May is certainly busy in Japan, with a whole flurry of festivals just in the first week! Wherever you are, you'll find something to see, be it a samurai procession, a boat race, or even a kite-flying competition, Take your pick from the amazing events filling the calendar, and be sure to keep an eye out for any new additions. For events in Tokyo and the surrounding area, please visit our listings on Tokyo Cheapo. Kansai events These are events in Kyoto, Osaka, Hy\u014dgo, Mie, and the surrounding areas. Osaka Nemophila Festival Feast your eyes on more than one million nemophila flowers, also known as baby blue eyes, at Osaka Maishima Seaside Park. Apart from the flowers, there will be a wide choice of local and seasonal products to buy, including nemophila honey and ice cream in a well-suited color. Get tickets here. Osaka Comic Con 2023 The enormously popular Tokyo Comic Con has now sprouted a version for all the comic and celebrity fans of West Japan. While Japan has manga and anime festivals, the emphasis is on the authors and artists. The Western-style Comic Cons have a bigger emphasis on movie stars and of course Western franchises --- like Star Wars and the Marvel Universe. Aoi Matsuri One of the three most significant festivals in Kyoto, the Aoi Matsuri features a procession from the Imperial Palace and through the streets to the Kamo shrines. Over 500 participants dress in traditional clothing and hollyhock leaves and make their way through the city, including an unmarried woman chosen to represent Saio (who, as the youngest female of the Imperial family, was the high priestess of the Kamo shrines). Kamogawa Odori Your final chance to see one of the city's annual geisha performances, this show features geiko and maiko from the Pontocho area of Kyoto. In a small theater built specifically for this event and said to make it one of the most intimate of the shows. You can also choose tickets with or without maiko tea ceremony included. Heijokyo Tempyo Sai Festival With a history dating back 1,300 years,\u00a0this festival celebrates the days when Nara was the capital of Japan. There are re-enactments of imperial guards and a noble banquet, parades and children's workshops -- making it a great family event. There will be a market for the full three days. Lastly, keen photographers can enter their best shots to the festival competition. Mifune Festival Taking place on the Katsura River in Arashiyama, Kyoto, the Mifune Festival is a sight to behold. Traditional and highly decorative boats carry performers and musicians as they put on a show, with audiences seated on the banks. The festival is an extension of the Kurumazaki Shrine Grand Festival and means the 'three boat festival'. Kobe Festival This bright and energetic festival takes place over two days, with separate celebrations in the nine wards of the city on the first day. On the Sunday there is a big parade along Sannomiya road from noon. Kanto events These are events just outside of Tokyo, including Tochigi, Ibaraki, and the surrounding areas. Togyo\u00a01,000 Samurai Procession For samurai lovers, there's only one place for you to be this month, and that's Tochigi. With 1,200 participants all dressed in full samurai costume, the procession takes place on the second day of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine Grand Festival. They escort mikoshi to a hall in the shrine grounds and will give you an idea of what the shogun's army may have looked like. T\u014dhoku events These are events in Aomori, Miyagi, and the surrounding areas. Sakata Festival Held every year since 1609, this\u00a0three-day festival features some equally impressive and terrifying floats, known especially for the giant lion's heads. There will be 350 stalls selling festival favorites and you'll be able to enjoy a local festival that doesn't get as many visitors as the bigger ones in Japan. Sendai Aoba Festival First held in 1655, the Sendai Aoba Festival takes place at the beginning of the warm season in early May. On Saturday night, you'll get to see suzume odori, the sparrow dance, performed by thousands of dancers. On Sunday, many mikoshi shrines and large yamaboko floats are paraded down the city streets. Food, crafts and various stalls will also be available. Hiroshima events These are events in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, and the surrounding areas. Shinkawa Market Festival One of the highlights of this local festival is the fox wedding parade. Watch as a traditionally dressed bride and groom\u00a0have their faces painted like foxes and are paraded through the town on rickshaws. Ch\u016bbu events These are events in Nagano, Aichi, Fukui, Shizuoka, Yamanashi and surrounding areas. Hamamatsu Festival A festival split in two, this event features some traditional elements alongside kite-flying. On all three days, in the early evening, a procession takes place near Hamamatsu Station with floats resembling temples and carrying musicians close to Hamamatsu Station. There will be buses running to the kite-flying site from there. Fuji Shibazakura This is a great time to see Fuji and enjoy the local delicacies. The shibazakura festival offers carpets of stunningly bright flowers leading up to the mountain slopes. The moss phlox is known as the lawn cherry and is pretty impressive, with or without Fuji in the background. Ky\u016bsh\u016b & Okinawa events Hakata Dontaku\u00a0Festival This is thought to be the largest of the Golden Week festivals in Japan, drawing crowds from across the country. Famed for the extravagant\u00a0costumes worn by the competing teams, the festival dates back to 1179 and was originally a celebration of the Chinese New Year. It was eventually banned for its perceived extravagance but\u00a0returned as the Dontaku festival not long after. Naha Hari Dragon Boat Races Every May during Japan's Golden Week, the Naha Hari transforms the Nahashin Port into a battle zone, as dragon boat teams compete in high-energy races. One of Okinawa's biggest annual events, the Hari festival runs over three days, and attracts more than 150,000 spectators. This is a wonderful time to visit the wharf to watch the races and enjoy the carnival atmosphere, with music, drumming, traditional dancing and live entertainment.