Something not everyone may know is that Japan has a very active rock scene. Many rock and roll bands, foreign as well as homegrown, thrive in Japan and they are extremely popular. There are some famous rock festivals that the rock fan in you will definitely want to visit!
Fuji Rock Festival is undoubtedly the best rock festival in Japan. It attracts more than a hundred thousand fans from all around the world. It was named ‘Fuji Rock Festival’ as it once started at the foot of Mt. Fuji, the highest and the most famous mountain in Japan. It happens mostly in July at its permanent venue, Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata prefecture. The festival was founded by Masahiro Hitadaka and can be compared to some of the greatest rock festivals around the globe such as Glastonbury in the UK. There is a campsite, and car parking facilities are available at the ski resort. Top rock bands from different parts of the world perform here every year. The festival is organized by Smash Corporation which is owned by Masahiro.
Earth Celebration is held at various venues in Sado island, Niigata every August. This festival is a themed festival that attracts especially percussion groups from all around the world. During the festival, many exhibitions, workshops and hippie events are held at the venue. It was first organised by the famous Kodo Drummers in the late 80s.
Rock In Japan is Japan`s largest domestic festival, and it mostly features Japanese artists. It was first organised in the early 2000`s and is held in August. Many Japanese local bands such as Asian Kung-fu Generation, Guitar Wolf, and others have performed here. The venue is usually the Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki. You can check their website for the exact dates, tickets and venue.
Summer Sonic is a truly international rock festival which has featured international superstars such as Avril Lavigne, the Beastie Boys, and so on. It started in 2000 with a lineup of punk rock bands, and now the lineup includes international pop artists and hip-hop artists too. It is usually held in August, and it does not have a permanent venue. Sometimes it happens in Chiba, usually at the Marine Stadium and Makuhari Messe Event Hall, or Osaka, usually at the Air Stadium. It is better to check the venues on beforehand to avoid confusion. There is a warm-up event called ‘Sonic Mania’ that happens the night before the actual event, it is bombastic and more club-oriented.
Click here for the festival’s homepage (Japanese).
These are just some of the many rock festivals that happen in Japan year round. Get your tickets, start throwing the horns, and let`s pay our respect to god Dio!