Here’s our of all the fantastic festivals that take place in Shizuoka prefecture over the summer months from June until the End of August. There are also some great Spring festivals held in Shizuoka.
Dontsuku Festival, Higashi Izu-machi
Festival Period: June 2-3
During this humorous festival, local geisha parade through the streets carrying a phallus representing the deity’s shape. The festival praying for harmonious marital relations and the prosperity of one’s descendants goes back two thousand years. Spectators invariably smile at the sight of this festival, whose frank, easygoing nature is typical of Izu.
Ajisai (Hydrangea) Festival, Shimoda City
Festival Period: June 1-30
Numerous events are held on Sundays during this time, when around 3 million hydrangeas bloom in Shimoda Park.
Yoshiwara Gion Matsuri, Fuji City
Festival Period: Early June
Gion Matsuri is an event originated in Gion, Kyoto to quieten down evil spirits that cause disease and disaster and it spread out all over the country. The gorgeous and dynamic festival features a parade of Mikoshi (portable shrine) carried by children and youngsters and 21 decorated floats pulled around the area.
Enshu Hamakita Hiryu Matsuri, Hamamatsu City
Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of June
Various types of events are held during the festival such as the “Hamakita Takoage (kite flying)” to fly huge kites in Hamakita district, the valiant “Hiryu Himatsuri (Flying Dragonfs fire festival)” which features water, sound and flame, the “Mizu-no-michi Local Product Marketh” where many shops gather from the basin area of Tenryu River, a parade of the Flying Dragonfs head which is the symbol of the festival and a performance of Japanese drums.
During the first three weeks or so of July, fireworks displays are held at various placed in the prefecture, including Atami, Abekawa, Kanzanji, and Arai.
Fireworks at Atami waterfront in July, Arai fireworks display in July.
Hosoe Shrine Gion Matsuri, Hamamatsu City
Festival Period: Third Saturday and Sunday of July
Following the tradition passed down from Edo era, the sacred spirit of Hosoe Shrine is mounted on a boat, which cruises down Miyakoda River and around the shore of Lake Hamana. This is a traditional scenery of Hosoe in the summer together with such lyrical scenes as the Japanese traditional festive music played by flutes and drums and the beautiful mass lights of paper lanterns.
Abekawa Fireworks Show, Shizuoka City
Festival Period: Last Saturday of July
The fireworks display is upstream of Abekawa Bridge is a lyrical scenery of Shizuoka City in the summer. 10,000 shooting-up fireworks and 50 set fireworks color the sky of the summer night.
Fuji Matsuri, Fuji City (Fuji-shi)
Festival Period: Fourth Sunday of July
This is a festival that takes place around Aoba Street, where all citizens gather. Many kinds of events are held such as Fuji All Citizens Samba and fireworks show, among which the Musical Parade of Princess Kaguya is especially popular as Fuji City is the background of the famous folk story “Taketori Monogatari”.
Mt. Fuji Drums Festival, Gotemba/Gotenba City (Gotenba-shi)
Festival Period: Last Sunday of July
Performances of Japanese drums by the local teams and a contest of Japanese drum players from all over the country are held on the specially constructed stage at Gotembaguchi, a mount climbing point of Mt. Fuji. It is a dynamic event to see and listen to the sound of drums echoing from Mt. Fuji.
Matsukawa Wooden Basin Race, Ito City (Ito-shi)
Festival Period: First Sunday of July
This is a humorous race to ride 1 m in diameter and 30 cm deep wooden basins down 400 meter section of Matsukawa River, which flows in the middle of Ito Onsen (hot spring) region. Races are fought by individuals, groups and countries (international), where voluntary participations of viewers are welcome.
Atami Kogashi Matsuri/ Decorated Floats Contest, Atami City (Atami-shi)
Festival Period: Mid July
Wood carving floats and decorated floats from every block of the city parade in the downtown area of Atami. Many floats decorated with ideas worked out for one year since the festival of last year gather on the seashore street in front of Sun Beach to create gorgeous and spectacular scenery.
Genji Ayame Matsuri, Izu-no-kuni City (Izunokuni-shi)
Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of July
A parade of decorated floats, fully dressed warriors, Mikoshi (portable shrines) carried by geisha girls, etc., to solace the spirit of Ayame who was borne in Izu-nagaoka about 800 years ago and is known to have fallen in love with Minamoto-no-Yorimasa colors whole town with a festive atmosphere.
Ito Onsen Yume Hanabi (dream fireworks), Ito City (Ito-shi)
Festival Period: July 29 – 31
The fireworks show is held during the three days of Nagisa Matsuri and can be seen from almost any seashore of Ito City. 1,000 shooting-ups of size 3 to 10 fireworks and large size Starmine fireworks from 30 launching pads are fired every day, totaling 7,500 shots during the three-day period.
Dogashima Himatsuri (fire festival), Nishiizu Town (Nishi-izu-cho)
This is the biggest fireworks show in Nishi-izu area, which is shown with the motif of legendary fight to beat pirates. The spectacular firework, which burns a pirate ship, is valiant and fantastic.
Shimizu Port Festival, Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi)
Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of August.
The festival features a lantern-lit dance through the streets and numerous aquatic events.
Anjin Festival, Ito City (Ito-shi)
Festival Period: August 8-10
The festival commemorates William Adams, known in Japanese as Miura Anjin, who built and launched the first Western sailing ship in Japan. The earliest Englishman to come to Japan, he also served as an advisor to Tokugawa Ieyasu on diplomatic affairs.
Drum Festival, Shimoda City (Shimoda-shi)
Festival Period: August 14-15
Military drums of the sort used in the early seventeenth century are featured in a parade during which a mikoshi (portable shrine) is carried through the streets.
Enshu Fukuroi Fireworks, Fukuroi City (Fukuroi-shi)
Festival Period: Mid August
30,000 shooting-ups of impressive fireworks are displayed in the summer night sky like large flower blossoms. This is counted as one of ten large fireworks shows in the country and is known as a lyrical scenery of Enshu (old name of Shizuoka Prefecture) in the summer.
Ooi River Fireworks Show, Shimada City (Shimada-shi)
Festival Period: Mid August
This is a lyrical scenery in the summer, which colors up Ooi River with about 8,000 shooting-ups of fireworks. The fireworks are really gorgeous and spectacular.
Yaizu Shrine Aramatsuri, Yaizu City (Yaizu-shi)
Festival Period: August 12-13
This is the large festival of Yaizu Shrine, which is known as the most valiant festival event in Tokai district. Two Mikoshi, Okoshi and Mekoshi, carried by a few thousand people dressed in white parade through the town till late in the evening. It is an excitement to see this valiant and dynamic event.
Kinoene Shrine Ceremonial Festival, Fuji City (Fuji-shi)
Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of August
Various kinds of events are held and many street stores are open on Fuji Honmachi Street beginning from JR Fuji station and the surrounding area. The event is featured by the traditional festive music bands competing each other by playing 5 different traditional festive tunes.
Mishima Summer Festival, Mishima City (Mishima-shi)
Festival Period: Mid August
This festival features decorated floats and festive bands, a parade to restage the war procession of Minamoto-no-Yoritomo (the founder of Kamakura Shogunate), Noheibushi (folklore song and dance) Parade, Mishima Samba Parade and other events, as well as many street stores. This is the biggest scale festival in Mishima City.
Futamata Matsuri, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi)
Festival Period: Late August
This is a ceremonial festival of Futamata Suwa Shrine. Under the boiling sun, 14 decorated floats parade through the town to create the climax of the festival. It is so exciting and the viewers will recall the memory of old days by seeing this summer festival.