Japanese events and festivals are celebrated through out the country all year round, there are about 300,000 traditional festivals in Japan. The Japanese word for “festival” is “matsuri (祭り)”, in most cases each festival is sponsored by a local shrine or temple. Most of the Japanese festivals are celebrated over the weekend, big festivals like Sanja Matsuri, roads are usually closed to give way for the celebration.

If you happen to be roaming around Japan or Tokyo specifically, you can easily a spot Japanese events and festivals if you see processions which includes big and intricately designed floats. Of course, that also includes loud taiko drum beats and Japanese people chanting while they carry the traditional mikoshi.

Every season in Japan is accompanied by specific festivals for each area. Popular festivals are Takayama Spring Festival, Awa Odori Matsuri (Summer), Nagasaki Kunchi (Autumn) and a bunch of snow festivals in winter like Sapporo Snow Festival.

Upcoming Japanese Events and Festivals

Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro – Illuminations

Date: December 13 to 22, 2019
Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kyoto

Kobe Luminarie 2019

Date: December 06 to 15, 2019
Admission: Free

Hyogo

Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Date: December 15 -18
Admission: Free

Nara

Nagasaki Christmas

Date: Early December – Late December
Event Schedule: 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Admission: Free

Hyogo

Osaka Ramen Expo 2019

Date: Early December – Late December
Event Schedule: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Admission: Free

Osaka

Glover Garden Night Illumination

Date: Mid November – Late December
Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Nagasaki

Festival of the Lights Osaka

Date: November 4, 2019 – January 31, 2020
Admission: Free

Osaka

Sendai Pageant of Starlight

Date: Mid December – Late December
Admission: Free

Miyagi

Okera Mairi: Old Year’s Eve at Yasaka-jinja Shrine

Date: December 31 – January 1
Event Schedule: 7:00pm – 5:00am
Admission: Free

Kyoto

Iwaki Hikari no Sakura (Light Cherry Blossoms)

Date: Early December – Early January
Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Admission: Free

Fukushima

Saga Light Fantasy

Date: Late October – Early January
Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 11:59pm
Admission: Free

Saga

Sapporo White Illumination

Date: Late November – Mid March
Admission: Free

Hokkaido

“Light of Versailles” Winter Illumination

Date: Late October – Late March
Admission: ¥1,000 (at the door)

Shizuoka

Events Information Source: Japan Cheapo Events