Adventure Travel

Seasonal Events in Shizuoka, Japan

Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, home to the majestic Mount Fuji and just an hour from Tokyo by bullet train, will host a range of exciting events this year – from Hina puppet shows and firefly viewing to spectacular flower festivals and impressive fireworks displays . Here, the Tourism Shizuoka Japan team rounds up some of the region’s must-see events for each season…

Winter – early blossoms, Daruma doll market and Hina doll displays

Shizuoka is home to some of Japan’s first cherry blossoms, and the Itokawa Cherry Blossom Festival (early January to early February) and the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (February) offer a fantastic opportunity to see them. Visitors can expect large displays of the famous flowers, with deeper pink petals flooding the streets, alongside stalls selling local delicacies, Japanese street foods and crafts.

The Fuji Bishamonten Festival takes place at Myohoji Temple, at the foot of Mount Fuji. This year the festival will be held in February (it will be held in January or February as the date varies depending on the New Year calendar). The festival is also one of the largest Daruma doll markets in Japan. There are many stalls, including Daruma doll shops, and visitors can purchase their own Daruma doll from the various models available, which is considered a lucky charm by the Japanese.

In Japan, the Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri) takes place on March 3, during which families celebrate their daughters and pray for their continued health and happiness by displaying traditional Hina dolls in their homes. Prior to the festival, the Kasuisai Doll Festival is held at the Kasuisai Temple every winter from January to March, attracting large crowds eager to take a look at the ancient temple decorated with over 1,000 intricately crafted dolls – the largest exhibition of its kind in Japan.

Spring – fireflies, giant kites and floral displays

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the 2024 Lake Hamana Flower Expo will be held at two locations: Hamamatsu Flower Park from March 23 to June 16 and Hamanako Garden Park from April 6 to June 2. Set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Hamana, the colorful floral event showcases the gardens of world-renowned garden designers, including winners of the Chelsea Flower Show.

In early May, visitors can attend the Hamamatsu Festival, one of the most famous events held during the consecutive national holidays, Golden Week. The festival has existed for 450 years and is held to celebrate the birth of a family’s first-born child. During the day, the event sees large, traditionally decorated kites battling in the skies on the beach, while as night falls, the dazzling floats parade through the streets of the city center, each representing a local neighborhood or district.

A truly magical sight: Firefly watching at Okawa Onsen Takegasawa Park is a must in early June. The park is rich in diverse flora and fauna and during these months comes alive at night with the characteristic bioluminescent glow of the famous beetles. In the park you can also enjoy local specialties such as wasabi and Japanese street food stalls, for an unforgettable experience.

Summer – 3 million blossoms, fireworks, and Mount Fuji

The Hydrangea Festival takes place in June in the historic port town of Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula. The festival takes place in Shimoda Park, on a hill overlooking the bay. Three million hydrangea flowers decorate the park and visitors can enjoy the colorful blossoms.

Shizuoka is famous for its fireworks displays, with the most popular summer event being the Fukuroi Enshu Fireworks Festival (July). The festival is also called the “National Expert Fireworks Tournament”. Top-class pyrotechnicians from all over Japan compete against each other. Visitors can expect impressive performances and lots of bang!

July also marks the start of Mount Fuji mountaineering season, with both locals and visitors flocking to climb the famous mountain. In Shizuoka, there are three different routes to climb the mountain, varying in difficulty and duration.

Autumn – street performance and foliage

The DAIDOGEI World Cup, a street art-themed event, will be held in November in the city of Shizuoka. Held annually for more than 30 years under the theme “The City is a Theater,” this international event is one of Asia’s best street art festivals, bringing together the most talented street artists from around the world.

Towards the end of the year, the autumn leaves in Shizuoka are just as beautiful as the famous cherry blossoms and the perfect way to admire them is at the Atami Baien Momiji Festival, which takes place from mid-November to early December. The garden where the festival takes place is known for its plum blossoms in spring, and visitors can watch the last leaves of Japan take on their autumn colors. The spectacular orange and red tones of Japanese maples shine throughout the garden.

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Daniyal is an accomplished travel blogger boasting two years of extensive experience. Proficient in captivating narratives, Daniyal unveils the allure of undiscovered destinations and divulges insights into everything regarding traveling. Beyond the prose, he serves as the editorial architect, seamlessly incorporating editing finesse, SEO mastery, and strategic content deployment to ensure a sophisticated and enriching online travel experience.
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