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 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.
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HAMAMATSU STATION AREA
ENSHU ARAI HANDHELD FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
Usually taking place on the last Saturday in July the Enshu Arai 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 cannons can shoot fireworks and sparks up to 20 meters in the air and during the festival up to 2,000 hand cannons are used to the accompaniment of Japanese drums and traditional Japanese bamboo flute.
This festival takes place at Arai junior high school in the town of Arai which is part of Kosai city located at the Southern end of Lake Hamana.
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.
MISHIMA STATION AREA
GOTEMBA TAIKO FESTIVAL
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 July high school teams from all around Japan compete in Gotemba, Shizuoka as part of the Fuji Taiko Festival– 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 3.776 meters high to represent the height of Mt. Fuji (3776 meters high).
KAKEGAWA STATION AREA
FUKUROI FURIN FESTIVAL
The Fukuroi Wind-Bell Festival is held annually from June to August.
The three “Enshu Sanzan” temples in Fukuroi City hang more than 6,000 wind chimes in total to welcome their visitors.
Hattasan, Yusanji and Kasuisai – three temples with over handreds of years of history – have long been important spiritual destinations for travelers on the Tokaido Highway.
SHIN-FUJI STATION AREA
YOSHIWARA GION FESTIVAL
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.
ATAMI STATION AREA
ATAMI 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 Fireworks Festival displays in August – there are fireworks in resort town of Atami Onsen almost every week in August. Actually, it takes place more than 10 times throughout the year, even in winter. – you can relax in a Onsen while watching the fireworks light up the sky over the ocean making it quite unique.