The season to express your love to your ancestors: Events for the second half of August.

2017-04-21 .AN)富士河口湖灯籠流し実行委員会事務局   Festivals&Events, Seasonal,

Fuji Kawaguchi-ko Tourou-nagashi

Sun, the 16th of August: Fuji Kawaguchiko Toro nagashi in Minamitsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture

Tōrō nagashi (灯籠流し) is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns (chōchin) down a river; tōrō is traditionally another word for lantern, while nagashi means “cruise” or “flow”. (Refernce: Wikipedia) The opening season differs in each area, but it usually takes place during the Obon holiday season and it’s purpose is for remembering your ancestors. Toro nagashi in Fuji Kawaguchiko will be an unforgettable one, because of the numerous lighted lanterns floating on the water with Mt. Fuji in the background. It’s so mysterious looking! If you go to the Toro reception counter on the day of the event, you can also send your own lantern down the river. There will be a concert from 6:30 p.m., so why not ‘send your heart’ down the river to your beloved ancestors while listening to some good music?

●Fuji Kawaguchiko Toro nagashi
Place:Oishi Park by the lake of Kawaguchiko 
Access:Bus stop “Kawaguchiko shizen seikatsu kan”

Gozan no Okuribi
Photo by sprklg

Sun, the 16th of August: Gozan no Okuribi in Kyoto

On August 16th, the kanji character “大” (literally meaning ‘big’), will appear in the evening sky in Kyoto. This festival is also known as “Omoji yaki”, but the official name is “Gozan no Okuribi”. Every year about 700 thousand people come to see this majestic fire.

●Gozan no Okuribi
Place:Kyoto city
Access:JR Kyoto station

Nishimonani Bonodori
Photo by Yuki Yaginuma

Sun, the 16th to the 18th of August: Nishimonai Bonodori in Akita Prefecture

Every year this traditional festival welcomes about 100 thousand people who pray for a large and successful harvest and also serves as a memorial service for their ancestors. Dancers in Hikosazukin (braided straw hats) and beautiful costumes, disguised as ghosts, dance in the night. The loud sounds of Ohayashi complement the dance, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

●Nishimonai Bonodori
Place:Nishimonai Honcho dori street
Access:JR Yuzawa station→30 min by bus:Bus stop “Taikukanmae”. (10 min walk from there)



Nishimonai Honcho dori street

Koenji Awaodori

Sat, the 29th to Sun, the 30th of August: Tokyo Koenji Awaodori in Koenji, Tokyo

The Koenji Awaodori has now become one of the largest summertime Japanese events. It’s stunning for not only foreign visitors, but also Japanese visitors to see the dancers line up and dance down the shopping street in Koenji. You’ll have many photo opportunities! Koenji is also thought of as “India in Japan”, among certain people. Many unique and independent shops are located in Koenji, so I would recommend taking a walk around town a bit for some interesting sightseeing.

●Tokyo Koenji Awaodori
Place: JR Koenji station; Nanboku shopping street and Konan street
Access:Tokyo Metro Shinkoenji station

Atago no Himatsuri in Ishizu cho

Sun, the 23rd of August: Atago no Himatsuri in Ishizu cho, Toyooka city, Hyogo Prefecture

Held at Ifukube shrine, this festival’s purpose is to spin a flaming braded straw rope in hopes for good health. People, including foreign visitors, can join this event and actually take part in spinning the flaming straw. If you want to get closer to, and experience part of the Jomon period of Japan, I definitely recommend this!

●Atago no Himatsuri
Place:Ifukube Shrine
Access:JR Sanin Main line Toyooka station. Take a bus bound for “Deishi”, and get off at “Deishi”. 6min drive toward Nakamura.


〒668-0254 兵庫県豊岡市出石町中村

Nakamura Deishi, Toyooka city, Hyogo Prefecture

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!