Fun fact: Did you know that years in Japan are counted according to how long the current Emperor has been ruling? For example, I was born in “Showa 61”, which was 1986. And I moved to Japan in “Heisei 23”, or 2011. The current year, 2018, is “Heisei 30”. Emperor Akihito will abdicate in 2019, so it’ll be back to year 1 soon!
Each year, Japan has 16 national holidays (Spring Equinox, Mountain Day, Respect for the Aged Day, etc.), many national celebrations (Girls’ Day, 7-5-3 Day, Tanabata, etc.) and countless festivals and events (fireworks festivals, summer street festivals, etc.). Life is certainly never dull!
When travelling around Japan, I always suggest looking into what’s happening when you’ll be in a certain place. Participating in, or even just seeing, one of these events can make your experience of a town or city completely different. Festivals reveal another side to the people and show the amazing history of this country. They are a great way to observe and appreciate Japan’s culture.
Here, I’ve listed some of the fun, annual events and season-specific activities you can do across Japan. Click on the links to see what I’ve written about them.
Let me know in the comments below what events you’ve enjoyed (or want to) in Japan.