Summertime is the best time for festivals in Japan. Outdoors, high-energy, great food and free—what more could a cheapo ask for?
Cheapo June Events in Japan
Hiroshima Toukasan Matsuri – Hiroshima (June 3-5): This is a 3-day yukata (colorful summer kimono) festival marking the start to summer. Nearly half a million festival-goers visit the Enryu-ji Temple for blessings and stick around for traditional entertainment, like taiko drumming and choreographed dance performances.k
Kashima Gatalympics – Saga (June 5): The Gatalympics is one of Japan’s messier festivals with mud-centric events, including sumo and racing—all with the intent of having fun, destressing and getting covered in mud.
Kyushu Beer Festival – Kagoshima (until June 5): Local craft beer festival with free entry and 500-yen beer.
Chagu Chagu Umakko – Iwate (June 11): A horse festival in Iwate Prefecture elaborately costumed horses are ridden and led from Onikoshi Sozen Shrine in Takizawa to Morioka Hachimangu Shrine.
Yosakoi Soran Festival – Hokkaido (June 8-12): Yosakoi is a team dance event, where participants perform high-energy choreographed routines. These types of dance festivals have become a summertime staple in Japan.
Jibiiru (Craft Beer) Festival – Akita (June 17-19): Another craft beer festival, and this time in Tohoku’s Akita City, featuring brewers from the northern part of Honshu. The festival is held alongside the Tohoku Meat Festival.
Himeji Yukata Festival – Hyogo (June 22-24): If you want to attend this festival, you’ll want to show up wearing a yukata, not only because everyone else is , but also it’ll get you some discounts at the 700 food and drink stalls. There’s even free entry to the zoo, museum and Himeji Castle.
Izawanomiya Otaue Festival – Mie (June 24): This festival—an officially recognized intangible cultural asset—is made up of Shinto rituals to ensure a good rice harvest. One such ritual involves teams of men racing down a muddy hill to be the first to grab set up bamboo poles.
Aizen Festival – Osaka (June 30-July 2): This festival is known as the Osaka’s first major summer festival of the year. One of the main attractions is the Hoekago Parade on June 30th where a beautiful young woman is carried aloft in a basket. “Hoekago” literally means “blessed treasure basket”. The parade participants chant “ho-e-ka-go” during the procession.