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4 Incredible Summer Fire Festivals

These incredible events are sure to get you fired up about summertime in Japan!

Gruesome Floats from the Neputa Festival!

Hirosaki's Neputa Festival is known for its gigantic, illuminated floats. But did you ever notice the gruesome details hidden in the art?

Daimon-ji Festival & Floating Lantern Tour

Spend your summer the Kyoto way by participating in two traditional summer events with great cultural significance!

What is Obon?

Obon is a summer event during which people welcome the spirits of their ancestors back home. It's considered Japan’s most significant occasion next to New Year’s, but the customs followed can vary considerably by region.

Can You Survive Aomori's Summer Stove Train?

Looking for a steamy train experience? Head up to Aomori for a stove train that's heated to 50°C in the middle of summer!

Ichinomiya Tanabata Festival

Located in Aichi, the Ichinomiya Tanabata Festival is one of Japan’s three largest and most famous Tanabata Festivals, celebrating the one day a year when the celestial lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi can meet.

Gion Matsuri: A Party Worthy of the Gods

Held throughout the entire month of July, Kyoto's Gion Matsuri is the most famous festival in all of Japan.

See Samurai Up Close—On Horseback!

Samurai aren't just in the movies! The spirit of the samurai lives on at the Soma-Nomaoi festival, featuring a horde of armored warriors on horseback!

4 Useful Supplies for Summer Festivals

You've got your 'yukata' on and you're ready to roll—but don't leave the house before you've grabbed these useful festival items too!

Tohoku's 3 Great Summer Festivals

Head to northern Japan this summer for huge glowing floats, giant poles covered in lanterns and streets festooned with positive wishes for the future.

Ofusa Kannon Wind Chime Festival

Feel cool in the summer heat at this unassuming temple in Nara.

Toro Nagashi: Floating Lanterns for the Dead

'Toro nagashi' is a ceremony in which paper lanterns are released into the water, typically floating down rivers to guide the spirits of the dead back to the other world.

4 Lesser-Known Tohoku Summer Festivals

Head north to see hundreds of riders in samurai armor recreate 1,000-year-old training techniques!

Yukata 101

What's a 'yukata'? And more importantly, how do you put one on? Better find out before summer festival season arrives!

Make Your Very Own Star Festival Raindrop Cake

Want to make your own raindrop cake? All you need is a yellow peach, pearl agar, water, a bamboo leaf, toasted soybean flour, brown sugar syrup, a microwave and a fridge—and some edible gold powder!

Light Festival in Kyoto's Shimogamo Shrine

Enjoy a brilliant light festival in 'Tadasu no Mori' at Shimogamo Shrine!

Dance All Night at Gifu's Gujo Odori

Held every summer in the picturesque riverside town of Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture, Gujo Odori is one of Japan’s largest and most famous traditional folk dance festivals.

20 Free Things to Do in Japan This Summer

Japan has a host of things to do for budget tourists, and we've compiled our list of the best free things to do. Enjoy!

Beat the Heat With Some Cool 'Yukata'

Look cool and stay cool during the hot Japanese summers with lightweight 'yukata' that feature the Loch Ness Monster and Edo Period assassination tools.

Japan's 3 Great 'Bon Odori' Dance Festivals

Summer is the season of the festival in Japan, and these three celebrations will have you literally dancing in the streets.

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