Three Kinds of Summer Festivals to Beat the Heat With in Japan
The weather outside is getting warmer and warmer, so it’s time to raise the heat for summer vacation fun too! Japan is never short of things to do, whether it’s smashing watermelons at the beach or visiting photogenic flower fields. At the end of the day though, there is one part of Japanese culture that cannot be missed during this season: festivals. From age-old traditions to up-and-coming trends, the locals’ love for festive gatherings are evident through the countless events set up during this hot season. What kind of festivals would you visit in Japan?
These are not just any ordinary fireworks. In Japan they’re a huge spectacle, bursting to life in a majestic show that typically runs for at least an hour. Fireworks festivals, known as hanabi taikai in Japanese, are among the most crowded events that take place during the summer. Thousands of people gather at huge parks or rivers to watch the extravagant display of fireworks, many coming in traditional yukata. It can be a lively place for friends to come together, or a romantic date spot for couples—whoever you’re with, fireworks festivals are a vibrant summer vacation staple.
The hotter it gets, the more you’ll want to crank up the energy and jam to your favorite bands. Music festivals are ever rising in popularity, and during the summer festivals of all kinds of genres welcome throngs of enthusiastic music lovers. From rock to EDM to jazz, fans have the perfect place to sweat it out while cheering to their favorite bands. Rock festivals have always been a longtime staple, with major events such as Summer Sonic or the Fuji Rock Festival. Idol fans also have their own summer haven—Tokyo Idol Festival grows steadily each year as they bring together different groups and artistes for a packed three days of idol excitement.
And of course, we can’t leave out the traditional festival. Matsuri are held all over Japan, and during the summer many gather in their neighborhood to enjoy the games and food stalls lined up at the festival. There are stalls that typically appear in every festival—from kakigori to fun masks to goldfish scooping, these classic favorites are what Japanese people look forward to every time. If you’re in Japan, this is one event you can immerse yourself in rich local culture while eating and playing to your heart’s content. At the same time, why not join in the merry mood and wear yukata? The crowds are often filled with both males and females in the traditional Japanese garments. The girls’ yukatas tend to have more decorative and colorful patterns, accessorized with elaborate hair pieces and beautiful bags. Getting dressed up is all part of the fun of matsuri!
Every season in Japan brings a time of celebration, and summer lets you beat the heat with festivities. After working hard at school and work, it’s time to let loose and have some fun with festivals. With so many happening in Japan, you’re bound to find one that excites you and suits your interests.
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