Traditional Japanese Festivals By Month
Japanese Festivals And Holidays: Japanese Festivals calendar by Month. Cherry Blossom festival, mystical night parades, portable shrines, drums and horses, Romantic Star Festival, Kimonos, and Fireworks.
Check if your Tokyo vacation luckily falls on one of these Major Tokyo Holidays in December, January, June, August and the rest of the year.
Japan festivals are breathtaking.Festivals in Japan come from the Shinto or Buddhism religion.
Please note – some Japanese national Holidays create peak travel seasons. Do your Best to book Hotels in Tokyo with that in mind.
Christmas in Japan has Christmas traditions which are uniquely Japanese. Christmas in Japan is a time to express romantic love, more like Valentine’s Day.
It’s the time of the year that people do the most Romantic Things like giving Teddy Bears, flowers and jewelery…
See More: Christmas in Japan
Japanese New Year (January 1st) – is an occasion for family reunions.
It is also an occasion for wearing traditional Kimono and visiting Meiji Jingu shrine.
December 25th is not a national holiday in Japan. Japanese people work and go to school as usual.
Japanese Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve.
See More: Christmas decorations in Japan are spectacular
February 3rd or 4th – Setsubun – “Bean Throwing Festival”. Japanese people celebrate this Traditional Japanese Festival by throwing soybeans and chanting to chase away evil and welcome good luck. According to Japanese tradition, if you eat the same number of beans as your age, you will enjoy a year of good health.
March 3rd – Hina-matsuri – Doll Festival. Dolls in traditional clothes are displayed on shelves. Hotels may also display dolls in their lobby. Japanese families Pray for the health of their daughters.
End of March and beginning of April – The Japanese Cherry Blossom festival. The Cherry festival in Japan is one of the most famous and popular festivals in the world and the Major Event in Japan. The start of the cherry blossom season can vary from year to year by as much as two weeks, so check it out before you arrive.
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See More: Parties, Picnics, Sake And Fun At Cherry Blossom Festival In Tokyo
April 8th – Hana Matsuri (Floral Festival) or Buddha’s Birthday. The event is celebrated at all Buddhist temples in Tokyo . A small baby image of Buddha is displayed, and sweet tea called Amacha is sprinkled over it.
April 29th to May 5th – Golden Week– During this week there are 3 Traditional Japanese Festivals. Many Japanese take the entire Golden Week off from work. Golden Week is certainly a peak travel season in Japan.
See More: Japanese Festivals in Tokyo: mystical night parades, portable shrines, drums and horses, Romantic Star Festival, Kimonos and Fireworks.
May 5th – Children’s Day. This event used to be known as Boy’s Festival Day. It usually includes processions with with traditional clothing and flags.
Mid-May (The Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15th) – Kanda Matsuri – held in Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo, this event is considered among the three largest Traditional Japanese Festivals of Tokyo. The main attraction is the parade on the Saturday, when hundreds of people march through central Tokyo with portable shrines and decorated horses.
May – (Third Sunday and preceding Friday and Saturday) – Asakusa Sanja Matsuri – held at Asakusa Shrine in Tokyo. One of the most famous of Traditional Japanese Festivals. There’s a colorful parade with portable shrines The parade departs from Asakusa Shrine at 6 o’clock in the morning, but it goes on the whole day.
June Around 10th-l6th- Sanno Matsuri Festival of Hie-jinja Shrine in Akasaka district. A prade of people dressed in ancient costumes parades through the heart of Tokyo places like Ginza and the Diet Building. The procession includes Mikoshi – portable shrines, drums and horses. You can also see people dressed as a legendary goblin called Tengu with a red face and a long nose. The procession departs from Hie-jinja Shrine at 8 o’clock in the morning.
July 7th- Tanabata – Star Festival. According to a legend, two separated lovers represented by the stars Vega and Altair are allowed to meet each other once a year, on the evening of July 7th. The custom is to put bamboo branches in the garden, and Japanese people write poems or wishes on strips of paper which they tie on the bamboo leaves.
Last Saturday of July- Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai – Sumida River Fireworks Display (postponed if the weather is bad). One of nicest Tokyo events. The evening skies turn into a magnificent scene when an hour long of fireworks light the sky.One of the best Tokyo places to view the fireworks is along the Sumida River.
July 13th-15th- Bon festival (starting date varies within different regions of Japan) is the reunion of the dead souls of the ancestors with the living. In spite of the somewhat depressing theme, you’ll be surprised to see it’s one of the happiest Japanese celebrations, with dancing and drinking all night long.
October 11th – 13th- Oeshiki Festival at Hommonji Temple, Tokyo. Celebrated in memory of the Buddhist leader, Nichiren. On the evening of the 12th there is a Parade with lights fixed on tall poles. Followers chant and pray to the unique tunes of drums and flutes. The parade that starts at Ikegami Station and proceeds to Ikegami Honmon Temple is very impressive.
November 15th– Shichi-go-san – the shrine-visiting day for children aged 3, 5 and 7. The children wear their Kimonos, which makes it a great photo opportunity.
Meiji Jingu Shrine is an excellent place to participate in this Traditional Japanese festival.
Another great list of Festivals and events by Month from Tokyo 5 website