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What is Tanabata?

Also known as the Star Festival, Tanabata is traditionally held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the old lunar calendar, celebrating the legend of the one day of the year when the deities Hikoboshi and Orihime are allowed to meet.

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.

Hatsune Miku Teaches Summer Pocky Techniques

In this adorable commercial, Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku offers an extra-sweet tip on how to enjoy your chocolate sticks this summer. First step: don't eat them right away!

Daimon-ji Festival & Floating Lantern Tour

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

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.

Top 10 Tastiest Japanese Festival Snacks

Some might come to summer festivals to immerse themselves in tradition and culture, but a large part of that is the tasty, tasty food you can find during festival season!

Ofusa Kannon Wind Chime Festival

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

A Fan-Shaped Treat to Beat the Summer Heat

Designed to resemble traditional 'uchiwa' fans, these exquisite lollipops are among the prettiest sweets in Tokyo.

4 Lesser-Known Tohoku Summer Festivals

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

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.

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.

Yukata 101

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

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.

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.

Float Through an Edo Goldfish Wonderland

With lanterns, cocktails and 1,000 unusual goldfish, this is the coolest place to hang out in your 'yukata' this summer.

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.

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.

4 Great Reasons to Visit Sendai

The largest city in Tohoku, Sendai is steeped in the history of Date Masamune, known as the 'one-eyed dragon.'

How to Get the Most Out of Fireworks in Japan

One of the centerpieces of the Japanese summer is the fireworks festivals that run through July and August. Find out how to get the most out of the experience!

These Kimono Sashes Are Out of This World!

From lounging felines to deep space imagery, this traditional Japanese clothing retailer is bound to have the perfect 'obi' for you!

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