Actively enjoying 8 Japanese Spring Festivals!
Cherry blossoms, Takoage (traditional Japanese kite), Hikiyama (festival float), Oyukake (splash hot spring water onto Mikoshi-carriers).

In Japan, where the four seasons are clearly changing, we think that spring starts around March. Spring is the season when life begins to breathe. School starts in April, and people start living with a new feeling.
Spring is full of active festivals. The cold winter is over, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and it is perfect for moving the body. There are many festivals where you can experience hot spring festivals, Bon Odori (Japanese traditional folk dance), Takoage (traditional Japanese kite), traditional boats, hikiyama (festival float) and Yukata. Let's join together and enjoy spring in Japan!

Warm spring is the best time to move the body, also for travel. It is full of cherry blossom viewing, dancing, boating, and kite lifting, pulling festival floats, kimono and also other various experiences.
Now, let's not just watch, let's mix with the locals. It will definitely be a memorable holiday.

©BEPPU TOURIST ASSOCIATION

Beppu Hatto Onsen Festival

Hot spring is one of the popular travel purposes in Japan. Beppu Onsen boasts the largest amount of hot spring water in the world, and there is a festival held to appreciate its rich blessings.
During the Beppu Hatto Onsen Festival, approximately 100 shared hot springs in the city are opened free of charge. In addition to drums and traditional dance stages and parades, you can see the lights up of the hot water rising at night and the flames of the Ogiyama Fire Festival that burns the surface of the mountain.
The climax is the last day after all. "Hot Water Bukkake Festival" is held in Beppu Ekimae Odori. Mikoshi of the hot spring shrine and the mikoshi of the surrounding area gather. 60 tons of hot water is released toward the mikoshi. There are tubs and bowl on the roadside, allowing the audience to pour hot water, and all the mikoshi and spectators are in a frenzy of drenching.
Whether you like hot springs, water festivals or festivals. Let's enjoy bathing in the whole body while carrying Mikoshi.

Details

Name Beppu Hatto Onsen Festival
Web Sites http://english.beppu-navi.jp/event/
Location of the Event Beppu Onsen, Beppu-shi, Oita
Access Approximately 55 minutes' bus ride from Oita Airport (From Haneda Airport to Oita Airport: 1 hour 40 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 0977-24-2828 (Beppu Hatto Onsen Festival Committee)
Period of the Event April 1 and first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) on April
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English No, Chinese No

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura (Cherry blossom) is a special flower for Japanese people. When spring begins and cherry blossoms begin to bloom, people enjoy viewing flowers everywhere.
The Hirosaki Sakura Festival, which takes place in Hirosaki Castle Park, is one of Japan's largest cherry blossom festival with approximately 2 million visitors. More than 300 years ago, beginning with the Hirosaki-san planted 25 cherry trees, it continued to increase with the donation of citizens, and now about 2,600 cherry trees of about 50 species can be seen.
The highlight is a 300m cherry blossom tunnel. The night is lit up, and it is breathtaking beauty.
The Tsugaru district in Aomori Prefecture, where Hirosaki is located, is one of the nation's leading snowfall areas. For the locals, seeing cherry blossoms means going past long and hard winter and finally enjoying the spring.
It is an experience that you can not forget just by looking at the cherry blossoms, but there are also stalls, matcha green tea, “Wafune” traditional boat tour with a boatman, Sakura bar seat (Tsugaru Shamisen and local sake and dishes), and more. Goza (Japanese carpet made by herbs) is also rented, you can experience Japanese cherry blossom viewing in a traditional way.
This festival is also recommended for those who want to see the spectacular scenery and those who want to experience Japanese cherry blossom viewing and culture.

Details

Name Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival
Web Sites https://www.hirosaki-kanko.or.jp/en/edit.html?id=edit14
Location of the Event Hirosaki Park, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori
Access Approximately 1 hour bus ride from Aomori Airport
Inquiries TEL: 0172-35-3131 (Hirosaki Tourism and Convention Association)
Period of the Event April 20 to May 6 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese Yes
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese Yes
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese Yes

©Ushibuka Haiya Festival Organization Committee

Ushibuka Haiya Festival

There are various folk songs all over Japan, but it is said that their roots are "Ushibuka Haiya".
Women were born in honor of the many seafarers who made a call in the deep sea that prospered in shipping and fishing. It is a hilarious dance like in a tropical country and a cheerful dance that expresses the movement of a fisherman.
At this festival, 5000 dancers gather. You can see the total dance of the masterpiece, or you can take a class and attend. In addition, you can see the fishing boat group Sea Parade, taste delicious seafood, etc., at a seaside town.
Recommended for those who want to experience dance, and those who are interested in ethnic dance and music culture. It is a festival where you can know Japanese ethnic culture more deeply.

Details

Name Ushibuka Haiya Festival
Web Sites http://ushibuka-haiya.com/?lang=en
Location of the Event Ushibuka-machi, Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto
Access Approximately 5 hours 30 minutes' bus ride from Kumamoto Airport (From Haneda Airport to Kumamoto Airport: 1 hour 50 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 0969-73-2111 (Ushibuka Haiya Festival Committee)
Period of the Event Middle of April
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese No

Seihakusai Dekayama Festival

"Hikiyama" is a similar thing as a portable miniature shrine that you can see or carry during a festival. It is considered to be a mark of God's place, and it is decorated with luxury. It's very big wheels on it, and a lot of people join forces to pull it. In 2016, 33 Japanese Hikiyama festivals were registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
There is a festival that you can participate and pull the cultural heritage festival floats. At “Seihaku Festival” in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, three festival floats, 12 meters tall and 20 tons in weight, which participants can pull and enjoy.
The highlight of the festival is so big festival float in the narrow streets will go through the poles and the wires. When Hikiyama turns the narrow corner dynamically, exclamation voice and applause occur.
There are not many festivals where you can pull, carry or see closer cultural heritages. If you want to have an exciting experience, participate in the Mikoshi and Hikiyama Festival, or want to experience traditional events, this is the festival you'd love to visit.

Details

Name Seihakusai Dekayama Festival
Web Sites (In Japanese) https://www.hot-ishikawa.jp/event/5674
Location of the Event Nanao-shi, Ishikawa
Access Approximately 2 hours 50 minutes by Ishikawa Railway and JR Nanao Line from Komatsu Airport (From Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport: 55 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 0767-53-8424 (Nanao City Tourism Association)
Period of the Event May 3 to 5 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English No, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English No, Chinese No

Naha Hari (Dragon Boat Tradition)

"Haarii" is a race of dragon boats (Harusen = Dragon Boat). Rower, bell, helm, flagman and a large number of seamen aboard on a traditional ship with dragon decoration and compete for speed.
Naha dragon boat race is Okinawa's largest event, and over three days, over 130 teams of schools and work teams have a hot compete. At the same time, Eisa (Okinawa’s folk dance), live concerts and fireworks are also held, so you can enjoy at any time of the day.
Before the last and most important race "Honbari" between the port’s historic teams, a ritual called Uganbari is performed the last day. Uganbari is a ceremony for pray to the god of the sea for the safety of the voyage, great fishing, and the development of the region. On the other hand, Honbari is a serious final game for teams from three areas in Naha city. Wear each traditional costume and compete to determine the winner of the year.
Tourists also have experience of dragon boat riding. Those who like watching sports, as well as those who want to experience Okinawa culture, are highly satisfied festivals.

Details

Name Naha Hari (Dragon Boat Tradition)
Web Sites https://www.naha-navi.or.jp/en/magazine/2830/
Location of the Event Naha Shinko Port, Naha-shi, Okinawa
Access Approximately 30 minutes by Yui-Rail and bus from Naha Airport (From Haneda Airport to Naha Airport: 2 hours 40 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 098-862-1442 (Naha City Tourism Association)
Period of the Event May 3 to 5 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese Yes
Flyers in multiple languages English No, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese Yes

©Fukuoka Citizens' Festival Promotion Association Administration

Hakata Dontaku Festival

Hakata District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture has always flourished as a port, and it has been a city where various cultures have come and gone. The Hakata Dontaku Minato Festival is one of the largest festivals in Japan, attracting two million people. In addition to the traditional folk performing arts procession called Hakata Matsubayashi, and also various performances can be seen.
It originated 400 years ago in celebration of the exchange between Fukuoka castle town and Hakata town’s people. In history, the Dutch word Zondag (Zontak = holiday) is the source of the word Dontaku. The highlight is the excitement of the colorful parade.
Matsubayashi is a folk event that originally celebrates the New Year and is characterized by dancing with the “shamoji” (wooden spoons used for scooping rice).
It is possible to participate in the "Sou-odori Dance" performed on the night of the second day. If you like the glamorous parade, it's a fun two days full of energy.

Details

Name Hakata Dontaku Festival
Web Sites http://www.dontaku.fukunet.or.jp/english
Location of the Event Hakata, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Access Approximately 10 minutes' by subway from Fukuka Airport (From Haneda Aiport to Fukuoka Airport: 1 hour 55 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 092-441-1170 (January 15 to June 15: Secretariat of Fukuoka City Festival Promotion Committee)
TEL: 092-441-1118 (Date other than above: Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Regional Development Department)
Period of the Event May 3 to 5 (Same schedule every year)
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese Yes
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese Yes
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese Yes

Shirane Giant Kite Battle

Have you ever seen a traditional Japanese Kite? Traditional kites are depicted with heroic pictures of samurai and mythical characters. The main purpose is a success from a high rise and, also a rough way of flying, such as kite fight (bumping and dropping each other's kites).
Shirane Kite battle festival is one of the biggest kite festivals in the world. It has a history of 300 years, and 300 giant kites dance wildly. A large kite of about 40 m² is raised from both sides of the Shinano River, which is about 80 m wide. Drop it into the river and pull it until the other person's kite rope is cut.
Visitors can watch from the riverside or boat, also jump in and pull ropes. There is no doubt that it will be a wonderful experience and interaction if you join the local people and help.
It is recommended for those who want to participate in the festival and get excited, those who like the exciting festival, and those who want to interact with it.

Details

Name Shirane Giant Kite Battle
Web Sites http://www.shironekankou.jp/tako/index-en.html
Location of the Event Nakanoguchi River between Shirone Bank and West Shirone Bank, Minami-ku, Niigata-Shi, Niigata
Access Approximately 2 hours' bus ride from Niigata Airport
Inquiries TEL: 025-372-6505 (Secretariat for Shirane Great Kite Battle Committee)
Period of the Event Early of June
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese No
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese No
System for accepting inquiries for festival English No, Chinese No

©Hiroshima City

Yukata Festival (Yukata de Kinsai)

Yukata is a simple kimono made of cotton. It was originally used as nightwear, and now it is standard to wear casually at the summer festival.
This festival is a feature of Hiroshima's early summer, wearing yukata and enjoying various events. Held at the same time of Toukasan Grand Festival as the festival of Inari Daimyojin (guardian deity of Toukasan Temple in Hiroshima City). Since this festival was famous as the "First Yukata Festival", it began to make Yukata more familiar.
The highlights are parades, fashion shows and bon odori dances in yukata. You can buy a yukata or rent and wear. Once you wear a yukata, you can enjoy walking around the city, join the bon odori dance and commemorative photo shoots.
It is an event recommended for those who wear yukata for the first time, those who want to know how to enjoy yukata, and those who like Instagram for fashion lovers.

Details

Name Yukata Festival (Yukata de Kinsai)
Web Sites https://www.hiroshima-navi.or.jp/en/event/
Location of the Event Central area of the city, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima
Access Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes by bus and city tram from Hiroshima Airport (From Haneda Airport to Hiroshima Airport: 1 hour b25 minutes)
Inquiries TEL: 082-245-1448 (Hiroshima City Central Area Shopping District Promotion Association)
Period of the Event Early of June
Multi-lingual staff at the venue English Yes, Chinese Yes
Flyers in multiple languages English Yes, Chinese Yes
System for accepting inquiries for festival English Yes, Chinese Yes

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