Koenji becomes a huge attraction in the summer when it hosts one of Tokyo’s most popular festivals. The Koenji Awa Odori is a summer dance festival and is held annually during the last weekend in August.
Sado, the largest island in Japan, is usually a quiet, peaceful island. But every year for the three-day Earth Celebration (EC) in August, the island transforms into a lively, international hub. Presented by world-renowned taiko drumming ensemble Kodo, EC is a music festival that brings performing art talents together from within and outside of Japan.
The city of Yokosuka Japan is most known for its Japanese and American Navy bases. The culture has been crossed and mixed and reflects in its food, atmosphere, and shopping. The US navy base opens to the public every year for Yokosuka Friendship Day in order to demonstrate the strong relationship between Japan and the US. If you plan on coming to Yokosuka for this event, consider staying for the weekend and visit the surrounding areas as well.
Every August 15th Nagatoro holds it’s dual Shinto/Buddhist festival on the banks of the Arakawa River. The popular festival merges two important local customs.
Children, teens, and adults can be seen crowding the Hata Sensuda Sports Park. Tents with the aroma of delicious festival foods wafting from them can also be seen from a distance as people order treats from them, forming long lines that snake towards the parking lot. Everyone here is excitedly awaiting the event of the night – the Hata Fireworks Festival.
One of the unique festivals of the area is the Demon Fireworks Festival, known as the Oni-Hanabi in Japanese. Every summer from early June to the end of July, Noboribetsu holds a special festival to celebrate the demons living in the area.
Japanese summers may bring on the heat and humidity, but they also signal Japan’s love of the festive. Tokyo’s festivals cover the whole spectrum – from congenial goodwill ceremonies to fireworks extravaganzas, summertime in Tokyo is never a dull moment.
Some of these varieties include: ceramic, glass, metal, bamboo, bronze, clay, crystal and so on. Kawasaki Daishi Temple, while not quite known to many tourists, has always beendedicated to the warding of evil through its ceremonies of purification, such as the Yakudoshi (unlucky or critical age in a person’s life), blessings of talismans and charms, burning rites during New Year, year-end cleaning ritual using long brooms, and others.
In keeping with the ancient custom, Yasukuni Shrine holds the yearly Mitama Festival around July 13-16 as part of the Obon festivities. Mitama refers to the spirit or soul of the dead. During this season, Japanese hang lanterns and place offerings at the altars as prayers for their ancestors’ spirits to be freed of their sufferings. Since 1947, the Mitama Festival has lightened up the Yasukuni Shrine grounds with more than 30,000 glittering lanterns or chochin.
Naruto Kabuki is an interesting blend of traditional and modern since it incorporates the history of kabuki with the more modern culture of manga and anime. Even if you’re not particularly interested in anime, kabuki plays are a good way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture.