Japan is famous for its colourful and enriching events and festivals.  Wherever you may be visiting in Japan with its array of both local (matsuri) and national festivals, you are sure to be close to a celebration or marked occasion of some sort.

13th-17th April

Yayoi Festival

Nikko, Ibaraki
Flower-covered floats from eleven surrounding towns and villages gather at UNESCO Futarasan Shrine in Nikko for this ancient spring festival.
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1st-2nd September

Kashima Shrine Jinkosai Festival

Kashima, Ibaraki
With lively float and lantern parades, the Jinkosai Festival is held every year at Kashima Jingu Grand Shrine in Ibaraki to pray for peace and favourable harvests.
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3rd weekend in July

Shirahama Ama Festival

Shirahama, Chiba
Witness the ethereal sight of over 100 Ama (traditional female divers) clad in white swimming in the sea at night holding lit torches. Fireworks are lit at sea for the festival finale.
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Every year in April

Sakura Tulip Festival

Sakura, Chiba
Stroll through fields of countless colourful tulips, their heads nodding gently in the breeze, at this Dutch-themed flower festival in Chiba.
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2nd-3rd December

Chichibu Night Festival

Chichibu, Saitama
Gorgeous heavy, giant floats dash up a steep slope against a spectacular background of fireworks displays lighting up the winter night sky.
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3rd weekend in May

Asakusa Sanja Festival

Asakusa, Tokyo
Tokyo’s hottest mikoshi (portable shrine) festival includes energetic parades, traditional music and dancing, and is one of Tokyo’s largest festivals.
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Weekend closest to 15th May

Kanda Festival

Kanda, Tokyo
One of Tokyo’s most famous festivals, the Kanda Festival, a jovial festival brimming with the energy of Edo (old Tokyo), is also ranked among the three largest festivals of Japan.
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7th-17th June

Sanno Festival

Chiyoda, Tokyo
A procession of 300 people dressed in colourful ancient costumes parades through the heart of Tokyo in one of Japan’s three largest festivals.
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Days of the rooster in November

Tori-no-Ichi Rake Fair

Elaborately decorated rakes for ‘raking in wealth and good fortune’ are sold at special fairs held at shrines on designated ‘days of the rooster’ in November every year.
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6th January

Dezomeshiki Festival

This fire-fighting festival began over four centuries ago to pray for a fire-free year and warn citizens of the dangers of fire through acrobatic displays atop towering bamboo ladders.
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