Are you planning for a tour to Japan this upcoming August?
Then, be prepared to experience some of the biggest festivals of this country.
But it’s not the end of this month’s specialty!
Yes, August in Japan is a whole entertainment package. You can enjoy beautiful beach trips, mountain hikes, highland excursions, water sports, and many more.
Now that you have a little preview, it’s time to learn all the fascinating things to do in Japan in August with a complete guideline.
So, let’s begin our journey from here.
Things To Do In Japan In August
Attend The Nebuta Matsuri
One of the biggest Japanese festivals in August is Nebuta Matsuri. This feast is held in Aomori City from August 2nd to 7th and attracts more than three million people every year.
The main highlight of this ceremony is the daily procession of giant lantern floats with large taiko drums, musicians, and dancers.
Local teams construct this festival’s floats by painting washi paper over a wireframe that takes an entire year to design & build. Each of the floats can be up to 9 meters wide and 5 meters tall.
The paintings have a different theme for each float with gods, mythical or historical figures, characters from the NHK Taiga Drama, and kabuki actors.
Every evening during the festival, the floats are illuminated and carried through the city by carriers. The scene becomes more breathtaking as you will see many dancers in traditional costumes entertaining people around the floats.
On the first two nights (2nd & 3rd), the parades are kind of smaller, with just two-thirds of lantern floats participating.
However, from 4th to 6th August, the procession is in full swing as every float makes an entrance.
On the evening of 7th August, all the floats are put on boats and paraded around the bay. And, finally, two-hour fireworks are displayed at night to close off the festivities.
Besides the procession, you may enjoy various events during this feast at Rassera Land. It is situated next to the ASPM building along the waterfront of the city.
You will find the floats here during the daytime and can check them out closer. Also, visitors can take pictures and even meet with some of the designers & builders.
There are also singing & dance performances at ASPM and vendors selling festival-related goods and delicious foods.
Now that you have full detail of this fiesta, I think you can guess why it is so popular among travelers.
Enjoy The Thrill of Victory By Hiking Mount Fuji
I think travel becomes more memorable when you achieve something great!
And if you are passionate about hiking, Japan has the right cliff to offer you.
Yes, here I am talking about Mount Fuji, which is the highest (12,389.2 ft) mountain in Japan.
Just imagine how fantastic it will be when you win this giant!
Obviously, it will add a new chapter to your achievement list.
Anyway, although Mount Fuji officially opens for climbing from July till mid-September, many climbers recommend hiking in August. It’s because it tends to rain more in July and September than in August.
And that’s why this month sees the most crowd too.
But, you know what, hiking becomes more fun when you have more company. You can talk to many people, share different things, and energize yourself by watching others.
Still, if you wanna avoid the most crowds, you may choose a weekday for your hiking.
Okay, there are several routes available for hiking. Yet, if you ask for my suggestion, I will recommend the most famous Yoshida Trail.
Nevertheless, it totally depends on you as there are other options.
Now, when you finally reach the peak, all of your hard work and sweat will be paid off with the stunning visuals of the surroundings.
Note that reaching the crest of Mount Fuji will take a couple of days.
Explore Some Other Hiking Trails in Japan
Tell me, are you looking for what to do in Tokyo in August?
Well, as this city has many things to offer, you have plenty of options. And one of them is exploring the mountains of this city.
You can go to Mount Takao, which is only 1,965 ft tall and situated within an hour of Tokyo downtown.
It provides easy hiking opportunities, beautiful scenery, and a gorgeous temple.
Besides this, there is another hill called Mount Mitake, which is in Chichibu Tama Kai National Park near Tokyo.
After you reach the Mitake cable car upper station, it will take 20 to 30 minutes to arrive at the Musashi-Mitake Shrine. On your way, you will pass by a small village, some Japanese-style inns, and shops.
From the shrine, you will have trekking options to neighboring peaks and valleys.
Among them, one of the most splendid destinations is “Rock Garden.” It has a picturesque scene with several moss-covered stones and two nearby waterfalls.
If you decide to walk some more, it will take 40 to 60 minutes to arrive at the mountain’s summit. From here, you can enjoy the surrounding views of the forest-covered mountains.
By the way, if you are looking for other opportunities of hiking outside Tokyo, you can pick from Mount Yoshino (in Nara), Fushimi Inari (in Kyoto), Rishiri & Rebun (in Hokkaido).
Celebrate The Akita Kanto Festival
Kanto Festival is organized to pray for a good harvest in Japan. It has been held for 279 years in Akita Prefecture and takes place from 3rd to 6th August.
During the fiesta, over 200 bamboo poles (Kanto) are decorated with bright lanterns and carried through the city both day and night time.
But the main attraction of this event happens at night when various performing groups carry around 250 poles and line up on Chuo Dori street.
When a signal is given, they raise the poles and show off their different skills, like holding the kantos without hand by keeping them on the forehead and hips.
The event lasts about one and a half hours.
At the end of each night, there is a 15-minute session when the audience is invited to take pictures with the performers and try out lifting up a pole.
The performing area of Chuo Dori street is about one kilometer long, so you will find plenty of places to sit on the route.
A spectacular viewpoint is the end of the closed-off road, but it will be more crowded.
Also, paid reserved seats are available in the middle of the road. A few months ago, the reservation could be made in advance till the day of the event if not sold out.
Yet, if you can’t manage to get one, don’t be disheartened cause you can enjoy it anywhere along the street.
Admire The Charm of Awaodori Festival
If you admire dance, then there is a festival that will definitely satisfy your interest.
During mid-August, a number of dance festivals are arranged all over Japan. Among them, the most popular one is Tokushima City’s Awa Odori.
Between August 12 and 15, thousands of spectators visit Tokushima to see “Fool’s Dance” whose origins date back to 400 years.
After seeing the name Fool’s Dance, don’t you think it will look like a bunch of fools doing the crazy dance!
This nickname comes from a common dance song’s lyrics which translates like: “The dancers are fools, the watchers are fools, both are fools alike.”
Thus, be prepared to smile like a fool while watching these dance performances cause you are going to enjoy every moment of your time here.
Although some events occur during the daytime, the main show starts between 18:00 and 22:30, when dancers perform in blocked off streets of downtown Tokushima.
Wearing colorful uniforms, each performer group dances with full energy and rhythm, and it is considered one of the happiest festivals in Japan.
Wear Yukata for Any Traditional Events in Japan
The excitement of attending any traditional festivals in Japan becomes more fun when you participate in them wearing a Yukata dress.
It is a traditional summer dress in Japan that is similar to Kimono but a much lighter version.
You may buy these dresses from shops or online, and can also rent them for a day.
When you visit Japan in August, you should definitely try on Yukata to feel the traditional Japanese summer vibe.
In case you are traveling with your beloved partner, you should grab this opportunity of wearing a matching couple Yukata and strolling on the street hand in hand.
Well, I hope you have a companion to capture some romantic moments of the two of you on camera, or you can ask for a little help from other people around.
Celebrate Yamagata Hanagasa Festival
Yeah! Another dance festival to make you groove in the rhythm.
As I said before, the month of August holds many dance feasts across Japan. Such event is the Hanagasa Festival that is organized in Yamagata Prefecture.
Taking place from August 5 to 7, this fiesta is organized to celebrate the traditional dance and music of the region.
It is one of the cutest summer events in Japan, where around 10,000 dancers of different ages perform in bright and charming costumes.
When you see the adorable little kids dancing cheerfully, only “aww” will come from your mouth.
The dancers wear hats that are decorated with Benibana (safflower). They perform to the rhythm of folk songs through the street that faces Bunshokan, Yamagata’s former city hall.
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Tour the Tohoku Region in Japan in August
Consider visiting the Tohoku region in the first few days of August for the authentic taste of a summer celebration.
During this time, Tohoku’s Sandai Matsuri (three major festivals) are celebrated over a number of days.
The Nebuta Matsuri is the most well-known festival of the three because of its recognisable festival floats.
The human-powered platforms are paraded through the streets in front of throngs of people every night for five days.
You can also witness the Tanabata Matsuri in Sendai at the same time, when the city’s shopping arcades are decorated with lengthy, multicoloured streamers mounted on poles.
The Kanto Matsuri, which takes place in Akita from August 3–6, features street parades in which participants carry lantern towers set on poles, giving the festival its name.
Celebrate The Yosakoi Feast
Alright! Here is another dance festival!
Held in Kochi Prefecture since 1954, Yosakoi Festival is one of the largest dance feasts from the Shikoku region.
During the celebration, Yosakoi dancers get dressed up in colorful costumes, carry “Naruko” sticks and dance through the city as groups.
The festivities last from 9th to 12th of August, but the dancing procession takes on 2nd and 3rd days (10th and 11th).
There is a firework ceremony on the first day while the national dancing competition is organized on the last day.
Witness The Craziness of Summer Sonic Music Festival
Summer Sonic is one of the biggest musical festivals in Japan, usually held at Osaka and Chiba at the same time for two or three days.
The former performers are some of the world’s biggest artists, including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rihanna, The Chemical Brothers, Linkin Park, Metallica, Ariana Grande, and Blackpink.
If you are a big musical enthusiast, I can sense your excitement after knowing the past performing artist’s name.
I mean, how can anyone resist not attending such an event. Right?
So, if you are interested, don’t forget to secure your ticket in advance.
By the way, the venue and event date may vary from year to year, so I suggest you look into their official site to learn the latest update.
Join An Obon Fire Festival in Kyoto & Enjoy Some Other Attractions
Obon is a Japanese Buddhist holiday that is being celebrated in the memory of deceased ancestors of local people.
Every summer, Japan welcomes back the spirits of passed-away ancestors by hanging lanterns on the outside of their homes.
And at the end of the feast, people light bonfires and candles to mark the departure of the spirits from the earth.
Obon is celebrated in different regions at different times. Some areas follow the solar calendar (13th to 15th July) and some the lunar calendar (13th to 15th August).
As you are coming in August, you can participate in Kyoto’s one which is organized during this month.
Kyoto celebrates this tradition by lighting up large bonfires in symbolic shapes on the mountains surrounding the city.
You can enjoy the view of these bonfires from most parts of the city.
Nevertheless, if you spend your vacation in Kyoto, you have plenty of other options too.
You can visit Nijo Castle, Fushimi Inari Shrine, The Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Katsura Imperial Villa, and Gion District.
Also, you may drop by the most famous bamboo forest in Japan, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
In short, Kyoto is one of the best places to visit in Japan in August and even all year round.
Enjoy Fireworks And Lantern Floating Ceremony in Hiroshima
On August 6 in 1945, the US threw a nuclear weapon over downtown Hiroshima that took nearly 90,000 to 166,000 lives.
To commemorate those who were killed, Hiroshima holds a traditional memorial every 6th August.
The ceremony is known as Toro Nagashi when people release floating lanterns in the Motoyasu River near the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
When this city has this sad side in August, it also knows how to be lively too!
In late August, the Miyajima Firework Festival takes place in this city. Over 300,000 people enjoy this colorful bright night show every year.
Around 5,000 fireworks are being launched in just one hour that brightens up the dark sky. Also, two hundred fireworks are launched from the water that reflects a splash of color to the dark ocean.
Therefore I will say if you come to Hiroshima in August, don’t forget to add these two remarkable ceremonies on your bucket list.
How Is The Weather Like in Japan in August
August is Japan’s summer month. Depending on the area, the temperature may vary.
However, one thing is evident that August is pretty hot and humid.
You should also note that Japan’s rainy season will be over by August in some areas, yet it may continue for a little longer.
To give you a quick idea, I have arranged the table below that shows temperature variances and other information.
So, you can see from the above chart that some places are hot with high temperatures.
In Tokyo, You will face hot weather. And if you visit Osaka or Kyoto in August, the heat will be even more.
But do you think that the heat will ruin your vacation?
Well, of course not!
You will be able to enjoy each and every moment of your trip with proper preparation.
And, to help you in this regard, I have arranged my next segment. Hence, check it out now.
What to Pack for Japan in August?
To deal with the hot and sunny days, you will need:
- For girls- summer dresses, short skirts, light cotton shirts.
- For boys- polo shirts, light buttoned shirts, shorts, light pants.
- Open sandals and comfy shoes.
- Sunglasses, wet tissues, hat, sunscreen.
- An umbrella to avoid the sun rays and mini hand fans.
In case it rains, be prepared with-
- Raincoat or umbrella and rain boots.
- Waterproof backpack.
For the night time when the weather will be relatively cooler-
- Long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Long dresses.
- Comfortable shoes and socks.
Don’t forget the other necessary items like-
- Travel documents.
- Power bank, mobile charger, camera, and other gadgets.
- Toothbrush and skincare products.
- Hiking boots (if you have a hiking plan).
- Swimsuit (if you want to spend a beach day).
- A mini first aid kit.
Crowds and Costs in Japan in August
In August, many Japanese people take time off from their office and business during the Obon festival.
Families head to beaches, amusement parks, campgrounds, gardens, and other popular attractions.
Especially on beaches, you will see crowds of both local and foreign visitors.
As Okinawa is the most famous beach destination in Japan, you need to book accommodation and flights in advance for this place.
On the other hand, many travelers choose Hokkaido as their hideout because of its cooler temperature than the other regions.
Therefore, you should expect a crowd there too.
One good thing is that, during the weekdays, the crowds are not much. But, for weekends, it will increase a lot, and even transportation gets crowded.
So, I suggest you visit the places that I have already mentioned on the weekdays.
And, of course, you can’t skip the festival time rush. But, it’s the beauty of every event in Japan that everyone will enjoy the joyful moment together.
Alright, now that you are fully prepared for a fun trip to Japan in August, it’s time to move forward to our conclusion.
After going through the whole discussion, I think you have no queries left regarding today’s topic: things to do in Japan in August.
No matter what you will end up doing, be assured that you are going to have a total blast in our country.
Well, it was nice to be with you till now. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye.