music festivals too! Summer Sonic is a really popular and famous music festival where lots of artist from different countries gather and perform. It is held in Osaka and Tokyo.

Date: 2017/8/19-20
Ticket: A one day ticket is ¥16,500, and ¥30,000 for platinum benefits. And 2 day tickets are ¥30,500.
Address: Tokyo: 1 Maihama, Maihama Ward, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 261-0022

Fuji Rock Festival

Fuji Rock Festival is another famous music festival in Japan. Held in the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata, more than 200 Japanese and international artists perform throughout the 3 days. This festival is also known as the world's cleanest festival as they promote and raise awareness of environmental issues by bringing music and the environment together.

Date: 2017/7/28-30
Address: Naeba Ski Resort, 202 Mikuni, Minami-Uonumagun, Yuzawamachi, Niigata
Access: Take a shuttle bus from Echigo Uzawa station (¥500)

Lastly...

There are so many different festivals in Japan especially during summer. If you happen to be in Japan during May to August, definitely visit one of the festivals mentioned above! It will make your Japan visit more unforgettable.
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