Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Summer Festivals in Japan
Including all the food you can eat!
What is a summer festival? What do Japanese people do there and where is it often held? To help you immerse in the Japanese culture and enjoying summer festival in Japan, we introduce some activities, foods, and traditions below. Let’s check it out!
What is summer festival and where the event be held?
Summer festivals are one of the traditional activities that Japanese do during the summer season. There are many types such as fireworks festival, shrines festival, the bon-odori festival, or typical festival of a specific area in a city or prefecture. Most Japanese will go to the festival with their family, friends, or that special person to enjoy summer memories together by wearing their traditional dresses like yukata or happi.
The fireworks look especially beautiful in a clear summer night.
Some Japanese will wear festival masks while walking around the festival grounds.
What kinds of stalls are there in a Japanese summer festival?
Not only do they enjoy traditional culture such as fireworks or dances, but festivals also mean a lot of yatai, or street food stalls. There are also sweets that can only be enjoyed during festivals as well. Here are some examples:
Yakitori or grilled chicken skewers.
Saikoro Steak or diced beef steak.
Yakisoba or stir-fried noodles.
Okonomiyaki (Japanese-style vegetable pancake) and/or Takoyaki (Japanese-style octopus balls).
(Yaki-)tomorokoshi or (grilled) sweet corn.
Choco-banana or banana dipped in chocolate.
Ringo-ame or caramel apples.
There are also games which are done only during festival seasons that reminds Japanese people of nostalgic childhood memories such as:
Kingyo sukui or goldfish scooping. (You can choose to return or bring home the goldfish if you capture it with the paper scoop!)
Yoyo tsuri or balloon fishing. (“Fish out” the balloon from the pool of water!)
Shateki or shooting gallery. (Win prizes if you manage to knock them off with the rifle.)
If you would like to try experience the Japanese tradition, or if you’re simply looking for some fun stuff to do during your summer vacation, we recommend adding summer festivals to your upcoming plans!
(12 June 2019)