men holding swords illustration
Almost every town in Japan has their own traditional festival of two, but goo Ranking asked which are Japan’s world-class festivals.

The problem with a lot of the festivals in recent years are that they are far too crowded; the problem this year is that most have been cancelled or drastically scaled back.

I’d love to go to the Akita Nebuta Festival; as pictured above, huge papier mache float lit from the inside look impressive on television and probably even better in the flesh. I’ve been to the Gion Festival; not the actual parade, but the day before they have the danjiri – mobile shrines – on display so you can walk around and have a leisurely close-up view.

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is mental; the town itself is one of the rougher places in Osaka, and the danjiri are manned by the local neds and low-level gangsters (allegedly), who push the things through town at breakneck (sometimes literally…) speeds, occasionally knocking chunks out of buildings during tight turns. This is one that is safer to watch on the television.

What’s your favourite festival in Japan?

Ranking result

Rank
 
Votes
1
Aomori Nebuta Festival. Aomori Prefecture
195
2
Gion Festival. Kyoto Prefecture
141
2
Sapporo Snow Festival. Hokkaido Prefecture
141
4
Awa Odori (Dance). Tokushima Prefecture
118
5
Yosakoi Festival. Kochi Prefecture
100
6
Kishiwada Danjiri Festival. Osaka Prefecture
97
7
Sendai Tanabata Festival. Miyagi Prefecture
82
8
YOSAKOI Soran Festival. Hokkaido Prefecture
47
8
Spirit Boat Procession. Nagasaki Prefecture
47
10
Hakata Dontaku Port Festival. Fukuoka Prefecture
44
11
Hakata Gion Yamakasa. Fukuoka Prefecture
42
11
Namahage Sedo Festival. Akita Prefecture
42
13
Aoi Festival. Kyoto Prefecture
41
14
Sansha Festival. Tokyo Prefecture
36
15
Hirosaki Sakura Festival. Aomori Prefecture
33
16
Tenjin Festival. Osaka Prefecture
31
16
Okinawa-wide Eisa Festival. Okinawa Prefecture
31
16
Nagasaki Kunchi. Nagasaki Prefecture
31
19
Yamagata Hanagasa Festival. Yamagata Prefecture
30
20
Akita Kanto Festival. Akita Prefecture
28
20
Asakusa Samba Carnival. Tokyo Prefecture
28
22
Jidai Festival. Kyoto Prefecture
25
23
Gujo Odori (Dance). Gifu Prefecture
22
24
Onbashira Festival. Nagano Prefecture
17
25
Fire Country Festival. Kumamoto Prefecture
16
26
Ecchu Yao Owara-style Bon. Toyama Prefecture
15
26
Kompira Shrine Annual Festival. Kagawa Prefecture
15
28
Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival. Kanagawa Prefecture
14
28
Yamaguchi Tanabata Lantern Festival. Yamaguchi Prefecture
14
30
Chichibu Night Festival. Saitama Prefecture
13
30
Yoshida Fire Festival. Yamanashi Prefecture
13
30
Hamamatsu Festival. Shizuoka Prefecture
13
33
Naha Hari. Okinawa Prefecture
12
33
Nada Fighting Festival. Hyogo Prefecture
12
33
Hiroshima Flower Festival. Hiroshima Prefecture
12
36
Konomiya Naked Festival. Aichi Prefecture
11
36
Nagahama Hikiyama Festival. Shiga Prefecture
11
36
Morioka Sansa Odori (Dance). Iwate Prefecture
11
39
Takayama Festival. Gifu Prefecture
10
40
Atsugi Ayu Festival. Kanagawa Prefecture
9
41
Chag Chag Ma Ko. Iwate Prefecture
8
41
Aizu Tajima Gion Festival. Fukushima Prefecture
8
41
Tochigi Autumn Festival Tochigi Prefecture
8
41
Fukagawa Hachiman Festival. Tokyo Prefecture
8
41
Ohara Naked Festival. Chiba Prefecture
8
41
Kuwana Ishitori Festival. Mie Prefecture
8
41
Tottori Shanshan Festival. Tottori Prefecture
8
48
Sanno Festival. Tokyo Prefecture
7
48
Kuroishi Temple Somin Festival. Iwate Prefecture
7
48
Numata Festival. Gunma Prefecture
7
48
Wajima Grand Festival. Ishikawa Prefecture
7
52
Niihama Taiko Festival. Ehime Prefecture
6
52
Fujisaki Hachimangu Autumn Festival. Kumamoto Prefecture
6
52
Edozaki Gion Festival. Ibaraki Prefecture
6
52
Murakami Grand Festival. Niigata
6
52
Akune Midori Summer Festival. Kagoshima prefecture
6
57
Horan Enya. Shimane Prefecture
5
57
Owari Tsushima Tenno Festival. Aichi Prefecture
5
57
Tsuyama Festival. Okayama Prefecture
5
57
Sumiyoshi Festival. Osaka Prefecture
5
57
Iizaka Kenka Festival. Fukushima Prefecture
5
57
Tosa Akaoka Dorome Festival. Kochi Prefecture
5
57
Hita Gion Festival. Oita Prefecture
5
64
Nachi Fan Festival. Wakayama Prefecture
4
64
Furukawa Festival. Gifu Prefecture
4
66
Kangen Festival. Hiroshima Prefecture
3
66
Fukui Phoenix Festival. Fukui Prefecture
3
68
Asuka Cultural Festival. Nara Prefecture
2
68
Inuyama Festival. Aichi Prefecture
2
68
Imari Ton-Ten-Ton Festival. Saga Prefecture
2

Demographics

On the 14th of July 2020 500 members of the Freeasy monitor group aged between 20 and 49 years old completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.


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