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.
National New Fireworks Games – Nagano (Sept. 2)
One of the largest firework displays in Japan, the National New Fireworks Games is held in Suwa and involves different teams trying to outdo each other in the art of pyrotechnics. Like most industries in Japan, firework displays tend to have older technicians with younger apprentices supporting them, but here there are plenty of opportunities for the apprentices to show their skills! Spectators can watch over 18,000 fireworks being launched from different sites in a spectacular show.
Kiyomizu Temple Seiryu-e Dragon Festival – Kyoto (Sept. 14-15)
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 – Osaka (Sept. 16-17)
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. Check our event page for the locations each day.
Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair – Kyoto (Sept. 16-17)
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 trade show, market and festival. Entry is 1200 yen, but foreigners can enter for free if they show their passport—so that’s a bonus! Get your fix of everything anime and celebrate the creativity of some of Japan’s most famous forms of entertainment!
Nagasaki Kyoryuchi Festival – Nagasaki (Sept. 16-17)
An unusual festival in Japan, Kyoryuchi is the nickname of 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.
Huisten Bosch Kyushu Ichi Fireworks Festival – Nagasaki (Sept. 23)
Considered the best in the whole of Kysuhu, this fireworks festival is also one of the longest in summer. Over 22,000 rockets go off into the night sky over a period of two and a quarter hours. Your best bet is to head into the large surrounding park, and have a picnic when you’ve found a decent viewing spot.
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.