Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival

Japan Summer Holidays and Festivals to Look Forward to

Are you coming to Japan for a summer Japanese language course? Check out the national holidays during the summer.

Umi no Hi (3rd Monday of July)

Umi no Hi ( 海の日, Marine Day) is one of Japan’s newest holidays—it was made official only in 1996. A lot of people celebrate this national holiday by soaking up in the summer weather or taking a trip the beach. It honors the importance of the sea and celebrates Japan as a maritime nation.

Tanabata Festival decoration

Keiro no Hi (3rd Monday of September)

The Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日) is a holiday honoring  elderly Japanese citizens. The media usually features elderly people, reporting on their population and highlighting some of the oldest people in Japan.

Shubun no Hi (September 23)

The Autumnal Equinox has been a national holiday since 1948. Since the event is of astronomical origin, the date for Shubun no Hi ( 秋分の日) varies annually but falls roughly around the 23rd of September. Shubun no Hi is also a Buddhist holiday that honors ancestors.

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival

Tokyo Summer Festivals

The Japanese culture is filled with festivals, celebrations and other exciting events. If you are coming to Japan for the warm days of summer, don’t miss some of their famous summer festivals.

Sumida Fireworks Festival (4th Saturday of July)

The Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Festival) is the oldest fireworks festival in the history of Japan. The night skies of Old Tokyo Town light up with dazzling fireworks. Make sure you reserve your spot along the Sumida riverbank—it offers the most breathtaking view of the Tokyo sky.

Tokyo Bay Fireworks (2nd Saturday of August)

The Hanabi Taiki or Tokyo Bay Fireworks is one of the biggest and most popular fireworks displays in Tokyo. Enjoy the spectacular, colorful outburst of rockets that light up the sky.

Asakusa Samba Matsuri (last Saturday of August)

One of the three biggest festivities in Tokyo, the Asakusa Samba Matsuri features fabulous samba dancers parading the streets. More than 20 dance teams participate in the contest, showing off their unique dance moves, costumes, and lively music.

Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri

Koenji Awa Odori (August 12-15)

The biggest dance festival in the country, Koenji Awa Odori (阿波踊り) is part of Obon Festival in Shikoku. Dancers and musicians called asren jive on the streets to the beat of the taiko drums, kane bell, shinobue flute, and shamisen lute. Performers wear obon dance costumes as they parade through the streets.

Jingu Fireworks (August)

Held at the Jingu Baseball Stadium, the Jingu Gaien Hanabi Taikai is another celebrated fireworks festival in Japan.

Hachiman Matsuri (mid-August)

The festival is believed to have originated in 1642 in honor of Fukagawa’s Shinto shrine. This wet and wild event, also called mizu kakeor water throwing festival, includes a parade of portable shrine or mikoshi bearers that are hosed with water all along the parade route.