Must-see summer events and sightseeing spots in Japan.
Summer vacation is coming soon! Why don't you start planning to travel around Japan?
Jul 20 2014 (Feb 07 2019)
Aomori Nebuta Festival/Aomori
The Nebuta Festival is a summer festival held from August 2nd to 7th every year in Aomori city, Aomori prefecture.
Nebuta refers to the elaborate floats of brave warrior figures that are carried throughout the city.
More than 20 floats are carried, and more than 3 million people join this festival every year.
One of the things that makes this festival special is that anyone can join in as long as they wear a costume! Why don't try you joining the Nebuta festival during the short Tohoku summer?
Risshaku-ji Temple (Yama-dera)/Yamagata
This temple is famous for a haiku composed by the famous poet, Matsuo Basho.
"How still it is here --Stinging into the stones, The locusts' trill."
He composed this poem when he visited this temple in 1689.
As mentioned in the haiku, this is a famous sightseeing spot to visit in summer, the season when cicadas sing and you can truly feel their trill pierce into the ancient rocks around you.
Biei town is located nearly in the center of Hokkaido. This town is a popular sightseeing spot in Hokkaido with its beautiful, rolling, hills. This spot has often been used in many TV commercials and dramas.
The average temperature throughout the year is only 5.4℃, and it goes down to -20 ℃ in winter. The climate can be a bit tough to live in, but there are many people who are attracted to the scenery and move to this town.
These hills provide beautiful scenery in each of the seasons throughout the year, but the summer hills covered in green are truly breathtaking.
Hokuryu-cho, Sunflower land/Hokkaido
This is the biggest sunflower field in all of Japan, with more than 1,300,000 sunflowers planted in a huge field of about 23ha. The endless sea of yellow covering the fields make us truly feel summer feelings.
There are many events during the sunflower festival period, and they also light up the field at night.
Omagari Fireworks Festival/Akita
This fireworks festival is one of the three biggest fireworks festivals in Japan. It is regarded as the best fireworks festival in Japan by both scale and authority. Also, it is famous its quality of fireworks because pyrotechnicians from all over the country bring their best work to this festival. The number of visitors are also quite major compared with other fireworks festivals, and the traffic in the city center has to be controled every year. Book your hotels soon to ensure easier access!
Awa-odori is one of the traditional Japanese Bon festival dance.
This dance has a 400 year history and is performed in every city and town in Tokushima. The most famous and biggest festival is held in Tokushima city.
In Tokushima, many schools have Awa-odori performances during sports festivals so kids practice from a very young age. This Awa-odori dance has been loved by people for a long time and has been handed down from generation to generation.
Kasuga Taisha -Mantoro-/Nara
The Mantoro is an event which has lasted for more than 800 years. More than 3,000 lanterns decorated throughout the buildings, dedicated from citizens since a very long time ago to the present, are lit up every night and left to burn until their oil burns out. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to light them all up every night! But during the Meiji period (1868−1912), they found it too difficult to light them every night of the year because of a lack of workers and oil.
So, these days they are lit only twice a year, on Setsubun in February and during the Bon period in mid-August.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.