The Shizuoka Festival is Shizuoka City’s biggest spring festival. The three day event features a yatai-mura (outdoor food village), cherry blossoms, parades, performances, and cosplay. In fact, there’s not much that the Shizuoka Matsuri doesn’t have.
It’s a fairly new festival, having started in 1957, but takes its inspiration from a (possibly apocryphal) story about Tokugawa Ieyasu inviting his vassals to view the cherry blossoms. This explains why some participants dress up like they stepped out of the Edo period (1603–1868).
Getting to the Shizuoka Matsuri
The main venues for the festival are Senpu Castle Park, Aoba Kaijo and Otemachi Kaijo; the latter two are south of Senpu Castle Park. All are within walking distance of Shizuoka Station, which is a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo (80 minutes; ¥6,670) and Kyoto (90 minutes; ¥10,630). A local train from Tokyo takes approximately three hours with one or two changes (Atami and/or Numazu) and costs about half the price of the bullet train.
Hotel Abant offers compact but smart rooms with wifi and laundry services.
A little fancier, the Hotel Century has sweeping staircases, more room and in in-house restaurant.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.