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All Over Japan

Festival(Matsuri) of Japan in Summer That You Should Try Once

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Japan has a lot of festivals(matsuri) for each season in each region.

After all festivals held in summer is more colorful and fun.

So, let me introduce the 6 best matsuri held in summer in Japan.

6th Hakata Gion Yamakasa / Fukuoka

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Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a festival that is held every year from July 1 to 15 in Hakata area.

Although Hakata Dontaku Festival which is held in May is famous in Fukuoka,

Yamakasa is also popular for its scale.

A lot of people carry the shrine called Yamakasa and walk through the city of Hakata while calling out “Oshoei!”.

It is overwhelmingly powerful.

5th Send off Spirit Ceremony(ShoroNagashi) / Nagasaki

ShoroNagashi is taken place in Nakasaki which is locate in west part of Kyushu area.

In fact, ShoroNagashi is not a festival but a kind of funeral.

If ShoroNagashi was translated into English, that means “Send-off-spirit ceremony” for the dead.

Bring the spirit of the dead to the ships, people send them to the sea to send out the dead.

However, since ships are colorfully decorated and fireworks are launched during the ceremony, ShoroNagashi is often misunderstood as a festival.

Although it depends on region, people send the spirit of the dead calling out with “Doiidoi”.

They start to drink beer after sending out the ships.

Sometimes they even set off firecrackers when they send out the dead.

In many ways, ShoroNagashi is interesting as Japanese culture.

4th Danjiri Matsuri / Osaka

Danjiri Matsuri is held in Kishiwasa which is locate in south part of Osaka.

It’s held in September in every year.

Danjiri is food stall used in shrines and festivals in Japan.

Getting on rhythm of Japanese drums and other dumplings(festival music), people run around their town pulling Danjiri.

Since Danjiri runs in about 15km/h, it’s really overwhelming.

Also, the weight of Danjiri is 4 tons, so it’s overwhelming when a Danjiri turns the intersection vertically, pulled by human beings.

Please see and feel the powerful atmosphere from Danjiri Matsuri.

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3rd Awa Odori / Tokushima

Awa Odori is held in Tokushima which is locate in Shikoku area and it’s one of the three large bon dance festivals.

It’s held during second week in August every year.

Recently, Tokushima city has introduced services such as English announcements for inbound tourists.

During the festival road are in traffic regulation, and roads are filled up by dancers.

Since they are dancing with smiling, it’s sure that audience will warm hearts up.

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2nd Gion Matsuri / Kyoto

Gion Matsuri is held in Kyoto and it’s one of the three large festivals in Japan which is listed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

It’s held during second week in August every year.

Gion Matsuri take place in at Shijyo-kawaramachi and Shijyo-karasuma area, so it’s easy to access from Gion-Shijo Station that is on Keihan Line.

It’s popular to be dressed in Yukata and walk, hearing Kyoto’s traditionl festival music.

The origin of Gion Matsuri is amulet.

It is said that in 9th century, a epidemic spread to Kyoto.

So, people tried to calm down of epidemic spread by carrying a portable shrine(mikoshi).

Please feel such traditional atmosphere from Gion Matsuri which is lasting for long time.

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1st Nebuta Matsri / Aomori

Nebuta Matsri is held in Aomori which is locate in Tohoku area and held in early August.

A huge lantern (Nebuta) with a light on the float and people walk with Nebuta, so it’s glamorous.

Dancers that are called “Haneto” are cheering up the festival although the leading role on the festival is Nebuta.

“Haneto” means person who is jumping.

Haneto jump up and down, getting on the rhythm of the dumplings(festival music), and walk, saying “Rasserer! Rasserer!”

Interestingly, you can be a participant if you keep 3 rules.

The rules are below.

・Wearing Haneto’s costume.
・Don’t bring in anything you like.
・Follow the instructions of the operator.

You can rent Haneto’s costume or buy it at the shopping moll in local.

It might be nervous for you, but why don’t you try to be a “Haneto” and have fun with locals?

Also, please check below matsuri.

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