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

Kayabuki no Sato Snow Lantern Festival

Date: Late January – Early February, 2020 Event Schedule: 3:00pm – 8:00pm Admission: Free

Kyoto

Zao Snow Monster Festival

Date: Early February 2020 Admission: Free

Yamagata

Yasaka Shrine Setsubun

Date: February 2-3, 2020 Event Schedule: 11:00am – 4:00pm Admission: Free

Kyoto

Heian Jingu Setsubun

Date: February 3, 2020 Event Schedule: 1:00pm – 4:00pm Admission: Free

Kyoto

Dojima Yakushido Setsubun Omizukumi Festival

Date: February 3, 2020 Event Schedule: 3:00pm – 9:00pm Admission: Free

Osaka

The Hakodate Russian Festival

Date: Early February, 2020 Event Schedule: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Hokkaido

Namahage Sedo Festival

Date: Early – Mid February, 2020 Admission: Free

Akita

Miyajima Oyster Festival

Date: Early-Mid February, 2020 Event Schedule: 10:00am – 3:00pm Admission: Free

Hiroshima

Tadami Snow Festival

Date: Early-Mid February, 2020 Event Schedule: 10:00am – 8:30pm Admission: Free

Fukushima

Kamihinokinai Paper Balloon Festival

Date: February 10, 2020 Admission: Free

Akita

2020 Sapporo Snow Festival

Date: February 4-11, 2020 Admission: Free

Hokkaido

Abashiri Okhotsk Drift Ice Festival

Date: Early February, 2020 Event Schedule: 10:00am – 3:00pm Admission: Free

Hokkaido

Iwate Snow Festival

Date: February 2 to 11, 2020 Admission: Free

Iwate

Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival

Date: Early – Mid February, 2020 Admission: Free

Aomori

Chinese New Year Festivities

Date: Mid February, 2020 Admission: Free

Hyogo

Kasedori Festival

Date: February 11, 2020 Admission: Free

Yamagata

Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Festival

Date: Mid February 2020 Admission: Free

Okayama

Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

Date: February 15-16, 2020 Admission: Free

Akita

Otaru Light Snow Path

Date: February 08 to 16, 2020 Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 9:00pm Admission: Free

Hokkaido

Nagasaki Lantern Festival 2020

Date: Mid February – Early March, 2020 Admission: Free

Nagasaki

Ichiya Kannyo (One Night) Festival

Date: February 20, 2020 Event Schedule: 2:00pm Admission: Free

Osaka

Lake Towada Winter Story

Date: Early-Late February, 2020 Admission: Free

Aomori

Shigisan Tiger Festival

Date: Late February, 2020 Admission: Free

Nara

Katsuyama Sagicho Matsuri

Date: Late February, 2020 Admission: Free

Fukui

Baikasai Plum Blossom Festival

Date: February 25, 2020 Event Schedule: 10:00am – 3:00pm Admission: Free

Kyoto

Osaka Castle Illuminage

Date: Mid December – Early March, 2020 Event Schedule: 5:00pm – 10:00pm Admission: JPY 1,200

Aichi

Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

Date: Late January – Early March, 2020 Event Schedule: 9:00am – 9:00pm Admission: JPY 300-500

Tochigi

Souriike Plum Blossom Festival

Date: Mid February – Mid March, 2020 Event Schedule: 9:00am – 5:00pm Admission: Free

Aichi

Sapporo White Illumination

Date: Late November – Mid March, 2020 Admission: Free

Hokkaido

“Light of Versailles” Winter Illumination

Date: Late October – Late March, 2020 Admission: ¥1,000 (on the door)

Shizuoka

Events Information Source: Japan Cheapo Events