Summer Festivals 祭りin Japan

Summer Festivals まつりin Japan

Last weekend I went to Jakarta in Indonesia to see 縁日祭えんにちさい Ennichisai.

I saw many people and enthusiastic 和太鼓わだいこ Japanese drums show.

I heard this year is 10th anniversary and more than 350,000 guests are expected to come.

Also, there are 1,000 voluntary staffs, 80 % of them are Indonesian!

I tweeted about this show with movie.


After seeing Ennichisai, I came up with idea that I introduce summer festival in Japan to non-Japanese.

Because they are so nice too and you will like it for sure!


Four recommended festivals

Now is June and summer season will start soon from July in Japan.

There are many summer festivals in Japan, especially from July to August.

I selected 4 festivals that you should see with your eyes and feel enthusiastic shows there.

You may find 4 festivals venues and schedules in this map.

Just click red marker for information.

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博多祇園山笠はかたぎおんやまかさ (Hakata Gion Yamakasa) from July 1st to 15th



A ritual of dedication to old shrine has long history, for about 770 years.

On final date, July 15th, male carriers drag and pushes their Yamakasa float (山笠やまかさ) each other and loops on streets. Big Yamakasa float weighs about 1 ton! You may see very brave and vigorous scene.

(Official HP:


仙台七夕せんだいたなばたまつり(Sendai Tanabata Matsuri) from August 6th to 8th



The streets are full of Tanabata decorations!

There are many Tanabata matsuri in Japan but this is one of biggest Tanabata festival in Japan.

Tanabata came from old Chinese story that prince and princess are allowed to meet once in one year in Milky way. To celebrate this limited meet, we can make one wishes on colorful paper called 短冊たんざく tanzaku and attach it on bamboo trees. You may find many beautiful Tanabata decorations on streets and children’s cute wishes.

(Official HP:


徳島阿波踊とくしまあわおどり (Tokushima Awa Odori) from August 12th to 15th



This traditional dance festival has more than 400 years history.

Many dancers in beautiful着物きもの, kimono, Japanese traditional clothes dances in lines on street.

They slowly go forward with dancing. It looks so nice and you may feel like dancing together with them!

(Official HP:


高知こうちよさこいまつり(Kouchi Yosakoi Matsuri) from August 9th to 12th



This is also kind of dancing festival but more acrobatic than 阿波踊あわおどり. Also, dancers use 鳴子なるこ Naruko, wooden castanets in hands. About 200 teams, 18,000 dancers in total join this festival and dance on streets. You may join the lines together!

(Officail HP in Japanese:


Why many summer Festivals

We have lots of small and big summer festivals in Japan.

I think some reasons why there are many festivals in summer in Japan.

  • Good season to hang in outside
  • Try to boost local economy by gathering many tourists from all over Japan and world in travel season
  • Make good opportunity to meet many persons for business and some other purpose (maybe between man and woman)
  • To give opportunity to release daily stress

If you are interested in festival in Japan, I strongly recommend coming and seeing festival live.

Then you will love it and want to come and join festival again!


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