May is a beautiful month in Japan, where spring is in full bloom and the country celebrates with numerous festivals and events. From traditional ceremonies to modern cultural gatherings, May is a time to experience the rich history and vibrant present of Japan.
One of the most iconic events of May is the Golden Week holiday, which includes several national holidays and gives many Japanese workers a week-long break. This is a time when people travel throughout the country to visit family, explore new places, and attend festivals and events.
One of the biggest festivals of Golden Week is the Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo, which takes place in the third weekend of May. This lively festival celebrates the three founders of the Senso-ji Temple and features colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and food stalls selling local delicacies.
Another popular event of May is the Kanda Matsuri, one of the three great festivals of Tokyo that takes place every other year. This festival honors the guardian deity of Edo (the old name for Tokyo) and features a grand procession of portable shrines, mikoshi, accompanied by thousands of people dressed in traditional attire.
May is also the time of the year when the Aoi Matsuri takes place in Kyoto, one of the oldest and most elegant festivals of Japan. This event dates back to the 6th century and includes a procession of over 500 people dressed in Heian-period costumes, along with horses and ox-drawn carts carrying ancient imperial treasures.
Other popular events of May include the Hakata Dontaku Festival in Fukuoka, the Takayama Matsuri in Gifu, the Higashiyama Hanatoro in Kyoto, and the Sanno Matsuri in Tokyo. Each of these events showcases the unique culture and traditions of their respective regions and offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty and diversity of Japan.
May is a month of celebration in Japan, with many events and festivals taking place throughout the country. From traditional religious ceremonies to modern pop culture conventions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are just a few of the exciting events happening in May:
On May 15th, Kyoto hosts the Aoi Matsuri, a grand procession that dates back to the Heian period (794-1185). The procession features over 500 people dressed in traditional clothing, including courtiers, priests, and horseback riders. The highlight of the event is the appearance of the Saio-Dai, a woman chosen to represent the goddess of the local shrine. The procession begins at the Kyoto Imperial Palace and ends at the Kamigamo and Shimogamo Shrines.
The Sanja Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals, held in the Asakusa district from May 14th to 16th. The festival honors the founders of the Sensō-ji Temple, and features a procession of portable shrines (mikoshi) carried by participants dressed in traditional clothing. The festival is also known for its lively atmosphere and street food vendors.
Hakata Dontaku is a festival held in Fukuoka City on May 3rd and 4th. The festival began as a New Year’s celebration in the 12th century, and has since evolved into a lively event featuring a parade of participants dressed in colorful costumes. The festival also features music performances, dance competitions, and food stalls.
May 18th is International Museum Day, and Japan has no shortage of fascinating museums to explore. From ancient artifacts to modern art, there is a museum for every interest. Some notable museums include the Tokyo National Museum, the Kyoto National Museum, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The Narita Gion Festival is held in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, from May 8th to 10th. The festival features a procession of mikoshi carried by locals dressed in traditional clothing, as well as various other events such as music performances and food stalls. The festival has been held for over 300 years, and is one of the most important festivals in the Kanto region.