5 Fun Summer Festivals in Shizuoka
If you are in Shizuoka in the Summer there are a number of great festivals that you can experience – here are 5 fun Summer festivals to check out
5 Fun Festivals in Shizuoka
EVERY STATION ON THE TOKAIDO BULLET TRAIN LINE PROVIDES ACCESS TO DIFFERENT FESTIVALS IN SHIZUOKA.
As with many regions of Japan the warmer Summer months bring festivals and celebrations, some of which are centuries old.
From traditional ‘Mikoshi’, ‘Dashi’ & ‘Yatai’ festivals which see local communities come together to carry a large portable shrine through the town through to fireworks festivals that attract thousands of people the Summer is a chance for people to get outside, remember their ancestors and strengthen local community ties.
Shizuoka is no different – here are 5 fun festivals from around Shizuoka that are definitely worth checking out if you get a chance.
1. ENSHU HANDHELD FIREWORKS – HAMAMATSU STATION
Usually taking place on the last Saturday in July the Enshu handheld fireworks festival will take your breath away.
All of the participants in the festival spend a year making home made cannons out of bamboo and tatami mats for the spectacle – using a traditional technique that has been passed down over 300 years..
The canons can shoot fireworks and sparks up to 20 meters in the air and during the festival up to 1,000 hand canons are used to the accompaniment of Japanese drums and traditional Japanese bamboo flute.
This festival takes place at the Suwa Shrine in the town of Arai which is part of Kosai city located at the Southern end of Lake Hamanako.
During the Edo Period, and the prominence of the Tokaido Highway, Arai was the thirty-first Post Station on the Tokaido. It was an important checkpoint on the Highway and was only accessible by water.
2. GOTEMBA TAIKO FESTIVAL – MISHIMA STATION
Japanese Taiko Drums have become famous throughout the World and anyone that has been lucky enough to see a performance will understand the skill and precision needed and the power and grace of the performances.
Every year in September high school teams from all around Japan compete in Gotemba, Shizuoka as part of the Fuji Taiko Matsuri – a 2-day festival that celebrates the art of the Japanese drum.
Perhaps the highlight of the festival is the individual drum competition in which drummers compete against each other on one of the largest Japanese Taiko drums in the World – stands at 3.773 meters high to represent the height of Mt Fuji (3773 meters high).
3. FUKUROI FURIN FESTIVAL – KAKEGAWA STATION
The Fukuroi Wind-Bell Festival is held annually from June to August.
The three “Enshu Sanzan” temples in Fukuroi City hang more than 1,000 wind chimes to welcome their visitors.
Hattasan, Yuzanji and Kauisai – three temples with over 1,000 years of history – have long been important spiritual destinations for travelers on the Tokaido Highway.
4. YOSHIWARA GION FESTIVAL – SHIN FUJI STATION
Decorated Floats, taiko drummers and portable shrines (mikoshi) battling each other have been taking over the streets of Fuji City every year for more than 350 years as part of the Yoshiwara Gion Festival.
A lively and colourful festival that starts around midday and continues long into the evening hours.
Aside from the parade of people, music and carrying shrines there are lines of food stalls along Yoshiwara Shopping street selling an array of classic Japanese street food and vendors selling treats for the kids.
5. FIREWORKS FESTIVALS
Summer in Japan is not complete without going to at least one fireworks festival.
Dressing in Yukata, drinking shaved ice or beer and eating watermelon and street vendor food such as yakitori, fried chicken or takoyaki is a Japanese tradition almost that represents Summer as much as Cherry Blossoms in Spring and firework events around the country attract millions of people every year.
Throughout the Summer months (July through to late September) there are fireworks events all through Shizuoka.
Perhaps the most famous Shizuoka fireworks display is the Atami Maritime Fireworks displays in August – there are fireworks in resort town of Atami Onsen almost every weekend in Summer – you can relax in a Onsen while watching the fireworks light up the sky over the ocean making it quite unique.
OTHERS FESTIVALS TO CHECK OUT –
Shimizu Tanabata Festival – First weekend in July (Shizuoka Station)
Atami Kogashi Festival – July 15 & 16 (Atami Station)
Ito City Anjin Festival – August 8 -10 (Atami Station)
Mishima Summer Festival – August 15 – 17 (Mishima Station)
Nagaizumi Waku Waku Festival – 1st Saturday in August (Mishima Station)