May 3
~
May 4

Hakata Dontaku Festival

Cancelled
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.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Early
    Oct

    Paantu Festival

    The Paantu festival takes place on the Okinawa Prefecture island of Miyakojima in the far south of the archipelego. The villagers dress up as ‘Paantu’ – supernatural beings covered in mud and foliage. They also wear long masks. Their aim […]

    5:00pm – 8:00pm
    Free
  • Daikaku-ji, Osawa-no-ike (Pond) -1 (November 2013)
    Oct 1
    ~
    Oct 3

    Kangetsu no Yube: Full Moon Viewing

    Continuing a tradition that has taken place at Osawa Pond next to Daikakuji since the Heian era, this event gives you the chance to float on a boat in the pond under a clear autumn moon. If the moon is […]

    5:30pm – 9:00pm
    ¥500 (on the door)
  • Early
    Oct

    Ujicha Ceremony

    The home of green tea in Japan, the small town holds a traditional tea-jar opening ceremony on the first Sunday in October each year. Located just between Kyoto and Nara, Uji has long been famous for producing high quality green […]

    9:00am
    Free
  • Knives in Doguyasuji Shotengai
    Early
    Oct

    Osaka Kitchenware Street Festival

    If you’re in the mood for some kitchen-based souvenirs for your trip to Japan – or need to fill up your kitchen here, then look no further. The Osaka Kitchenware street is holding their annual festival to display the best […]

    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Free

Recommended hotels located nearby