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15 Incredible Japanese Festivals You Can’t Miss

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Have you ever thought of the festivals and celebrations in Japan? There is an uncountable number of small and big holidays in Japan because pretty much every altar commends one of its own. Most ceremonies are held yearly and praise the sanctum’s divinity or an occasional or chronicled occasion. Some celebrations are held for more than a few days.

A significant component of Japanese festivals are parades, in which the nearby holy place’s kami (Shinto deity) is helped through the town in mikoshi (palanquins). It is the primary season when the kami leaves the sanctum to be hefted around town.

Each celebration has its attributes. While a few holidays are quiet and thoughtful, many are animated and loud. Here is a list of the most famous Japanese festivals celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm from its people. However, a local event calendar should be referred for the exact event dates of the celebrations.

Japanese Festivals:

Gion Matsuri

The Gion Festival happens every year in Kyoto and is one of the most renowned celebrations in Japan. Gion Matsuri is probably the biggest celebration in Japan for refinement and assuagement of sickness causing elements. It happens in the long stretch of July on the 17th and 24th.

This Japanese festival is the most widespread in the world. There are numerous functions held during the celebration, yet it is most famous for its procession, the Yamaboko Junkō. The festival happens at the Yasaka Shrine, and the party gets its name from the Gion district of the city.

Japanese Festivals
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Awa Odori

Tokushima City’s Awa Odori is the most well known of many move celebrations held across Japan during the Obon season in mid-August. Awa is the previous name for Tokushima Prefecture, while Odori implies move. Between August 12 and 15, onlookers and artists come to Tokushima in the thousands to see this present “Fool’s Dance” whose starting points go back 400 years.

The bunches move through assigned observer regions (enbujo) in a parade, playing customary instruments as they go. Even though the move steps are necessary, ren separates themselves with troublesome varieties and brilliant outfits. Ladieswear cotton robes called yukata, while men wear happi (shorter yukata over shorts or jeans). Like the move, these guidelines change from gathering to the group.

In the night, Tokushima’s downtown area closes down and is transformed into an enormous move stage. There are numerous diverse stage territories with either free or paid seating. The paid scenes make sure to draw the expert gatherings, while the previous will have increasingly easygoing artists too.

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Kanda Matsuri

The Kanda Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s three most popular celebrations, alongside the Sanno Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. It happens in mid-May in odd-numbered years, exchanging with the Sanno Matsuri, which is held in even-numbered years.

The Kanda Festival comprises of various occasions held over a whole week, yet the primary activity, as a rule, occurs throughout the end of the week nearest to May 15. The features are a day-long parade through focal Tokyo on Saturday, and marches of convenient hallowed places (mikoshi) by the different neighborhoods on Sunday.

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Sapporo Yuki Matsuri

The Sapporo Snow Festival, Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is held during the multi-week each February in Hokkaido’s capital Sapporo. It is one of Japan’s most well-known winter occasions. It is one of the most famous Japanese festivals

The Sapporo Snow Festival was begun in 1950 when secondary school understudies assembled a couple of snow sculptures in Odori Park. It has since formed into an enormous, popularized occasion, including an excellent day of ice molds and pulling above 2,000,000 guests from Japan and over the world. 

The snow celebration is organized on three locales: the Odori Site, Susukino Site, and Tsu Dome Site. 

The principle site is the Odori Site in Sapporo’s midway found 1.5 kilometers long Odori Park. The celebration’s well known enormous snow forms, some estimating more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high, are shown there. They are lit up every day until 22:00. 

The Susukino Site, situated in and named after Sapporo’s most significant diversion region, displays around one hundred ice figures. Susukino is found just a single metro stop south of Odori Park. The ice figures are lit up day by day until 23:00 (until 22:00 on the celebration’s last day). 

The less halfway found Tsu Dome Site is a family arranged site with three sorts of snow slides, snow boating, and more snow models. Inside the vault, there are numerous food stands and a phase for occasions.

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Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

Nebuta and Neputa are a sort of Tanabata related summer celebration held in towns around Aomori Prefecture. The biggest of these celebrations is the Nebuta Matsuri of Aomori City, held each year from August 2 to 7. The feature of the festival is the everyday march of gigantic lamp skims, flanked by huge taiko drums, performers, and artists.

Each night of the celebration, the buoys are rolled out onto the lanes of downtown Aomori for a procession, aside from on the most recent day (August 7), when the motorcade is held toward the evening. The buoys are pushed along the road by human force, weaving to and fro, and turning around for the group. 

Each buoy is joined by groups of taiko drummers, woodwind, and hand cymbals players, just as several artists, called into in the nearby vernacular, who follow the parade reciting. “Rassera, Rassera” while playing out a move that looks somewhat like skipping. People from various other countries come here to enjoy this Japanese festival.

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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

A parade of 100 or more men surges down the road, pushing and pulling impeccably handmade danjiri coasts that wobble around, pitching around the thin corners. Gotten up to speed in the pains of energy, a man remains on the head of the buoy, yelling excitedly as he skips to and fro. It’s all extremely dangerous. However, 300 years of custom takes the point of reference over wellbeing concerns.

The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is hands-down, the most significant and most extreme danjiri drift celebration in Japan, with 35 separate buoys and 500,000 guests every year. The occasion is a basic quit during your movements in case you’re sufficiently fortunate to be in the region in mid-September.

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Tenjin Matsuri

The Tenjin Festival of Osaka is positioned as one of Japan’s main three celebrations, alongside the Gion Matsuri of Kyoto and the Kanda Matsuri of Tokyo. The party began in the tenth century, and today happens on July 24 and 25 consistently. The principle festivities are hung on the celebration’s subsequent day, July 25, including a land parade and a waterway parade with firecrackers.

Tenjin Matsuri is the celebration of the Tenmangu Shrine and respects its standard divinity Sugawara Michizane, the god of grant. The party starts by formally welcoming the deity out of the sanctuary and marching him through the city, completing different overflowing merriments to engage him before returning him to the place of worship.

 For the individuals, the enthusiastic merriments show in a magnificent event to appreciate the blistering summer day, loaded up with customary ensembles, impressive parades, and celebratory air.

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Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri

Yosakoi is a big celebration running for four days consistently from August 9th to 12th at the core of Kochi City. During Yosakoi, around 200 groups totaling approx. Twenty thousand individuals from inside Japan and even abroad accumulate to move. Lively and vivacious move exhibitions pivot approximately 16 areas inside the city.

 The ubiquity of Yosakoi crosses fringes, with 29 nations and areas from around the globe making move groups and performing at occasions. The Yosakoi Festival is shown at 16 settings inside Kochi City, 9 of which are kyoenjo (rivalry scene) and seven enbujo (places where exhibitions are held for no particular reason). 

Paid seating is just on offer at Otsesuji Kyoenjo, where a significant number of the groups come to beat one another. You can buy either day or night tickets for meetings running between August 10th to 12th.

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Image Source: Wikimedia – Japanese Festivals

Tanabata Matsuri

Tanabata Matsuri, also called the “star celebration,” happens on the seventh day of the seventh month of the year, when, as indicated by a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are typically isolated from one another by the smooth way, can meet.

Since the seventh month of the year generally corresponds with August as opposed to July as indicated by the in the past utilized lunar schedule, Tanabata is as yet celebrated on August 7 in some regions of Japan, while it is commended on July 7 in different locales. 

One famous Tanabata custom is to think of one’s desires on a bit of paper and drape that bit of writing on an exceptionally raised bamboo tree, with the expectation that the desires become valid. 

Bright Tanabata celebrations are held across Japan toward the beginning of July and August. Among the greatest and most important ones are the Tanabata Festivals of Sendai in August and Hiratsuka close to Tokyo in July.

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 Hakata Dontaku Matsuri

The Hakata Dontaku is a celebration held every year in Fukuoka, Japan. With over 840 years of history, Dontaku is a conventional celebration. Among Fukuoka residents, it has become a significant piece of Fukuoka residents’ lives and is one of the three significant holidays in Fukuoka.

Following the premiere night occasion of May 2, a 1.2 km stretch of Meji-Dori, probably the busiest lane, is shut to vehicles and changed into “Dontaku Street.”

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Omizutori

Omizutori is the frequently used name for Shunie, a progression of occasions held every year from March 1 to 14 at Todaiji Temple. This assortment of Buddhist atonement ceremonies has been held each year for more than 1250 years, making it one of the most seasoned repeating Buddhist occasions in Japan.

Omizutori is performed at Nigatsudo Hall, a sub-complex of Todaiji, which stands not a long way from the sanctuary’s central corridor on the slant of a slope. Nigatsudo truly signifies “second-month corridor,” alluding to the second month of the lunar schedule, when Omizutori has customarily been held. The second month of the lunar calendar generally relates to March of the sunlight based schedule.

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Kanamara Matsuri

The Kanamara Matsuri is fixated on a neighborhood penis-worshiping sanctum. This is one of the typical Japanese festivals. The legend is that a desirous sharp-toothed evil presence covered up inside the vagina of a young lady the devil experienced passionate feelings for and bit off the penises of two youngsters on their wedding evenings.

After that, the lady looked for help from a metalworker, who designed an iron phallus to break the evil presence’s teeth, which prompted the reverence of the item. The Kanayama Shrine was well known among whores who wished to appeal to God for assurance from explicitly sent diseases.

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Nagasaki Kunchi

The Nagasaki Kunchi is the celebration of the Suwa Shrine, held yearly in Nagasaki on October 7-9. The party has been commended for around 400 years and fuses various parts of Chinese and Dutch societies, which have assumed a job in the city’s history. The celebration’s name is accepted to originate from Ku-niche (“ninth day”), the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar schedule.

The celebration’s features are the move and show exhibitions by bunches speaking to Nagasaki’s different city areas. Each locale (Odori-Cho), takes an interest just once at regular intervals, so this celebration stays new to even the average watcher. 

Around five to seven gatherings play out every year, introducing customary Japanese moves, Chinese affected winged serpent moves, or exhibitions including huge buoys, a large number of which are molded like boats. While a few shows are quiet and tranquil, others get wild and tumultuous.

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Chichibu Yomatsuri

The Chichibu Night Festival is the celebration of Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu, only an hour and a half from focal Tokyo. It is held each year on December 2 and 3, with the primary activity occurring on December 3. The Chichibu Night Festival is viewed as one of Japan’s best three celebrations to highlight drifts, the others being Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri. Its buoys are lavishly enlivened with lights, woven artworks, and plated wood carvings and are joined by drum and woodwind music.

The celebration’s other fascination is its firecrackers show, which keeps going very nearly more than two hours and gives you a unique chance to appreciate Japanese firecrackers during winter. Moreover, the roads are fixed with stands selling celebration nourishments and amazake (sweet rice wine) to battle the cold December night. The headliners of this Japanese festivals occur on December 3.

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Wakakusa Yamayaki

The Wakakusa Yamayaki is a yearly celebration during which the grass on the slope of Nara’s Mount Wakakusayama is determined to fire. The mountain is situated at the eastern finish of Nara Park, and when it is set to land, it tends to be seen all through the city.

The consuming of the mountain itself is gone before by a firecracker show. The celebration happens each year on the fourth Saturday of January. However, it might be deferred to a later date if there should arise an occurrence of a terrible climate. This is the only Japanese festival which can get affected due to bad weather.

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Image Source: Googleusercontent – Japanese Festivals

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your tour to visit Japan during any of its festivals. Though, these Japanese festivals occur throughout the year. So, you can plan anytime, irrespective of peak season and offseason. The average expense needed to tour Japan during any of its festivals is pretty much affordable. Get ready to enjoy your heart out and create a memorable experience in Japan.

 

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