Don’t Run From the Heat! 8 Reasons to Stay in Japan and Enjoy the Summer!

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  • Summers are always an exciting time of the year. A time where you can hit the streets or the beach or wherever you head to, wearing basic minimal clothing. The atmosphere is vibrant, people are laughing, and you can eat all the matcha ice cream in the world. While leaving Japan during summertime might be tempting due to the unbearable heat and high humidity, there are a hundred other reasons why you should stay in Japan. Here’s a list of reasons why you should stay in Japan for the Summer of 2016 – and they’re only eight reasons out of a hundred more that I could list.

    1. International Music Festivals

    summer music festival

    This summer, Japan will be home to a number of wicked music festivals. Whether you’re a fan of rock music, or you’re into hip hop or electronic dance music (more commonly known as EDM) you will find the scene that fits your taste. Fuji Rock Festival will take place from July 22 to 24, where a number of renowned artists will be performing such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sigur Ros, and Beck, among a number of other international and Japanese artists. You can get your tickets here.

    The second big music festival is Summer Sonic, which will be held both in Tokyo and Osaka from the 20th to the 21st of August. From Hip Hop to J-Pop, to bands like Radiohead, everyone’s bound to find an artist they enjoy. You can get your tickets here.

    2. Special Exhibition “The NINJA”

    summer ninja

    Have you ever wanted to become a ninja, even if just for a day? Well, this summer starting in July, the Special Exhibition Zone will be offering you the ultimate ninja experience: The NINJA. You will receive insight on scientific research done to uncover the secret lives of the ninja, as well as get the chance to view some of the ancient manuscripts and weapons.

    The most exciting part of this exhibition, however, is the practical bit, in which you acquire some ninja skills as you go along the exhibition! You can practice throwing a shuriken star, improve your jumping skills, and learn breathing and memory techniques that the ninja used back in the day in order to communicate silently.

    This exhibition will start on July 2, lasting all the way to October 10 at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo.

    Ticket Prices

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    3. The Universe and Art Exhibition

    summer the universe and art

    If you’re interested in the universe and are curious about how the world and the human mind works, then this is definitely the exhibition that you are looking for. For the first time in Japan, an interactive art installation will be set up in Mori Art Museum where a various number of art forms will be presented. The concept of the exhibition is merging art and space. And so you will find over 200 art selections through many generations from artists all over the world, as well as meteorites, historical findings, musings, astronomical revelations and so much more! To top it off, there will also be a digital installation in the space where many Yatagarasu (a mythical Japanese three-legged crow) made of lights will be flying and chasing each other, creating an impressive show of lights. Wait until you see what happens when they crash into you.

    For more information about The Universe and Art, click here.

    4. Fireworks

    summer fireworks

    Japan is known for its spectacular fireworks displays, especially during the summer season. Fireworks in Japanese is “hanabi” which literally transliterates to “fire flower,” so perhaps this is why it’s so popular in the summertime.

    Families, groups of friends, couples, and even people on their own will be found gathered on rooftops and in parks to witness these spectacular fireworks shows. There are many events all throughout the summer and across the country, such as the Omagari Festival, the Sumodagawa Festival, and the Sumida River Firework Festival.

    5. Countless Alcohol-themed Festivals

    summer alcohol

    In the name of beer, in the name of wine, in the name of tequila and in the name of whiskey. Whatever your preference of alcohol, Japan has made it certain that this summer you will find a festival that suits your taste.

    Did you think Oktoberfest only exists in Germany? Nope, it happens every June in Japan too. I can’t even begin to fathom what a tequila festival would look like.

    6. Paper Lantern Festival

    Floating Lanterns1

    Lantern floating is also known as Toro Nagashi, this custom occurs often during the summer. The Asakusa Summer Night Festival was brought back in 2005 after a 40-year break. It was known as the Festival of Recovery back in 1946 after World War II; the event is a chance for people to think about loved ones who passed away. Those who partake in this event can light paper lanterns and release them into the river as a way to commemorate their ancestors or a deceased loved one.
    Lighting a lantern costs 1500 yen, but if you do not wish to participate, you can attend and watch the scene. It is a powerful and soul-stirring sight that you will not easily forget.

    For more information on how to attend the event, click here.

    7. Flea Market in Yokkaichi Dome

    summer flea market

    On July 3, Yokkaichi Dome in Mie will be hosting the largest flea market in Japan. There, you will find food stalls, beverage stalls, delicious shaved ice to cool you down, and most importantly the many, many stalls of used items!

    Clothes, watches, books, maybe some games for the kids – you name it. You will find countless booths and stalls offering secondhand goods and sometimes services. You never know, you might end up getting a spine realignment massage while you’re there.

    The event takes place inside Yokkaichi Dome, which is usually used as an indoor sporting arena.

    Advanced tickets are 400yen, admission on-the-day-of tickets are 600 yen and elementary students or younger may enter free of charge. For more information on how to attend, click here.

    8. Kiyose Sunflower Festival

    summer sunflower festival

    In Kiyose City from mid to late August, you will find a 20,000 square meter field full of massive sunflowers. That’s a lot of space! You can expect to see probably tens of thousand of these sunflowers in full bloom.

    Independent farmers dedicate this time of the year to harvesting himawari (sunflower in Japanese) so that participants can go and enjoy the sight of these delightful plants.

    This farmland is owned by these farmers who grow fruits and vegetables all year round. At the event, you will find booths selling locally grown vegetables and homemade jams.

    There’s also a photography competition for those who would like to show off their talent and win a prize!

    For further information on the event, click here.

    Sounds like a pretty exciting summer for Japan, doesn’t it? Astonishingly enough, it doesn’t just stop there. I didn’t even get started on the beaches in Japan. So if you were having second thoughts about what to do with your summer, then start exploring here!

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