Japan’s summer invites you with a list of best fun things to do throughout this season. You can have a lot fun along with visiting breathtaking destinations and having mouthwatering traditional Japanese dishes. Summer is a fun time though it involves with a rainy season. Excessive rain fall may hamper your trip but this does not happen at the same time to all the destinations I have brought here. As they are scattered throughout the country I assure you that you won’t have any trouble with the rain. While describing every destination I will try my best to share the up-to-date travel information.

A moment during the time trial race, Hakata Gion Yamakasa Matsuri. Photo Credit: catabioqtric at Flickr.

In Japan, summer is associated with fireworks (Hanabi) and festival (Matsuri). In fact, a number of popular firework festivals take place in various locations all over Japan. For example, I would like to say about the Aomori Nebuta Festival. This is a festival of colorful massive floats which the festival ends with an amazing firework display around the Aomori Bay. I know how amazing it could be when you participate in this glittering festival. There are other festivals that would give you different taste and feeling. Along with featuring summer festival I would like to share something extraordinary that you would like to experience.

1) Climb The Mt. Fuji

Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan. Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut at Flickr.

Are you adventurous? Do you like hiking? If your answer is YES – then I would say, climbing the Mt. Fuji is one of the greatest things you would do in summer in Japan. I always hate rating things like “this is the number 1 spot, or that is the number 1 spot” or something like that. When this post’s headline says the top 10 then prefer each and every things here deserves to be the number one. Once climbing Mt. Fuji was my dream, my dream came true a long time ago. What about yours? The summer season opens the door to experience this never forgetting trip. I suggest you to take this opportunity right away. Please bear in mind that official Mt. Fuji climbing season starts from early July to early September. Before you go ahead you can read a complete guide or the things you must know before climbing Mt. Fuji. This certainly helps you to climb the Mt. Fuji without having any trouble. And don’t forget to take a good look at this backpack which I strongly recommend you to have on the way to the summit.

2) Participate in Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

Illuminated Nebuta (Floats) at Aomori Nebuta Festival. Photo Credit: Roger at Flickr.

What’s Nebuta? It is simply means a float. It is a kind of fire festival and one of the best summer festivals in Tohoku region. Giant illuminated floats are taken to the streets in which participates form a parade. Dancing and other entertaining shows take place there as the floats are pulled through the processionals route of streets. The festival involves with a spectacular firework display on the final day of the festival. In fact, this is not a two or three days of festival rather it is celebrated for a week. You can read more about Aomori Nebuta Festival in detail here.

3) Visit Lavender and Flower Gardens in Furano & Biei

Lavender Farm in Furano, Hokkaido. Photo Credit: ray.k at Flickr.

Unlike other parts of Japan, Hokkaido is very cool place to discover in summer. The weather does not act like Tokyo’s summer. Everything is cool here such as the weather, atmosphere, nature and the people. Hokkaido has numerous destinations that are extremely great to visit in summer season. And Furano is just one of them. This is the city of lavender farms. Your eyes would not bother gazing at the vast field of lavender. You can buy various lavender themed products from different shops located at various lavender farms in Furano area. Usually in Furano, flower season starts here in early July though best time to see lavender in Mid-July. Here you can find the 10 most beautiful flower farms you could visit in Furano & Biei.

4) Visit Kyoto for Gion Matsuri

Yes, it is a colorful festival in Kyoto! Photo Credit: Takeshi Kuboki at Flickr.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri is an ancient event and one of the biggest festivals in Japan. I believe this would be an amazing experience for anyone even when you don’t like Japanese culture. This is the true symbol of Kyoto’s tradition which is colorful, fun and simply unforgettable. Often people say that if you are to explore old Japan then head to Kyoto. To be honest with you, they don’t lie to you. Describing about Gion Matsuri is a kind of mess to me. I don’t know which one to focus on then to the next one. I just lose my soul in order to do that. Maybe it is because of over excitement. Though, few things I must tell you that it beings in July every year. It means the entire month of July is the time of celebrating and enjoying this festival. There is a schedule which is followed by the people to make it well organized. The festival consists of different events such as the grand procession of floats, parades and so on. July 17th is the most exciting day of the festival as the grand procession of floats takes place on the day. Find out more about the festival here.

5) Have Fun Time at Sumo Nagoya Basho

The Fight Begins! Sumo Nagoya Basho, Nagoya. Photo Credit: Duncan Johnson at Flickr.

Summertime Sumo! Sumo Nagoya Basho is one of the six yearly Grand Sumo Tournaments, held in Nagoya at the venue Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. The tournament will be held from July 10 to July 24, 2016. From the venue, the great Nagoya Castle is not far away. Therefore, one visit to Nagoya to see Grand Sumo Tournament gives you opportunity to visit the Castle. The professional sumo wrestlers gather here in a big event like this. Each and every contender main aim is to win the title. It is fun to watch their sumo skills at the same time you can feel the joy of every sumo wrestler.

6) Watch Fireworks Displays – Sumida River Fireworks

Sumida River Fireworks Display, Tokyo. Photo Credit: Toru MORI at Flickr.

It has been a tradition to see fireworks wearing summer yukata in Japan since a long time ago from now. This tradition is still going on with pride. This is the most popular and oldest firework displays in Japan which takes place along the Sumida River around Asakusa Station. Viewing the glittering explosion of fireworks from the Sumida Park is exclusive. About one million visitors visit this summer matsuri every year. The nearby streets get crowded with enthusiastic foreign tourists and local people. The streets are filled with food stalls from where you can find the finest food and drink of Japan.

7) Dancing at Gujo Odori in Gifu

Keep Dancing until the music stops, Gujo Odori, Gifu. Photo Credit: つだ at Flickr.

Gujo odori is a bon/obon dance festival that carries over the 400 years of history and tradition. Here, obon is a Japanese Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. It is said to be one of the three most popular traditional bon dance festivals and a Significant Intangible Cultural Folk Asset of Japan. One of the main features of this festival is it consist of ten dances and corresponding songs. I think these are valuable and priceless. In the centre of the dancing circle there is a small float in which a small group of singer and musicians perform their duty. You can find more info about Gujo Odori here.

8) Eat Morioka Reimen

Delicious Morioka Reimen. Photo Credit: scripsisti at Flickr.

This is not a place or a festival to see but a popular Japanese noodle dish to eat. If you are visiting Japan in summer then having finest noodle dish like Morioka Reimen is a must thing to do. It is one of the famous local delicacies of Morioka city, located in Iwate prefecture. As it is a cold noodle dish, it is obvious that having a bowl of morioka reimen in a hot humid day would not just make you feel good but also make your entire body cool. If you have no time to have this dish in Morioka city then find it to Pyon Pyon Sha outlet located in Tokyo. I hope you will find it there. Are you interested knowing about this dish, please find more info here. Japan is seen to be the country with a lot of different kind of noodle dishes. You can learn some delicious noodles recipes here.

9) Head to Fukuoka to See Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival

Keep Running! Photo Credit: nomoreGAS at Flickr.

I sometimes think that there is no other breathtaking festival in Japan like Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival. To me it is unique in other way. The festival is held from July 1 to 15 at Kushida-jinja Shrine in Fukuoka city. The festival is all about a time trial race of a five kilometer long course where seven neighborhoods of Fukuoka’s Hakata district compete in bearing 1-ton floats on the day of July 15. It takes place very early in the morning. The first team starts its race just before sunrise at 4:59 AM followed by the other teams in five minute intervals. Before the main event day, from July 10 to 14, each team performs several practice runs. There are two different types of floats: kazariyama (decorated floats) and kakiyama (carried floats). And Kazariyama floats are displayed across the city from July 1 to 14. You can take a good look at them and take a lot of photographs if you wish.

10) Visiting Osaka for Tenjin Matsuri

The River Procession, Tenjin Matsuri. Photo Credit: elmimmo at Flickr.

Here comes the number ten which is the famous Tenjin Matsuri. Osaka has been a popular destination like Tokyo. Do you know why? There are a lot of factors involved with it, let’s not discuss them here rather I should reveal one of the top 3 festivals of Japan. Yes that’s called Tenjin Matsuri. It is a thousand years tradition to honor Sugawara Michizane (the deity of scholarship). It is truly an unbelievable summer festival takes place on July 24 and 25 every year at Osaka Tenmngu Shrine. The festival is eye-catching as there are events like the land and river procession, prayers at the river, carrying Michizane’s carriage, and fireworks display. You can see the whole story how to it begins and ends here.

Well, I believe these are enough to make your summer trip to Japan enjoyable and memorable. Even though these are the best things you must do in Japan in summer, I guess there are other things you could reveal by yourself while exploring this places and events. I wish you good luck and hopefully you are on the right path. Thank you.

Copyright 2016 @ takkhis