List of Japanese Festivals - Matsuri in Japanese

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In Japan, thousands of festivals and events take place during the year. There are several festivals that take place in a given province in several times of the year. In this article we will share a list of festivals in Japan and describe the most popular ones.

Have you ever wondered how to name these festivals in Japanese? In the list of matsuri we will also share the name of the festivals in Japanese and the date of some. Unfortunately the list does not have all the festivals, there are thousands of local matsuri ...

The list of festivals with their date and location can be found at the end of this article. To help you get around we will leave a summary or index below. I hope you enjoy this great festival guide from Japan that I have prepared for you:

Local Festivals in Japan

We cannot list all the festivals in Japan in the article because thousands are held exclusively in certain cities. Virtually every city has a regional festival, seasonal or unique, to celebrate something like a temple or event.

Schools in Japan also hold festivals. Every year events are called Bunkasai and several others, on different dates and organized by each school in the country. That is why it is impossible to list all festivals in Japan.

There are even foreign festivals in some places. For example, in the Asakusa neighborhood, Carnival every year. Cities like Nagoya, Hamamatsu and with many foreigners also hold cultural events about countries.

List of festivals in japanese - matsuri from japan
Cultural Event in Kakegawa City

Japan's Bizarre Festivals

Japan is also very successful for its numerous bizarre festivals in the eyes of the West. There are festivals like the Navel Festival, festival of the penis, festival where men get naked behind an amulet and so on.

There is also a festival where sumo wrestlers try to make babies cry. Another bizarre festival where people come out in costumes with sticks in hand to scare others and more.

We have our own article that shows the Japan's most bizarre festivals, we recommend reading this article to know the unusual things that you only find in the land of the rising sun.

List of festivals in japan - matsuri in japanese
Japan's Bizarre Festivals

Tanabata Matsuri - Festival of the Stars

The Tanabata Matsuri, also known as the Star Festival, is one of the most anticipated of the summer, famous for the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi and its decorations tanzaku. The festival can take place between July and August depending on the year and location.

The legend of the Tanabata festival consists of the love story of two stars, Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Festival's tradition is found in small notes tied in a bamboo ornament.

At the end of the celebration, the tickets are burned, with the purpose that the wishes reach the skies. To learn more about the Tanabata festival, we recommend reading our article on Tanabata Matsuri - The Star Festival.

List of festivals in japan - matsuri in japanese
Legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi at Tanabata Matsuri

Children's Festivals in Japan

There are 3 festivals dedicated to children in Japan, we have children's day Kodomo no Hi that happens during Golden Week on May 5th. We have the Hina Matsuri or girls' day that happens on March 3rd. It's the Shichi-go-san that happens on November 15th.

Each of these festivals has its own traditions and peculiarities, during the girls 'day there is the famous tradition of dolls, on the boys' day we have fish ornaments, in the shichi-go-san children of certain ages are taken to the temple.

We have a special article that talks about these three festivals, their peculiarities and songs. You can find the article by clicking or searching for Kodomo no Hi, Hina Matsuri and 753 - Children's Day in Japan at Suki Desu.

List of festivals in japan - matsuri in japanese

Hanami, Hanabi and Tsukimi - Appreciation Festivals

Some festivals are dedicated to the appreciation of flowers like Hanami or the appreciation of the moon like Tsukimi. Hanami is one of the most famous festivals in Japan, where we enjoy cherry blossoms during the spring.

Hanabi Taikai is a fireworks festival that takes place during the summer across Japan on different dates. In this festival people visit a kind of stall market using their yukata to enjoy the fireworks at night.

These are not the only festivals where you visit a particular place to enjoy nature or art, there are many others. We recommend reading our guide on Hanami - View Flowers and our guide on Hanabi Taikai.

List of festivals in japan - matsuri in japanese
Hanami - Enjoying Sakura in Japan

Takayama Matsuri - Float Festival

The Takayama Festival is considered one of the three most beautiful in Japan, started in the 16th century and attracts visitors from all over the country. The festival's attractions are the floats (yatai), which are Japan's cultural heritage.

The cars on the streets are really fantastic: all sculpted in wood or metal, lacquered, painted in the smallest details and with gold-plated ornaments. They are truly mobile treasures, each one hundreds of years old and the pride of this artisan city.

Some of the cars have their own music, others have flute performances, there is also a parade, puppet shows and many other things in these two days of the festival. To learn more read our article on Takayama Matsuri.

List of festivals in japan - matsuri in japanese
Takayama Matsuri

Sapporo Snow Festival - Snow Festival

In Hokkaido [北海道] in the city of Sapporo [札幌] one of Japan's biggest winter festivals takes place. The big snow festival in the city of Sapporo called Sapporo Snow Festival [さっぽろ雪まつり]. The event usually happens in February.

In this festival there are ice and snow sculpture competitions. Some sculptures are giant and need machines and a base to be made. In addition, the festival has several attractions such as skating rink, SKI, AIR Jumping, hiking, sliding tube and others.

This is the perfect opportunity to see giant snow and ice sculptures in Odori Park and along Susukino's main street. This freezing event has been going on for 7 days since 1950. To learn more about the event read the article on Sapporo Snow Festival.

Sapporo snow festival - snow festival
Sapporo Snow Festival - Snow Festival

List of major festivals in Japan

The list below in addition to the festivals and their names in Japanese, also shares other events that may fit into the category, in addition to words to improve your vocabulary. Some dates and holidays are also listed below:

KanjiJapaneseRomaji
Festival祭りmatsuri
Event行事gyouji
Spring Festival春祭りharu matsuri
Summer festival夏祭りnatsu matsuri
Autumn Festival秋祭りaki matsuri
Snow Festival雪祭りyuki matsuri
Festival of culture and art文化祭bunkasai
New Year正月shou gatsu
Hanami - Flower Festival花見hanami
Hanabi - Fireworks Festival花火hanabi
Valentine's Dayバレンタインデーbarentain de-
Doll Festival (March 3)雛祭りhina matsuri
Buddha's Birthday (April 8)花祭りhana matsuri
Green Day (April 29)緑の日midori no hi
Golden Weekゴールデンウイークgo-ruden ui-ku
Children's Day (May 5th)子供の日kodomo no hi
Mothers Day母の日haha no hi
Father's Day父の日pee no hi
The Festival of the Stars (July 7)七夕tanabata
The Festival of the Stars (July 7)星祭りhoshi matsuri
Bon Festival (mid-August)お盆obon
Ceremony in which paper lanterns are floating on a river (August 15/16)灯篭流しtoured nagashi
Festival for children aged 3.5 and 7 years old (November 15)七五三shichi go san
Culture Day (November 3)文化の日bunka no hi
Christmasクリスマスkurisumasu
New Year's Eve (31 December)大晦日oomisoka
Summer holidays夏休みnatsu yasumi
Winter break冬休みfuyu yasumi
Birthday誕生日tanjoubi
Entrance Ceremony (School)入学式nyuugaku shiki
Day of adulthood成人式seijin shiki
Day of adulthood成年式seinen shiki
Graduation ceremony卒業式sotsugyou shiki
Wedding結婚式kekkon shiki
Funeral葬式I'm shiki
Election選挙senkyo
Halloweenハロウィーンharoui-n
List of festivals in japanese - matsuri from japan

List of famous traditional matsuri

MatsuriPlaceNote
AoiKyotoheld at Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrine in May
AtsutaNagoyaheld at the Atsuta sanctuary in June
Awa OdoriTokushima, Tokushimaheld in Tokushima in August
DontakuFukuokaheld from 3 to May
GionKyotoheld in July
HadakaOkayamaheld in February
Hakata Gion YamakasaFukuokaheld in Kushida-jinja in July
HōnenKomakiheld at the Tagata Sanctuary in March
JidaiKyotoheld in October
KanamaraKawasakiheld at Kanayama Shrine in April
KandaTokyoheld at the Kanda Myojin shrine in May
KantoAkitaheld from 3 to August
Kishiwada DanjiriKishiwadaheld in September
Kumagaya Uchiwa FestivalSaitamaheld from July 19 to 3
Nagasaki KunchiNagasakiheld from the 9th of october
Miki Autumn Harvest FestivalMikiheld at Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine in October
Nothing at KenkaHimejiheld at Matsubara Hachiman Shrine on October 1 and 1
NagoyaNagoyaheld at Hisaya Ōdori park in Sakae Nagoya
NebutaAomoriheld from to August
Neputa (Hirosaki)Hirosakiheld in the first week of August
Ojima Neputa FestivalGunmaheld from 1 to 1 August
SanjaTokyoheld at Asakusa Shrine in May
SannoTokyoheld at the Hie shrine in June
TanabataSendaiheld from 6 to 8 August
TenjinOsakaheld in Akasaka Tenman-gū in July
Wakakusa YamayakiNaraheld in Nara on the fourth Saturday of January
Yosakoi MatsuriKochiheld in Kochi in August
YotakaToyamaheld in Tonami Toyama in June
List of festivals in japanese - matsuri from japan

Japan music and film festivals

Festival NameTypeCity
Asian Queer Film Festivalfilm FestivalTokyo
B-Boy ParkHip hop festival
CON-CAN Movie Festivalfilm FestivalTokyo
Concert on the RockRock Festival
Cosquín en JapónFolk Festival
Firefox Rock FestivalRock Festival
Fuji Rock FestivalRock Festival
Heart-Aid ShisenRock Festival
Hiroshima International Animation Festivalfilm FestivalHiroshima
Image Forum Festivalfilm FestivalTokyo
Live under the skyRock Festival
Loud Park FestivalHeavy metal festival
Mainichi Film Awardsfilm FestivalTokyo
Mount Fuji Jazz FestivalJazz festival
Newport Jazz Festival in MadaraoJazz festival
Okinawa International Movie Festivalfilm FestivalGinowan & Naha,
Okinawa Island

Rising Sun Rock FestivalRock Festival
Rock in Japan FestivalRock Festival
Saito Kinen Festival MatsumotoClassical Music Festival
Songs DayPop Festival
Summer Sonic FestivalRock Festival
Tokyo Filmexfilm FestivalTokyo
Tokyo International Film Festival [1]film FestivalTokyo
Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festivalfilm FestivalTokyo
Tokyo Music FestivalPop Festival
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festivalfilm FestivalYamagata
Yamaha Music FestivalClassical Music Festival
Yamaha Popular Song ContestPop FestivalKakegawa
Yokohama Film Festivalfilm FestivalYokohama
Yubari International Fantastic Film Festivalfilm FestivalYūbari, Hokkaido

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