How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival in 5 Steps

(Only English today, sorry!)

From the end of May until August it is festival time in Japan, with many bigger or smaller local events taking place all around Japan. While it can get hot and really crowded, these festivals really are a part of Japanese summer and can be so much fun. Here is how to make the most of your time at an o-matsuri (お祭り):

 

1. Wear a Yukata: A Japanese festival is only half the fun without Yukata, so this is the perfect time to finally wear that beautiful colored Yukata you bought so long ago. Youtube-tutorials or Japanese friends can help putting it on, if you feel unsure about that 😉

2. Go to a temple or shrine nearby: Many local festivals are sponsored by a temple or shrine in the area, so don’t miss going there as well.

3. Watch the mikoshi-parade: Mikoshi are portable shrines that are carried around the neighborhood by local residents during a festival. They are heavier than they look!

4. Eat all the Japanese festival food at the many yatai (street stalls) and refresh yourself with kakigoori (shaved ice dessert with syrup).

5. Try out the typical festival games, like kingyo-sukui (goldfish scooping) or yoyo-tsuri (fishing for water balloons).

(*no fish were harmed during this activity)

 

BONUS:

Take a picture with the local mikoshi carriers. This was the first time that I felt Tokyo has a local community, actually! The people were probably already a little bit tipsy, but really fun and friendly 😄

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Have you ever been to a Japanese festival? What was your favorite experience there?

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2 Gedanken zu “How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival in 5 Steps

  1. I’ve been to a few and I also really enjoy the „local spirit“ you can experience when going to one at a shrine/temple near you! Matsuris just symbolise summertime to me, I love the food, the atmosphere, the sounds… And wearing yukata of course! Ahhh this makes me feel all nostalgic.

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