Festivals and events for November 2015 in Japan

Curated by BuffaloTripNovember 1, 2015 Viewed: 807

November in Japan is typically the best time to see the beautiful Autumn foliage in places like Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Central Japan. Please check out our Autumn Colors Report for more details. The weather starts to cool down with winter approaching with pleasant cool nights and mornings. The weather is beautiful for travel in Japan with clear blue skies. There are quite a few traditional cultural festivals happening around this time of the year.

Here are a few of the most popular November festivals and events in Japan.

1 November 2015

Event: Nakasendo Festival
Location: Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Price of Admission: FREE

The Nakasendo Festival is a unique local Japanese festival that celebrates the famous Nakasendo Road in Japan. The Nakasendo was an ancient road that connected Kyoto with Edo (modern-day Tokyo). It was a spectacular inland journey through the heart of Japan and places like Shiga, Gifu, Nagano, Gunma and Saitama. The festival features local food and souvenirs as well as various dance performances and free mochi rice cakes.

Official Website

2-3 November 2015

Event: Ohara Matsuri Dance Festival
Location: Kagoshima City, Japan
Time: 2nd (Wed) 18:50 ~ 21:00, 3rd (Thu) 10:20 ~ 17:00, *3 (Thu) is a national holiday.
Price of Admission: FREE

The two day long Ohara Matsuri Dance Festival in Kagoshima, Japan features thousands of performers dancing to local folk music.

Considered Kagoshima’s biggest festival, the Ohara Matsuri incorporates dance parades and taiko performances, as well as staged dances at the Terukuni Omote-Sando. The main event, the So-odori, is the big dance parade on the first night of the festival between 6:30p.m. and 9:00p.m. between Takamibaba, Izuro and Sanbashi-dori, around Tenmonkan.

For visitors and tourists, dance classes are held at the city hall.

Click here for more information on the Ohara Matsuri Dance Festival in Kagoshima, Japan.

2-4 November 2015

Event: Karatsu Kunchi Matsuri
Location: Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture
Time: Times vary according to the event
Price of Admission: FREE

Karatsu in Saga Prefecture in the north-western corner of Kyushu comes alive for this spectacular autumn cultural festival, which has been designated a festival of national cultural importance. The festival dates from 1592, and is considered to be one of the major festivals of the Kyushu area. The highlight of the festival is the massive, exquisitely decorated festival floats called hikiyama. The floats are made of wood, washi paper and clay, which is lacquered and covered in gold or silver leaf. Each float is a masterpiece and takes between two and three years to complete.

Official Website

3 November 2014

Event: Bunka no Hi (Culture Day)
National Holiday

Bunka no Hi or Culture Day is a Japanese National Holiday on November 3rd. The purpose of the holiday is to promote culture, the arts and academic endeavour in Japan. Typically events such as culture festivals, art exhibitions, and parades are held on this day. Culture Day was first held in 1948 to commemorate the announcement of the new post-war Japanese constitution.

3 November 2014

Event: Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu
Location: Yumoto Onsen, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture
Time: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Price of Admission: FREE

The Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu is one of Japan’s most exciting and spectacular autumn cultural festivals held at the picturesque Yumoto Onsen in Hakone, west of Tokyo. The festival is held every year on November 3, which is a national holiday in Japan fittingly called Bunka no Hi (Culture Day). It commemorates the journey of Japan’s daimyo, or feudal lords from the capital Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to the provinces during the Edo Period (1603-1868). The festival features marching bands, dancing-girls and a grand feudal lord’s procession with around 200 costumed locals in historical attire.

Official Website

8 November 2014

Event: Arashiyama Momiji Festival
Location: Arashiyama, Kyoto
Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Price of Admission: FREE

The Arashiyama Momiji Festival recreates the atmosphere and traditions of the ancient Kyoto Heian court with traditional performances and events with the stunning autumn colours as an amazing backdrop. Held in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto on the second Sunday of November, it features traditional dance, music and art performances. The highlight of the festival is the re-enactment of the nobles cruise down the Oi River in small boats.

Official Website

8-22 November 2014

Event: Grand Sumo Tournament
Location: Fukuoka, Kokusai Center

The Fukuoka Grand Sumo Tournament runs from November 8 to 22 and is the last sumo tournament of the year. It is the only grand sumo tournament held in Kyushu. The event first started in 1957 when it was upgraded from an exhibition tournament to a formal tournament. This year interest will be on new Japanese Komusubi, Yoshikaze to see how he can perform as a Sanyaku man after a stunning Autumn tournament in Tokyo.

Sumo Japan’s Traditional Sport

15 November 2014

Event: Shichi-Go-San
Location: All over Japan

Shichi-Go-San is a Japanese festival in honour of girls aged three and seven, and boys aged five. On November 15 or the closest weekend, children dress in their finest clothes and visit shrines and temples with their parents, where they pray for good fortune and healthy growth of the children. Children usually dress in traditional kimono or modern-day suits to visit the shrines and temples.

23 November 2014

Event: Kinro Kansha no Hi (Labour Thanksgiving Day)
National Holiday

Kinro Kansha no Hi or Labour Thanksgiving Day is a National Holiday which takes place annually on November 23. It is a day to commemorate labour and production, as well as for giving one another thanks. Special events are held throughout Japan, that encourage thinking about the environment, peace and human rights. The National Holiday was established in 1948 to mark some of the changes of the postwar constitution of Japan, including fundamental human rights and the expansion of workers rights.


This article originally appeared on japantraveladvice.com.