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Top Festivals in Japan
10 May

Top Festivals in Japan Worth Traveling For

The Most Enjoyable Festivals Which Can Lure You to Japan

Japan is usually known for its spectacular technology and sushi! People who wish to visit Japan are at times in a dilemma to select the best activities for your holiday. They may fail to realize the interesting things to do in each place. It may surprise you to know that it isn’t an exaggeration to call this country a hub of festivals. If you don’t know what Masturi is, then you should know that these are the different kinds of festivals which take place here. They range from Shinto Shrine festivals to foodie tours.  So take a moment to learn about the top festivals in Japan each year.

We enlist the top festivals which take place in the country and you must attend at least two of them to get a complete feeling of being in Japan.

Fuji Rock

Fuji Rock Festival Japan
Wikimedia Commons by: Kevin Utting

Every summer, this festival draws 100,000 attendees from not only Japan but from different parts of the world too. It lasts for three days and can easily be considered as the top music festival in Japan. The headlining acts take place at the seven main stages whereas there are multiple other smaller stages, offering one thing or the other for every concert goer.

It is the largest outdoor music event in the country and missing it would be not a good idea. It takes place during the last weekend of July, the perfect summertime to travel. Initially, it took place at the base of Fuji mountain, hence the name. Since 1999, it has been occurring at the Naeba Ski Resort.

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

The 760km2 area of this art field hosts approximately 200 artworks of various artists from different parts of the world. For any art lover, this place will provide a unique yet complete experience. It holds immersive art, conceptual art, and progressive artworks from both local and international artists.

This artistically appealing dwelling also brings you the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale, a massive art festival which has been taking place since 2000. In addition to Triennale, the winter ‘Snow Art Project’ and the summer festival of ‘Daichi-no-matsuri’. Throughout the year, it is an open place for the art admirers to come and see some splendid pieces.

Ramen Expo

Taking place during the winter season, this festival keeps going for four consecutive weekends. From different parts of the country, around 40 stores are set up which consist of a wide variety of ramen. Entry to the festival is free as you can exchange the tickets for a bowl of ramen at any of the stalls.

We all know that Japanese ramen doesn’t refer to the instant noodles which most of the travelers are familiar with. Combining the rich flavors of vegetables, meats, and even cheese, this festival is definitely going to let you experience the best ramen you have ever had. It is better to get accommodation nearby so that you can enjoy the opportunity of eating the best ramen in the country more than once.

Kanda Matsuri

This festival is renowned all over the world as it is one of the top three festivals in Japan. It is alternated with Sanno Matsuri and takes place during the odd-numbered years. Although the festival lasts for an entire week, the main parade takes place on a Saturday which is closest to May 15th. Around 300 people march through the streets with 100 mitoshi.

Kanda Matsuri Japan
Wikimedia Commons by: 江戸村のとくぞう (Edomura no Tokuzo)

With time, the festival has garnered a lot of respect and represents the prosperity of the residents. The onlookers, especially travelers, tend to enjoy the spectacular sights of the parade. There are musicians, dancers, and priests on the horseback, making their way through the streets. The procession comes to an end at the Kanda Myojin Shrine.

Sanja Matsuri

Considered to be the largest festival in Tokyo, it attracts more than 2 million visitors from across the country. It has a very rich history and has been taking place since the 7th century. It is celebrated in Tokyo on the third Sunday of May but near the Asakusa shrine, it takes place on the preceding Friday and Saturday.

Sanja Matsuri Festival Japan
Flickr by: Yoshikazu TAKADA

The festival is quite crowded and can prove to be raucous at times. It is flooded with food and games allowing you to have a great time here. The louder music and chanting are believed to bring good luck upon the neighborhoods through which they lead the procession.

Sapporo Yuki Matsuri

A lot of people may think that since Japan is an island, they don’t get any show throughout the year. This belief is about to get shattered because the country not only has some serious winters in some of its cities but also hosts a fantastic snow and ice festival. It takes place in the city if Sapporo in every February since the 1950s.

Sapporo Yuki Matsuri Festival Japan
Flickr by: RageZ

The awe-inspiring snow and ice sculptures bring millions of people to this festival. The painstaking effort and the amount of creativity that goes into creating them are reflected in their finished look. During the night, they appear to be even more magical as they are beautifully illuminated and their beauty is enhanced.

Conclusion

Your trip to Japan will be as adventurous and eventful as it can possibly be if you are able to make it to any of the festivals mentioned above. Apart from being filled with color and energy, Japanese festivals or matsuri are a true depiction of their culture and traditions. They are unique so you are bound to get a once in a lifetime experience by being a part of them.

Irrespective of what time of the year you choose to visit Japan, you are definitely going to find the perfect dates to ensure your presence on a couple of festivals. However, you must not forget that these festivals are popular globally so a few months’ advance planning is required to make a trip. Otherwise, the nearby accommodations will be full and you’ll find yourself dealing with a lot of trouble.