May 3
~
May 4

Hakata Dontaku Festival

9:00am – 9:00pm
Free

Held in Fukuoka on the 3rd and 4th of May each year, the Dontaku Festival is one of the most popularly attended festivals in Japan and is said to be the most popular held during the golden week holiday. Over the two days of dances and processions, an estimated 2 million people cheer on the participants.

The festival itself features teams of extravagantly costumed dancers as well as decorated floats called hana jidosha (flower cars).

The name of the festival comes from the Dutch word Zontag – meaning Sunday. However, the origins of the festival are much earlier. Dating back to 1179, the festival was known as Torimon and was a celebration of the Chinese New Year. At the beginning of the Meiji period (Japan’s opening up to the world after the isolation of the Edo period) the festival was banned due to its perceived extravagance. It was soon revived by the citizens of Fukuoka with a new name – the Dontaku Festival.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many events have been canceled. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Fireworks
    Fri, Oct
    29

    Hikone and Kita-Biwako Great Firework Festival

    Cancelled

    Held by Matsubara Swimming Beach, this firework festival is an impressive display of over 10,000 rockets launched over Lake Biwa. Close to Hikone castle and with romantic cruises available, this festival is a great evening out and one of three […]

    7:00pm – 8:00pm
    Free
  • Oct 25
    ~
    Oct 29

    2021 Kobe Port Fireworks Festival

    Cancelled

    Officially the “Kobe Port Marine Fireworks Festival”, this event is rated as one the top fireworks festivals in the Kansai region. In past years, approximately a quarter of a million people have gathered to see 15,000 explosive projectiles shot into […]

    7:30pm – 8:30pm
    Free
  • Kanazawa Marathon - Flickr - Thomas Au
    Sun, Oct
    31

    Kanazawa Marathon

    Whether you’re a runner or more likely to be cheering people on from the side-lines, the Kanazawa marathon is a great day out. The race begins at Hirosaka-dori by the Shiinoki Cultural Complex and will offer 13,000 competitors to see the city […]

    8:40am – 3:40pm
    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby