Festivals in Japan are rich and vibrant occasions. Girls put on their best 'yukatta' (a light kimono) and often the men wear traditional dress as well. The streets are lined with food and drink stands selling grilled meat on sticks, 'yakisoba' fried noodles and all manner of food delights. And of course, the Japanese love a drink at these occasions so beer and sake are never in short supply.
In this section we will be collecting together some of our favourite festivals that we think you may like to consider attending whilst in Japan. Some are really famous, other less so, but what we can guarantee is that you will have a lot of fun. Accommodation for major festivals can get booked up as far as a year in advance so if you are looking to attend a big event then let is know as soon as possible so we can get planning. Often though, it is just a matter of seeing what coincides with your visit and heading along for some festival fun and a chance to meet the Japanese at their most laid back.
- Nebuta Matsuri (Aug)
- Yabusame Horseback Archery (Sep)
- Saijo Sake Festival (Oct)
- Shirakawago Doburoku Matsuri (Oct)
- Toyota Oiden Matsuri (Jul)
- Sapporo Beer Festival (Jul & Aug)
- Sapporo Snow Festival (Feb)
- Sumida River Fireworks Festival (Jul)
- Daimonji Bonfire Festival (Aug)
- Tokyo Anime Fairs (Mar & Apr)
- Kyoto Hanatoro (Dec & March)
- Okayama Naked Festival (Feb)
Saijo Sake Festival (Oct)
If you like a drop of the clear stuff then this is the festival for you. Hundreds of sakes to choose from and a great party atmosphere
Every year for just one weekend the town of Saijo comes alive for its famous sake festival. Saijo, a well known brewery town since around 1650, has 10 traditional breweries.
Festival weekend sees the road from the station lined with food stalls leading to Chuo park which is split into East and West. The East side has stalls, food, stages and performances with free entry. The West side of the park is where you can get to taste over 900 different types of Japan's finest sake. Entrance requires a ticket which we are able to provide. On entry you are handed your own sake cup which can be refill at any of the stands for up to 9 hours.
The relaxed and lighthearted atmosphere of the festival is almost as good as the sake itself and makes a great day out.
Held in October, ironically on the Saturday and Sunday before the Health and Sports National Holiday.
2013: 12th and 13th October
2014: 11th and 12th October
The festivities take place all over Saijo but the main tasting takes place in Chuo Park (West). Saijo is located 30 mins East of Hiroshima by JR train.
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