May is a fantastic time to visit Japan, as the country is full of vibrant festivals and outdoor activities to enjoy. From the famous Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo to the beautiful Wisteria Festival in Kitakyushu, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adrenaline junkie, Japan has something to offer everyone.
One of the biggest draws of visiting Japan in May is the festivals. The Sanja Matsuri, held in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. With over two million attendees each year, the festival is a lively celebration of music, dance, and tradition. Another popular festival is the Aoi Matsuri, which takes place in Kyoto and is known for its stunning parade featuring traditional costumes and horse-drawn carriages.
If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, the Wisteria Festival in Kitakyushu is a beautiful event that is often overlooked by tourists. The festival takes place at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens, which is home to over 150 Wisteria plants that create a stunning tunnel of purple flowers. The festival is held from late April to early May and is a must-see for anyone visiting Japan during this time.
May is one of the best months to travel to Japan, as it offers a wide range of festivals and activities that cater to various interests. In addition to the events mentioned in the previous section, there are also several other festivals and activities that are worth checking out:
- Sanja Matsuri: Held in Tokyo’s Asakusa district from May 14-16, this festival is one of the largest and most famous in Tokyo. It features over 100 portable shrines that are carried through the streets, along with parades, music, and traditional dance performances.
- Nikko Yuba Matsuri: This festival, held on May 17 in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, is known for its unique parade of men wearing nothing but loincloths, carrying water from the nearby Yuba River to the Futarasan Shrine.
- Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro: This event, held in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district from May 13-22, features a stunning display of illuminated bamboo lanterns along the famous Togetsukyo Bridge and other scenic spots in the area.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, May is also a great time to enjoy hiking, cycling, and other outdoor sports in Japan’s beautiful natural settings. Some popular outdoor destinations in May include:
- Hakone: This scenic area near Mount Fuji offers hiking trails, hot springs, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Kamikochi: Located in the Northern Japan Alps, this area offers hiking trails through beautiful forests and mountain scenery.
- Shikoku Pilgrimage: This 88-temple pilgrimage route on Japan’s fourth-largest island is a popular destination for hikers and spiritual seekers alike.