Tag: summer

The Beginner’s Guide to Fireworks Fireworks

Fifteen years ago, I would often have to explain that no, really, Japanese fireworks are a cut above the rest, and anyone who comes here in summer owes it to themselves to see it.

Japanese Summer Japanese Summer

Japanese culture holds a deep respect for seasonality. From the reflection of seasons in traditional Haiku, to the waves of seasonal foodstuffs celebrated in markets across the country, marking the changes through the year is taken very seriously here.

Obon: Japan’s Summer Festival of the Dead The Bon Odori (盆踊り or “Bon Dance”), a special folk dance

Obon (お盆) is a Japanese Buddhist festival, held in the summer, during which people honor their ancestors and departed loved ones. It is believed that during Obon, the spirits of the dead revisit their families.

The Top Ten Summer Festivals in Japan – Part 2 Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, Miyagi

This is the 2nd part of our two-part introduction to Japan’s most famous summer festivals. In Part 1 we looked at the best festivals held in July. Below is the run-down for the August matsuri season.

The Top Ten Summer Festivals in Japan – Part 1 Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, “Big Three” festivals in Japan

Summer is the season for festivals in Japan. When a matsuri (festival) comes to your neighborhood the night resounds to the beat of taiko drums, and people put on colorful yukata (a light cotton kimono) before promenading through yatai (street stalls) where delicious treats and carnival games await. Every town has its own special matsuri, […]

Kenka Matsuri, and a Look at Japan’s Festivals Kenka Matsuri (lit. 'fight festival')

When I take visitors from abroad to a festival in Japan, or just tell them about it (which is often, since they’re the entire country’s major and constant attraction from about May till September), I’m always careful to call it a festival and not a holiday.