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Popular Japanese Festivals to Visit

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Traditional festivals are important parts of Japanese culture. Below is a list of  popular ones held across the country.

All information on this page is subject to change without notice.

Tanabata Festivals

Tanabata (Star Festival) is celebrated around July 7th or August 7th in Japan. It's a Tanabata tradition to write wishes on tanzaku papers and hang them on bamboo branches which are also decorated with colorful paper crafts. You see many bamboo decorations set up outside houses or along shopping arcades in Japanese cities. Visit some of the most popular Tanabata festivals and enjoy the colorful displays.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri

It's one the three biggest festivals in Kyoto, alongside Jidai Matsuri and Aoi Matsuri. Location: Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto-city
The highlight of the Kyoto Gion festival is a procession of large floats called Yamahoko-junko which takes place on July 17.

Osaka Tenjin Matsuri

With a history of over 1,000 years, the Osaka Tenjin festival is known as one of the three greatest festivals in Japan.
Location: Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
2-1-8 Tenjinbashi Kita-ku Osaka-city 
The highlights of the festival are Rikutogyo (procession on land) and Funatogyo (procession of boats) held on July 25.

Setsubun Bean Throwring

On Setsubun day which is around February 3, bean throwing ceremonies are held at shrines and temples all over Japan. It might be interesting for you to see the event at temples and shrines near you.

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