Summer isn’t over yet, and there are plenty of festivals across Japan to carry on that holiday feeling. Here’s a taste of what you can expect in September.

For events in Tokyo and the surrounding area, please visit our listings on Tokyo Cheapo.

Kansai events

These are events in Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Mie, and the surrounding areas.

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Uneme Festival

While more melancholic and somber than most Japanese summer festivals, this is also one of the most beautiful. Watch as lantern-lit traditional boats glide across the Sarusawa Lake in memory of Uneme, a court lady who drowned herself in the lake after being spurned by the emperor.

Kiyomizu Temple Seiryu-e Dragon Festival

Head to the beautiful Kiyomizu-dera to see the procession of the blue dragon as he drinks from the Otowa Waterfall below the temple. With masked characters and colorful dances, this is a simple but impressive display, adding a touch of the mystical to one of Japan’s most famous spots.

Danjiri Matsuri

The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri has rightfully earned its place on the list of Japan’s rowdiest festivals — and possibly the most dangerous too. Local teams whirl their wheeled carts around town, often reaching high speeds and with participants riding on top of them. At night they are strewn with lanterns and create a beautiful scene.

Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair

Showing that there’s a modern side to Kyoto, the Manga Anime Fair is one of the biggest in Kansai and is a fun mix of tradeshow, market, and festival. Get your fix of everything anime and celebrate the creativity of some of Japan’s most famous forms of entertainment!

Kangetsu no Yube: Full Moon Viewing

A chance to float beneath a full moon on a beautiful lake, this event is as tranquil as it gets. A tradition continued since the Heian era. If the moon is in the right position, you’ll see it both in the sky and the lake at once.

Nagahama and Kita-Biwako Great Fireworks

This display takes place on the northern side of Lake Biwako at Nagahama Port. For 2023, instead of one big show, there will be four small shows lasting 20 minutes on four successive nights.

Kansai Queer Film Festival 2023

The Kansai Queer Film Festival (KQFF) screens a wide range of films on the themes of gender, sexuality, and equality from both Japan and all over the world.

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Kanto events

These are events just outside of Tokyo, including Tochigi, Ibaraki, and the surrounding areas.

Disney Music and Fireworks

Iconic and classic Disney songs will be synchronized to fireworks as the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. The tour will be stopping at the following places in September: Sep. 2 from 6 p.m. at Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki, and Sep. 23 at 6 p.m. at Kirara Expo Memorial Park, Yamaguchi. Get tickets here.

Tonegawa Fireworks Festival

The Tonegawa Fireworks Festival will be held at Sakai Riverside Park. Award-winning pyrotechnicians will go head-to-head as 30,000 firework shells shoot into the sky for 90 minutes. The fireworks will synchronize with lights and music as the whole of Ibaraki is illuminated.

Tōhoku events

These are events in Aomori, Miyagi, and the surrounding areas.

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All Japan Kokeshi Festival

People from all across Japan gather at Naruko Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture to celebrate the craftsmanship of Kokeshi dolls, a traditional Japanese wooden doll that has no arms or legs. Get ready for people dressed as dolls and a unique burning ceremony.

Jozenji Street Jazz Festival

Featuring 700 jazz bands in an urban outdoor setting, the Jozenji Street Jazz Festival brings the blue note to the streets of Sendai City each September. Not all of the acts are professional or big names, but all are very good at what they do, and this festival promises a treat for anyone.

Misawa Air Base Festival

A rare chance for civilians to enter the air base, this festival attracts around 100,000 visitors a year and entertains them with aerial displays, fly-bys, and music as well as plenty of food stands. It’s the largest air show in Northern Japan and is popular, so expect busy stations and buses.

Chūbu events

These are events in Nagano, Aichi, Fukui, Shizuoka, Yamanashi and surrounding areas.

Karuizawa Momiji Festival

Made famous by Terrace House, Karuizawa is a date spot and a half, especially during the autumn leaf season. This long-running event celebrates the golden colors with food stalls, entertainment, and plenty of good-spirited fun.

Kyūshū & Okinawa events

Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival

Check out the Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival, the island chain’s last major summer festival. It’s a corker — three days of dancing and celebration as Okinawans gather to welcome their ancestors. With traditional Ryukyu dress, massive taiko drums, song, and dance, it’s an event not to be missed.

Nagasaki Kyoryuchi Festival

An unusual festival in Japan, Kyoryuchi is the nickname of the foreign settlement in Oura which dates back to the late 1850s, and this event celebrates the wide array of cultures there. With choirs, art workshops, a stamp rally, and even a Scottish pipe band, you can enjoy the different aspects that come together to create this diverse community. And tuck into some great festival food at the same time!

Nagasaki Sasebo Seaside Festival

This festival in Nagasaki’s main draw is the island’s largest firework display. If summer hanabi (fireworks) aren’t your jam (and if not, why not?), the Seaside Festival includes music, balloon art, jazz, food stalls, dance exhibitions, family games, traditional taiko drumming, and harbor cruises.

Check back for more events as we update this post! If you’re going to be in Tokyo, see our detailed events listings for the area.

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