Early
Apr
 2023

Shizuoka Matsuri

10:00am – 8:30pm
Free

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).

Shizuoka Matsuri 2022 highlights

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing Parade
    Date/time: April 2 (from 2:30pm) & April 3 (from 2:15pm)
    Venue: The parade starts at the East Gate of Senpu Castle Park travels to Sengen Shrine and then back to Senpu Castle Park; the whole thing lasts about two hours.
  • Taiko performance
    Date/time: April 2 & April 3 (4:30–5pm)
    Venue: Senpu Castle Park “Big Theater” (near the North Gate)
  • Night Cherry Blossom Dance
    Date/time: April 2 (5–7:50pm)
    Venue: Otemachi Kaijo
  • Senpu Yatai-mura
    Date/time: April 1 (1–8:30pm), April 2 & 3 (10am–8:30pm)
    Venue: Senpu Castle Park (near the North Gate)
  • Shizuoka Brewery Beer Garden
    Date/time: Friday 1–8:30pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am–8:30pm
    Venue: Aoba Kaijo

Performances are held throughout Friday (1–8:30pm), Saturday (10am–8:30pm), and Sunday (10am–8:30pm) at the Senpu Castle Park “Big Theater” near the castle complex’s North Gate.

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.

Accommodation

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.

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

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