10 of the Best Matsuri and Festivals in Japan

Most Famous Traditional Japanese Festivals – In Japan, there are many traditional Matsuri meaning as Japanese Festival in English. The festivals are very diverse and different from one region to another region in Japan. Usually, a Matsuri/festival is sponsored by local shrine/temple and organized by the local community. Japanese Matsuri sometimes interpreted as a joint event that has been accustomed to be implemented by the local community. It is a tradition that must hold every year for every Japanese people, and we as a tourist can watch these amazing Japanese celebrations.

Read also: 10 Most Favorites Japanese Foods.

Below TRIPIVY provides top ten famous Japanese Matsuri or famous traditional Japanese festivals and you can watch them when you go to Japan:

  1. Gion Matsuri

Gion Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Gion Matsuri – Credit: mykyotophoto.com

Gion Matsuri is the most famous street and most famous traditional festival in Japan. Usually held in July (from beginning to the end of the month). The highlight of this festival is called “Yamaboko Junko” which held on 17 July and 24 July which was marked by a procession of several trains of Japanese customary (made of wooden) houses equipped with four wheels, climbed and encouraged by the participating communities. The community also wore traditional kimono outfits and complete with accessories such as samurai, hand fan, and three-cornered hat. The Japan festival usually held at Kawaramachi Street and Oike Street, Kyoto.

  1. Awa Odori Matsuri

Awa Odori Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Awa Odori Matsuri – Credit: japantimes.co.jp

The second festival is Japan’s largest dance festival that held every August 12 – August 15 every year and often called as Awa Odori. The community that consists of men’s, women’s, and children’s is enthusiastic about the festival and usually held along the streets of Tokushima City. The participating peoples will wear full cotton kimono suits with their unique hats. Over millions of people gathered and took time to dance together. You can also follow Awa Odori event when visiting Japan in August every year.

  1. Kanda Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Kanda Matsuri – Credit: diversity-finder.net

Kanda Matsuri is one of the famous religious celebrations in Tokyo for Shinto Japanese citizens, held in mid-May every year (Shinto holidays). The festival usually held at Kanda Myojin Shrine. The people rolled around in prayer together in the morning, and then they paraded the “Mikoshi”; a sizeable portable temple that moved from one temple to another. This parade continues along the Kanda, Nihonbashi, and Akibahara areas of Tokyo. So back to the temple in the afternoon.

  1. Suki Matsuri

Suki Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Suki Matsuri – Credit: nandapipitn.com

The Suki Festival is held in February every year. The origin of this festival occurred when six local students built statues made of ice in 1950. Now the festival of Suki Matsuri became the international contest of the giant ice sculpture in Sapporo City.

  1. Nebuta Matsuri

Nebuta Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Nebuta Matsuri – Credit: japanphototrip.com

Nebuta Festival held on 2-7 August every year. Nebuta is a giant lantern-shaped figure of a puppeteer, like a Japanese swordsman. The festival held in the afternoon until evening along the streets of Aomori Town. The people rolled up the Nakua lanterns and followed by the accompaniment of traditional musical instruments and typical Japanese dances. Nabuta is also known as one of the famous Japan festivals in all regions.

  1. Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri – Credit: pinterest.com

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival held in Kishiwada City, Osaka. Held in mid-September. “Danjiri” is a stroller made of wood and weighs up to over 3,000 kg. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is a festival that can surprise people. Participating communities usually tug at the four-wheeled trains very quickly, and troop leaders jump around, dance and do attractions on wooden trains.

  1. Tenjin Matsuri

Tenjin Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Tenjin Matsuri – Credit: diversity-finder.net

Tenjin Matsuri is a festival supported by Tenmangu Temple in Osaka and is usually held on 24 – 25 July every year. An essential part happens on the second day where the procession did on the road and river. The people wear traditional kimono outfits and roll up the boat to the river. The highlight of this festival marked by a beautiful fireworks display. The community can watch fireworks from bridges and riverside. Tenjin is one of the best Japanese celebrations that hold every year, and many tourists visit Japan to attend this special event.

  1. Yosakoi Kochi Matsuri

Yosakoi Kochi Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Yosakoi Kochi Matsuri – Credit: wikimedia.org

The Yosakoi Kochi Festival took place in 1954 where local people created the Yosakoi Naruko dance. This famous festival is held in mid-August every year. This dance always accompanied by local songs and folk songs of the local community, entitled Yosakoi Bushi. The people who participate, dance with joy and they usually bring hand claps made of wood. The tap produces a ‘click-clack’ sound that makes the Kochi festival more festive.

  1. Tanabata Matsuri

Tanabata Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Tanabata Matsuri – Credit: whereisjohn.ca

The Tanabata Festival held on 6-8 August in Sendai City, Miyagi. This matsuri is a festival based on the Chinese legend about two stars, namely: Altair and Vega. At the time of this celebration, visitors can watch the large colorful decorating paper that adorns the street.

  1. Hakata Dontaku Matsuri

Hakata Dontaku Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Hakata Dontaku Matsuri – Credit: japandreaming.com

Hakata Dontaku Matsuri is held on 3-4 May every year in Fukuoka City. People from among children, teenagers and even elderly are very enthusiastic and take the time to participate in the event, such as parades, marching bands, and dances on the highway. This festival can follow by all citizens who live in Japan, and the aim is to showcase the unique culture of each participating country. The clothes they wear are also very diverse and colorful.

Additional: Kanamara Matsuri

Kanamara Matsuri - Most Famous and Popular Traditional Japanese Festivals Matsuri

Kanamara Matsuri – Credit: everfest.com

Kanamara Matsuri means Big Iron Penis Lord. At this festival, people flocked to parade a giant pink penis statue. In addition to replica penis statues, they also marched a statue of a giant iron penis replica. The man who paraded this figure dressed as a woman. Not only the citizens of Kawasaki City who participated in this parade, but also foreign tourists who come packed the streets of the city. Kanamara Matsuri is held every spring at Kanayama temple in Kawasaki, Japan which is held in April every year.

Read the other list of Japanese festivals here. And that’s the end of the article, and that’s the top 10 most popular and most famous traditional Japanese festivals and let’s watch these Japan celebrations when traveling to Japan. (TRIPIVY.COM)