Updated: November 06, 2018
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9 Ways to Enjoy Japanese Festivals! (Japanese Games & Booths)

There are so many ways to enjoy Japanese festivals, they are so animated and fun because of all the festival games and booths available. You don't have to be a kid to try them all! Now you'll know how to enjoy some traditional Japanese games.

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1. Kingyo Sukui (goldfish scooping)

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Kingyo Sukui, meaning goldfish scooping, is a popular game played by children. You scoop goldfish with a tool called "Poi", which is made of a thin washi paper that can be easily torn when contacted with water. The goldfish game rule is pretty simple, you just keep scooping goldfish into a bowl until the paper is broken. You get to take home the goldfish that you scooped! The challenging part is that goldfish keep swimming and moving. But that's what people enjoy the most about kingyo sukui.

2. Super ball Sukui (super ball scooping)

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Super ball is a bouncy ball made of rubber, and super ball sukui's rule is the same as Kingyo sukui (goldfish scooping)! Super balls are probably heavier than gold fish, so that's the difficult part.

3. Ningyo Sukui (toy scooping)

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Probably need no explanation, but this is a game where you scoop little toys made of rubber or plastic. They usually have popular characters from Disney or Pokemon, so it's a really popular game mostly among children.

4. Yo-yo Tsuri (yo-yo scooping)

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Yo-yo tsuri is more like fishing rather than scooping a small balloon floating on water - you get a string made of paper with a hook attached to its end, and you basically just fish yo-yo! The paper that the string is made of isn't waterproof, so you have to be quick and efficient, and that's the fun part of this game. Yo-yo usually contains water inside, so it's heavier and cannot be easily fished. You get to bring back the yo-yo that you got (the number of yo-yo you get to bring home depends).

5. Shateki (Gun-shooting)

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Just a heads up, the rifle here is not real, so don't worry! Cork is used as a bullet, and all you have to do is just target the prize you want and shoot at it! If you hit it, you get the prize. It's not an easy game but you will have so much fun.

6. Wanage (ring toss)

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Wanage, meaning ring toss, is also a popular game at summer festival. You get rings and you toss the ring to the prize you want, and if you can get the prize if the ring made it to the prize! Again, it's a bit tricky, because you've got to have amazing aiming skills, but you usually get around three or five chances, so keep trying!

7. Senbonhiki

Senbonbiki is like a lottery but in maybe a little more exciting form. Usually treats or prizes are attached to the end of long strings on the other side, often invisible to you, and you pull one of the strings and it will tell you whether you won or lost. It's totally dependent on one's luck, such an exciting game to play!

8. Masks

As you walk through the festival, you would usually see a wall of masks that has character's faces on it. Pretty sure lots of Japanese people have an experience of begging their parents to buy them a mask of their favorite character, because as a child, transforming into your favorite character is almost too good to be true. They also have traditional Japanese characters such as "Hyottoko" which is a mask of a guy making silly face, "Tengu" which is a character with red face and long nose, and a mask of white fox.

9. Food stalls!

Food is always amazing at Japanese festivals. From savory yakitori to desserts like apple candy and cotton candy, they have so many options! Why not maximize your Japanese festival experience with amazingly delicious food stalls?

Lastly...

As you can see from the games and booths listed above, there is so much fun things to do at Japanese festivals! Hope this article helps to make your visit to Japanese festival a little more exciting!
Also, check the links below for summer festivals that you can visit in Japan!
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