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There may be a prevailing image of Japanese people being quiet and serious overseas, but have you ever seen a Japanese summer music festival? The excitement grows to a fever pitch! If you want to see what the events are like, you should try going to one. Here are 12 summer music festivals you should check out.
1. Natsu Biraki Music Festival ’15 Osaka
Natsu Biraki Music Festival ’15 Osaka is a summer music festival held on July 4th. With the catch phrase “summer isn’t something that starts. It’s something you begin!” it’s a festival appropriate to begin the summer with.
Hattori Ryokuchi Yagai Ongakudou (Osaka)
2. 33rd Peaceful Love Rock Festival 2015
The Peaceful Love Rock Festival, now in its 33rd year, was originally held to promote the Okinawan region, but is now well-known as a festival that is overflowing due to it being the birthplace of Okinawan rock. It’s one of the most prominent festivals in Japan. This year it will be held on July 11th and 12th!
Okinawa-shi Yagai Stage
3. Muro Festival 2015
Muro Festival 2015 is a festival that will be held on July 26th. It’s most well-known characteristic are the special stages that are built on the coast! You can enjoy some great music while soaking up the summer sun while the smells of the sea wash over you. It’s the perfect festival for summer!
Tokyo Bay Kyakusen Terminal Tokusetsu Stage
4. GBF ’15 (Tsukuba Rock Fest)
GFB ’15 is a festival held in Ibaraki, and it actually isn’t that famous. However, because of its low name recognition, the way it’s managed and the groups that play makes it one of the best in quality! The bands play with the strong desire to become famous and the passion behind it will make you go numb. It will be held this year on July 18th and 19th!
Ishioka-shi Tsukubane Autocamping Area (Ibaraki)
5. Join Alivejoinalive.jp/2016/others/pg.php
Join Alive is a festival held in Hokkaido, this year on July 18th and 19th. What makes this festival different from all the rest is the fact that you’re allowed to go enjoy the adjacent amusement park! You can easily bring children with you as well. It’s a high-quality festival in which famous artists often appear.
Iwamizuwa Park (Hokkaido)
6. Amuse Fest 2015 BBQ in Tsumagoi ~Bokura no Beat wo Kurae Kora!~
This festival will be held on July 19th! One of Japan’s representative talent agencies, Amuse, handles this festival and lots of famous Japanese artists appear. This makes it one of the most exciting festivals in Japan. If you only go to one event all summer in Japan, make it this one!
Tumagoi Tamokuteki Hiroba (Shizuoka)
7. Oga Namahage Rock Festival Vol. 6
This is the sixth time that the Oga Namahage Rock Festival will be held. Because it’s held on specially built stages in the harbor, it’s definitely a festival that takes you out of everyday dreariness. The entire city of Oga collaborates with the festival. There are even cheap lodging plans for attendees! This year it will be held on July 25th and 26th.
Oga-shi Funegawa Kounai Tokusetsu Stage (Akita)
8. Sunstar 2015 Music & Nature
Sunstar 2015 Music & Nature is one of Japan’s rare reggae festivals. This year it will be held on August 1st! It’s perfect for people who can’t get enough reggae and the outdoor venue allows for as much dancing as possible! Just like in the photo, the venue is a huge field sitting between 7 mountains! Since it starts at night, it runs all night until the morning. This is perfect for people who want to get rid of their everyday stress!
Kawaba Ski Area
9. Jounetsu Tairiku Special Live Summer Time Bonanza ’15bao_bao/Flickr
This festival takes place on August 1st in Osaka and August 22nd in Tokyo. It’s supervised by the violinist Taro Hakase, and all the artists who participate have imense talent! It’s a festival that you’ll enjoy even if you don’t know the music being played, so definitely check it out!
Expo Commemoration Park Momijigawa Shibafu Hiroba (Osaka)
Sonicmania is one of Japan’s most famous summer music festivals. Every year the party reaches the highest of peaks and many internationally famous artists play. It’s definitely an event that people who want to learn what music is popular in Japan should definitely not miss. It’ll be held this year on August 14th. Why not check it out?
Makuhari Messe (Chiba)
11. Rainbow Child 2020
Rainbow Child 2020 is a festival now in its second year that was created with the positive concept of “let’s raise rainbows and face the future.” It’s not just a place to listen to music, there are also workshops and shopping stalls that the whole family can enjoy. It might be a new kind of festival!
Yaotsucho Sosui Park and Nihon Showamura, Gifu
12. Freedom Aozora 2015 Awaji Island
This festival, as the name implies, was created so you can enjoy yourself freely. Nature overflows on Awaji Island so it’s a festival where you can enjoy the fusion of music and nature. This year it’s held on August 29th and 30th so you have plenty of time to make your plans!
Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park Shibafu Hiroba (Hyogo)
13. Fuji Rock Festival
Fuji Rock Festival is Japan’s largest summer festival. Even though it has the name “rock fest,” it’s not limited to just rock music and is a gathering of artists of all genres from around Japan. It’s also fully loaded with highlights other than just music.
Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-cho, Niigata
14. Summer Sonic
This festival started in 2000 and is held every year in both Chiba and Osaka. It’s a popular festival that sees 10000 people over two days, thanks to its locations that are ideal for day trips. Artists from all sorts of genres, from idols to internationally famous Western artists make their appearance.
Chiba: Chiba Marine Stadium
Osaka: Maishima Sports Island
15. Rock In Japan Festival
Rock In Japan Festival is the Japan’s biggest festival where only Japanese artists are allowed to perform. If you want to enjoy Japanese music, this is definitely the festival to check out.
Hitachi Seaside Park, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki
All of these festivals are guaranteed to be a good time, so if you’re coming to Japan this summer, why not think about adding one to your itinerary? The scale of the festivals can add a different kind of enjoyment to your vacation.