#1. Kanda Festival – Tokyo
The Kanda Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Japan. It takes place at the Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo during the month of May. The highlights of this festival is the procession of 100 portable shrines called Mikoshi, they are accompany by more than 300 people.
#2. Kyoto Gion Festival – Kyoto
The Kyoto Gion Festival started over 1,000 years ago at the Yasaka Shrine. The festival is held every year during the whole month of July. Shijo street and Karasuma street is turned into a pedestrian only street and there will be many Japanese souvenir shops.
#3. Sendai Tanabata Festival – Miyagi
The Sendai Tanabata Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the Tohoku region. The festival is held on August 6th to the 8th in Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture. There is a large piece of bamboo decorated with colorful paper throughout the city. In generally, the Tanabata festivals are held in Japan on July 7th, but the Sendai Tanabata Festival is based on the old Chinese calendar.
#4. Tenjin Festival – Osaka
Photo Credit: tenjinmatsuri.com
The Tenjin Festival is another big festival in Japan. It is held on July 24th and 25th around the Tenmangu Shrine in Osaka. The main event of festival is Funatogyo. About 100 boats sail up and down the Okawa River and set off about 5,000 fireworks in the sky.
#5. Aomori Nebuta Festival -Aomori
Aomori Nebuta Festival is a famous festival in Japan. It takes place in August from the 2nd to the 7th in Aomori prefecture. At the main street in the city, there are thousands of Haneto dancers chanting “rasserah” around the floats.
#6. Sapporo Snow Festival – Hokkaido
The Sapporo Snow Festival is a big winter event in Japan. There is magnificent snow and ice sculptures of things such as castles and animals. There are huge snow slides to slide down for kids.
#7. Awa Odori Festival – Tokushima
Photo Credit: Rosino@flickr.com
Awa Odori is one of the most famous dance festivals in Japan. The festival is held on August 12th to the 15th every year. It originated in the Tokushima prefecture. The dancer group is called REN, they dance to shamisen or taiko music. Anybody can participate in this parade.
#8. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival – Osaka
Photo Credit: Hideyuki KAMON@Flickr.com
Japan has a thrilling and exciting festival called Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture in September. The festival started about 300 years ago. At the festival, about 500 people pull the Danjiri floats. Men can ride on the floats, play music, and dance.
#9. Kochi Yosakoi Festival – Kochi
Photo Credit: 工房 やまもも@flickr.com
Kochi Yosakoi Festival takes place on August 9th to the 12th every year in the Kochi Prefecture. The Naruko dancers march all around the city. All of the dancers entertain visitors with music and colorful costumes as they dance to Yosakoi Bushi. It is a unique and individual festival. There is a fireworks display held at the end of the festival.
#10. Hakata Dontaku Festival – Fukuoka
Photo Credit: dontaku.fukunet.or.jp
The Hakata Dontaku Festival is held on the 3rd and 4th of May every year in Fukuoka City in the Fukuoka Prefecture. You can see the Hakata Matsubayashi Parade at Meiji St. Most people participating in parade are beating a drum with a shamoji or wooden spatulas used for serving rice, and dancing. And also you can see the Hanaguruma vehicles which is decorated with hundreds of light bulbs during the festival. Anybody can participate in this parade.