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Events and Festivals in Japan

Whether it’s a local party or a massive national festival, nothing’s more frustrating than missing out on major events on your travels. To make sure you’re at the most exciting events in Japan check out the HostelBookers roundup of what’s happening when. We’ve got the lot covered!


 Traditional Japanese Dance

Obon: Festival of the Dead - Japan

When: 13 August 2009 - 15 August 2009

The highly significant Buddhist festival of Obon is celebrated all over Japan in August. It’s known as the 'feast of lanterns' because it ends with a floating parade of mini-lanterns as part of the symbolism of the event.

Historically, this was the night when the souls of the dead were believed to come back to the living world to visit their relatives. Special offerings are made at house altars and temples around Japan to commemorate this element of the festival.

A special dance known as Bon-Odon can be seen in these areas, especially in temple districts. The event finishes with the famous lantern floating, with candles rocking gently in the sea or down picturesque streams.

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