Spending summer in Japan gets you several traditional festival experiences as well as throughout four seasons as you have seen the article about the spring time. As matter of the fact, traditional events are taking place most often in the summer.
Most of the days are sizzling and humid in Japan, but summer is no reason to stay cooped inside. Let yourself experience as many as local summer festivals and fireworks as possible.
Star Festival (Tanabata): 7th of July
Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival originally came from China during the Nara period (710 – 784) and later combined with the Japanese legend became a present event. According to the Japanese legend, after Star Orihime and Star Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair) got married, they were forced to be separated across the Milky Way because they quit working and became lazy. They were allowed to see each other only once a year, 7th of July.
Writing wishes to Star Orihime and Star Hikoboshi on small pieces of paper with decorations, and hanging them on bamboo are the traditional ways to celebrate this festival.
Star Festival (Tanabata):
Fireworks: July – August
Nothing brings the summer time to sparkle more than magnificent Japanese fireworks. You can almost imagine yourself seeing colorful and beautiful fireworks set off in the dark night sky. Make sure you don’t miss it.
Sumida River Fireworks Festival is the much loved and many people’s must-go event in Tokyo.
Sumida River Fireworks Festival: http://sumidagawa-hanabi.com/
Summer Festival: July – August
Generations of children and adults have enjoyed festivals every summer all over Japan. Traditionally, women wear a summer kimono (Yukata) as well as men and enjoy dancing to traditional Japanese tunes and street foods. Summer festivals started as to refresh farmers from their duties and make them relaxed in rural regions, and to drive away a plague in cities.
One of the three best summer festivals is Fukagawa Festival.
While Fukagawa Festival is held annually at Tomioka Hachimanngu Shrine, the Main Festival (Honmatsuri) which is taking place once every three years, is best known for its spectacular parade that the whole panoply of more than 120 imperial portable shrines carried by parishioners, is also worth the journey.
Obon Festival: 13th – 15th of August
Obon festival is one of the Buddhist ritual that families are gathering together to honor their ancestors. As most of the public transportations are overcrowded and many shops and restaurants are closed during this period of time, don’t forget to double check your plan and schedule.
Summer is the perfect season to discover and explore Japanese traditional events. Why don’t you wear a Yukata (summer kimono) and get going on your own summering.