Some of the big festivals and events include:
Gujo Bon Odori – Held in Gujo City, Gifu from July 14 to September 8. It is regarded as one of the three best Bon Odori in Japan, and is over 400 years old. The four main days of the festival are from August 13 – 16 where the dancing goes on through the night.
Nebuta Matsuri – Held in Aomori from August 2 to 7 this summer festival is one of the largest in the Tohoku region. Nebuta refers to the elaborate floats which are carried through the centre of the city, while dancers wearing a costume called “haneto” dance around.
Kanto Matsuri – Held in Akita from August 3 to 6 this summer festival is to pray for an abundant harvest of grains. The highlight of the festival is when the performers balance long bamboo poles (kanto) with an array of paper lanterns attached to the end.
Tokyo Bay Fireworks – Held north of the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay on August 11. This spectacular fireworks display features over 12,000 shells fired from barges in the water. The best spot to view the fireworks is from Harumi Park.
Awa Odori – The Awa Odori Dance Festival in Tokushima is held from August 12 to 15. It is the largest dance festival in Japan and is held as part of the Obon festival. The festival attracts over 1.3 million tourists every year.
Obon – Is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. It has evolved into a family reunion holiday, during which people return to ancestral places and visit and clean their ancestor’s grave. It is believed that around this time the spirits revisit the household altars. Obon lasts for three days (August 13 to 16).
I would love to hear from you if you have been lucky enough to have experienced any of these festivals this year.