Japanese most famous traditional festivals

Japan is known for its long-lasting history with the iconic oriental culture and architects. Tourists traveling to the land of rising sun are often impressed by unique festival atmosphere. Now, let’s read through some information about main festivals in the country. It is expected to help you have more understanding and experiences as well when planning a trip to Japan.

  1. Hanami- Japanese cherry blossom festival


It is one of the most popular festivals of the local that many people all over the world may hear about even though they have not come to visit Japan. It is also the national flower of the country. The festival starts from late of March to early April. This is the opportunity for participants to have parties, sing and drink, take photo with the adorable cherry blossom.

Hanami is a compound noun of Hana (flowers) and Mi (to watch) in Japaneses. It is considered the most popular festival of the country and is made the national one that is indispensible in the local’s life.

During festive days, Japanese usually gather under cherry trees with parties days and nights. They prepare traditional dishes such as sushi, bento ( a kind of lunch box) and special wine for this occasion only called Hanamizake (hana means flower and zake is sake which means rice wine in the language.

  1. Shogatsu- New year festival


Like other countries worldwide, Japanese also have festivals to celebrate the special holidays wishing for all the best things in the coming year. Japan used to have lunar New Year like Vietnam and China in the past.

In the New Year eve, people eat Toshicoshi soba (a kind of noodles). On the first day of January, every family reunites to drink sake rice wine and eat traditional osechi and ozoni soup. Before and after shogatsu, people often exchange New Year cards among friends, relatives and colleagues. They also go to pagodas and pray for food fortune during the year.

  1. Tanabata

Japanese pray for peace in the festival. In the festive holidays, people can see bamboo trees with lots of little pieces of colored papers on which Japanese writes their wishes everywhere on the streets. Besides, there are ranges of traditional music activities, firework show and many more. Tanabata is not the same but varies from region to region.


Tanabata festival in Sendai, Miyagi province is the most famous one nationwide. The festival has gone through 400 years; not only one in three biggest Tanabata but also one in three most spectacular ones in Northeastern Japan. The Festival is celebrated from 6th to 8th of August annually.