Festivals and events

Japan’s best summer festivals and events

The coolest happenings of the summer

As temperatures soar across Japan during the summer months, one cool spot to head to is Hokkaido: in particular, the Sapporo Summer Festival (sapporo-natsu.com). The event takes place at Odori Park, which runs neatly through the heart of Sapporo, with the nation’s biggest beer garden taking centre stage – complete with countless regional brews and seasonal Hokkaido nibbles (20 July-17 August).

Sumida River Fireworks Festival Tourism
Credit: Courtesy of JNTO

Summer also means fireworks season. Among the biggest and most famous is Tokyo’s Sumida River Fireworks Festival (29 July), which dates back to 1733 and draws thousands of onlookers (sumidagawa-hanabi.com).

FUKUOKA, JAPAN Indigo Jam Unit
Credit: Faer Out / Shutterstock

Fuji Rock Festival (fujirock-eng.com) in the mountains of Niigata has headline acts including Gorillaz, Bjork and Aphex Twin (28-30 July). Sunset Live (sunsetlive-info.com), on the beach in laidback southern Fukuoka, is also super popular (2-3 September).

Meanwhile, gamers shouldn’t miss the Tokyo Game Show (23-24 September), a showcase of the most cutting-edge video and mobile games laid out at a sprawling complex in Chiba (tgs.cesa.or.jp).

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