In Japan, June is a bit of a transition month between spring and summer. Therefore, the events and activities are a mix: including the last flower festivals of the spring, as well as the first lively festivals of the summer! Here are 10 fun things to do in Japan in June 2019.
1. Suigōsawara Iris Festival (水郷佐原あやめ祭り)
An incredible 1.5 million of over 400 varieties of Japanese Iris are cultivated in the Suigō Sawara Ayame Park. This booming festival boasts being the largest number of varieties of Irises in the whole country. It’s an incredible display of flowers in several colors, such as purple, white, pink and blue. In addition to this, performances of “Saahara hayashi” and “hand dancing” are also held. Note: The park is open until 6:30pm, but last entry is at 5:30pm.
WHERE: Suigō Sawara Ayame Park, Katori City, Chiba Prefecture
WHEN: May 25 – June 23, 2019
2. Shogawa Kanko Festival (庄川観光祭)
The Shogawa Kankō Festival is held at Shōgawa district in Tonami-City, Toyama on the first Saturday and the first Sunday in June. During the daytime, there is a variety of events, including Yosakoi performances, rainbow trout grabbing, and a float parade. At night, there is a fireworks display. It is a fun festival that allows you to taste many festivals at once.
WHERE: Tonami City’s Shōgawa Area, Toyama Prefecture
WHEN: June 1-2, 2019
3. Yosakoi Soran Festival (YOSAKOIソーラン祭り)
The YOSAKOI Soran Festival first came to Sapporo in 1992, the clappers used in the original Yosakoi Festival from Kochi Prefecture were adapted into Hokkaido’s traditional folk song “Soran Bushi”. Clothed in brightly colored outfits, the dancers beat their clappers to the melody of Soran Bushi, dancing in a spirited and dynamic way. The energy from their dances permeates through the streets, creating a lively atmosphere.
WHERE: Ōdori Park, Sapporo City, Hokkaido
WHEN: June 5-9, 2019
4. Tsuzawa Yotaka Andon Festival (津沢夜高あんどん祭り)
Also known as a Fighting Lantern Festival, this red-tinted festival is held every year on the evenings of the first Friday and Saturday of June. It’s a lively festival that sends a message from the people to their diety. Two opposing rows of lamps collide violently, in an effort to break the opponent’s floats.
WHERE: Tsuzawa Downtown area, Oyabe City, Toyama Prefecture
WHEN: June 7-8, 2019
5. Toukasan Grand Festival (とうかさん大祭)
This festival is every year on the first Friday-Sunday in June. During the festival, the Chuo Street becomes a pedestrian heaven, and pop-up stalls are spread all over the area. Apart from the street food, this fun festival is a feast for the eyes and ears as well, as there is a parade with an incredible sea of red lanterns and musical performances as well. In Hiroshima, this festival is set as the beginning day of people wearing their yukata (summer robes) season for that year. During the festival period, the streets are crowded with people dressed in colorful yukata.
WHERE: Enryuji Temple, Hiroshima City
WHEN: June 7-9
6. Saioh Festival (斎王まつり)
This festival is held every year on the second Saturday and Sunday in June. It is a big event named after the “Saio” that existed in Meiwa Town, who was the unmarried woman who served the Amaterasu god of Ise Shrine on behalf of the Emperor. During the festival, a procession heads from the capital towards the Imperial Palace and the queue of Saioh’s followers are reproduced. Attractions such as Meiwa Taiko drums and traditional Gagaku music also contribute to the atmosphere of this historic festival.
WHERE: Saiku Historical Museum, Ise City, Mie Prefecture
WHEN: June 8-9, 2019
7. Himeji Yukata Festival (姫路浴衣祭り)
This is a festival where visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of the famous castle town, and come dressed wearing a yukata robe just before the start of the summer festival season. Yukata-related events such as a Yukata fashion show and a colorful Yukata parade are held, and many pop-up vendors and food stalls are opened. Even if you don’t wear a yukata yourself, you can still come to the festival and enjoy the sight of thousands of people dressed in their colorful, traditional robes!
WHERE: Osakabe Shrine, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture
WHEN: June 21-23, 2019
8. Hinuma Hydrangea Festival (ひぬまあじさいまつり)
June is peak Hydrangea season in Japan. At Himuna Nature Park in Ibaraki, there are about 10,000 hydrangea trees planted on the slope of the mountain. On the set event day on June 30, there are many food stalls open for visitors, as well as various other forms of musical performances and entertainment.
WHERE: Himuna Nature Park, Nakaishizaki, Ibaraki-machi, Higashiibaraki-gun, Ibaraki
WHEN: June 23 – July 16, 2019 (Special Event Day June 30)
9. Izawanomiya Otaue Festival (Rice Planting Festival) (伊雑宮御田植祭)
This is one of the three major rice cultivation festivals in Japan. Participants wearing old-fashioned costumes of the Heian period plant rice while singing and drumming traditional music. There are also other events including bamboo cutting and dance performances. The most notable highlight is the lively mud-wrestling competition, where the entire town gathers to watch local men dressed in mere loincloths participate in a hilarious display of strength.
WHERE: Izawanomiya, Mie Prefecture
WHEN: June 24, 2019
10. Aizen Festival (愛染まつり)
This is a festival praying for the prevention of disease, an idea that stems from the intention of Mahayana Buddhism, which stated, “I want to relieve people of suffering and sadness” 1400 years ago. Long ago, plague epidemic became quite common in the summer, so the law ordains that this festival will be carried out in the summer, to prevent the town from getting sick. The girls of the town all wear their yukata in this lively procession. It is also called a “Yukata Festival” because people start wearing their yukata robes around this season.
WHERE: Aizendo Temple, Tennoji Ward, Osaka
WHEN: June 20 – July 2, 2019
For more June festivals and events going on in Japan, check out our full June calendar here.
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