September 2018: Top Cheapo Events Around Japan

Lily Crossley-Baxter

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

Photo by Ponta2 used under CC

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.

 National New Fireworks Games

Dates:1st Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Misawa Air Base Festival – Aomori

Photo by Takashi Hososhima used under CC
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A rare chance for civlians to enter the air-base, this festival attracts around 100,000 visitors a year and entertains them with aerial displays, flybys and music as well as plenty of food stands. It’s the largest sir show in Northern Japan and is popular, so expect busy stations and busses.

 Misawa Air Base Festival in Aomori

Dates:9th Sep, 2018

Kiyomizu Temple Seiryu-e Dragon Festival – Kyoto

Photo by Franke N used under CC

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.

Get your tickets for Gion Matsuri in Kyoto before they sell out! The famous grand festival of Yasaka Jinja Shrine, one of the biggest 'matsuri' click here for details
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 Kiyomizu Temple Seiryu-e Dragon Festival (Autumn)

Dates:14th Sep–15th Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival – Okinawa

Photo by Fabian Reus used under CC

If you’re in Okinawa during o-bon time, then this festival is one of the best to attend. As the major summer fetival of the islands, it’s three days of dancing and celebration to welcome the ancestors. The highlight of the festival is the Eisa dance – with taiko drums, pop music and traditional musical accompaniments.

 Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival

Dates:14th Sep–16th Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Nagasaki Kyoryuchi Festival – Nagasaki

Photo by Iohasteru used under CC

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.

 Nagasaki Kyoryuchi Festival

Dates:15th Sep–16th Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair – Kyoto

Photo by Robert Easton used under CC

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!

 Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2018

Dates:15th Sep–16th Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Danjiri Matsuri – Osaka

japan events september
Photo by straightchain used under CC

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.



 Danjiri Matsuri

Dates:15th Sep–16th Sep, 2018
Entry:Free

Huisten Bosch Kyushu Ichi Fireworks Festival – Nagasaki

Photo by kobakou used under CC

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.

 Huisten Bosch Kyushu Ichi Fireworks Festival

Dates:22nd Sep, 2018

Uneme Festival – Nara

Uneme Festival Nara
Photo by Mashirim used under CC

More melancholy and sombre than most Japanese summer festivals, this is also one of the most beautiful. Watch as lanterm-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. The procession moves from JR Nara station to the pond with carriages containing Miss Uneme Beauty Queens and children in full costume.

 Uneme Festival

Dates:24th Sep, 2018

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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