There are numerous events taking place in Japan throughout the year. While many are traditional cultural matsuri, there is also a plethora of Japanese festivals offering enjoyable activities and performances. From lantern displays and fireworks to parades, street food, and ceremonies, there’s something incredible to experience for all types of celebrations, holidays, and festivities.

If you’re seeking out the best June events in Japan, you’re in the right place. Below, we highlight some of the most significant June events in Japan that you definitely shouldn’t miss!

Remember, the schedules for certain events may change due to several factors, such as weather conditions, so be sure to check official websites if you plan to participate!

Best June Events in Japan

Yamashiro Shobuyu Festival

Best June Events in Japan Yamashiro Shobuyu Festival

Credit: Yamashiroonsen Morinosumika RESORT&SPA

Kaga-shi, Yamashiro Onsen, Ishikawa, Japan
June 5th

Annually on June 4th, the charming hot spring village of Kaga Onsen comes alive as each establishment hosts a delightful shobu-yu, a serene bathing ceremony adorned with irises, aimed at invoking a year of well-being.

At Yamashiro Onsen, this festival extends over two days, from June 4th to 5th, each year. On the first day, spirited young individuals proudly carry mikoshi, portable shrines filled with iris straws, parading through the hot spring town. Afterwards, the irises adorning the mikoshi are cast into the Kosoyu, a revered location where countless individuals gather to pray for the safety and good health of their loved ones.

Throughout this enchanting occasion, visitors can partake in invigorating iris baths offered at various hot spring inns, adding a touch of splendour to their overall experience.

Atsuta Festival

Best June Events in Japan Atsuta Festival

Credit: 名古屋コンシェルジュ

Atsuta Ward, Nagoya City
June 5th

The grandest and most reverent celebration at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, this festival holds immense significance, graced by imperial envoys representing the Emperor. Within the hallowed grounds, extraordinary displays of martial arts and performing arts, rarely witnessed, are offered in dedication. As dusk settles, the atmosphere is aglow with the illumination of Makiwara lanterns, while a mesmerising spectacle unfolds overhead with the launch of 1,000 fireworks from Jingu Park. Embraced fervently by the community, this festival holds widespread popularity as a joyful herald of the summer season.

Agata Festival

Best June Events in Japan Prefectural Festival

Credit: Kansai Finder

Uji City, Kyoto, Prefectural Shrine
June 6th

The Agata Festival, also known as the “Darkness Festival,” is a yearly celebration held at an ancient prefectural shrine constructed during the Heian period. This shrine stands proudly at the demon gate of the revered Byodo-in Temple in Uji. The festival’s highlight is the mesmerising “Bonten Togyo” ceremony, observed from the night of the 5th until the break of dawn on the 6th. Approximately 1,600 orbs made of delicate Hosho paper are delicately positioned between the ends of green bamboo measuring around 2.5 meters in length.

As the clock strikes midnight on the 6th, the main shrine’s lights are extinguished, and a symbolic “god transfer” ritual takes place. Following the performance of traditional rituals such as “Bun mawashi” and “Giving,” the festival draws to a close around 1:00 a.m. with the Kankosai ceremony. This esteemed festival not only ushers in early summer but also signifies the start of a new tea season in Uji, a renowned tea-producing region.

Nagai Iris Festival

Credit: Nagai Official Website

Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture
June 10th – July 5th

Ayame Park, situated in Nagai City, stands as one of Japan’s premier destinations for iris enthusiasts. Spanning across a vast 3.3 hectares, this breathtaking park showcases an impressive array of hundreds of iris species in full bloom. Among the remarkable diversity of irises, one particular variety called Nagai Koshu can only be witnessed in the charming confines of Ayame Park, nestled in Nagai City.

An annual highlight, the Iris Festival takes place from mid-June to early July. The park comes alive with a plethora of captivating events, offering visitors a delightful experience. Additionally, a wide selection of iris seedlings and delectable local treats from Nagai are available for purchase, allowing visitors to take a piece of this enchanting place home with them.

Sanno Festival

Best June Events in Japan Sanno Festival
江戸村のとくぞう (Edomura no Tokuzo)CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Visit Chiyoda

Hie Shrine, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
June 7th -June 17th

The Sanno Festival marks the vibrant onset of summer festivities in Japan and proudly stands as one of the three grand festivals of Edo (the precursor to Tokyo). In even-numbered years, the illustrious Kanko Matsuri procession takes place from June 7th to 17th, while the primary celebration unfolds in odd-numbered years as part of its sister event, the Kanda Matsuri.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), the mikoshi parades held tremendous significance as they were presented for the observation of the Tokugawa shogunate, the esteemed rulers of the nation during that era. These processions encapsulated a deep sense of tradition and cultural pride, captivating the attention and awe of the participants and spectators alike.

Himeiji Yukata Festival

Best June Events in Japan Himeiji Yukata Festival

Credit: Visit Himeji

Nagakabe Shrine, Himeji City, Hyogo Pref.
June 23th

The Himeji Yukata Festival is a celebration that announces the arrival of early summer in Himeji. The festival features various activities such as children carrying somato lanterns, a yukata parade led by the Queen of Himeji Castle, and engaging events in the lively shopping district. By adorning a yukata, visitors can delight in taking a graceful walk through the enchanting historic castle town of Himeji, savoring its timeless beauty and atmosphere.

Aizen Festival (Yukata Matsuri)

Best June Events in Japan Aizen Festival

Credit: Osaka

Shoman-in, Tennoji-ku, Osaka City
June 30th – July 2nd

The Aizen Festival, traditionally held on the 1st of June in the lunar calendar (now observed from 30th June to 2nd July), is considered the precursor to summer festivals in Osaka. It is a religious ceremony dedicated to the main deity, Aizen Myoo, but it also incorporates elements of Shinto rituals for Natsukoshi-no-harae, the summer purification.

The festival holds a significant historical legacy and has been celebrated continuously since the early Edo period. It is even depicted in literary works by prominent authors such as Ihara Saikaku and Chikamatsu Monzaemon. One of the notable customs within the Aizen Festival is the Hoegako procession. Originating before Tokaebisu, it involves geishas from the new districts of Osaka City parading with palanquins as a form of worship.

The Aizen Festival is a blend of both Buddhist and Shinto traditions, showcasing the harmonious coexistence of gods and Buddha. Over the years, it has become a vibrant and cherished event in Osaka’s cultural calendar, drawing locals and visitors alike to experience the festive atmosphere and pay homage to the revered deity, Aizen Myoo.

YOSAKOI Soran Festival

Best June Events in Japan YOSAKOI Soran Festival

Credit: Yosakoi Soran Festival

Sapporo, Hokkaido
June 7th – June 11th

The festival originated in 1992, drawing inspiration from Kochi Prefecture’s Yosakoi Festival, and combines the vibrant dance style of “Naruko” with Hokkaido’s traditional folk song “Soranbushi”. Initially, it featured 10 teams and 1,000 participants, but it has since grown in popularity. Today, the event attracts approximately 30,000 participants from Japan and around the world, with an impressive attendance of about 2 million spectators.

The festival takes place primarily in Odori Park, where spectators can witness lively parades and stage performances. Additionally, there is a special area called “Waodori Square” where visitors can join in and participate in the energetic dances. Throughout Sapporo, various venues are set up for performances, ensuring that the festival spreads its lively atmosphere across the city.

One of the festival’s highlights is the dynamic choreography performed by the participants, accompanied by their vibrant costumes and striking make-up. Visitors can also indulge in the diverse flavors of Japan through food booths offering a wide range of culinary delights.

Overall, the festival offers an exciting and immersive experience, celebrating the artistry of dance, the spirit of cultural exchange, and the vibrant energy of the participants.

Kaga Hyakumangoku Festival

Best June Events in Japan Suigo Shihoroi Iris Festival (2)

Credit: 金沢市観光協会

Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
June 2nd – June 4th

The Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Festival celebrates the legacy of Toshiie Maeda, the founder of the Kaga Domain, who established Kanazawa by entering Kanazawa Castle on June 14, 1583. Over time, the festival has evolved into a vibrant celebration that allows visitors to immerse themselves in Kanazawa’s rich traditions, which have been passed down for four centuries. It is a cherished event that captures the essence of Kanazawa’s cultural heritage.

Nobunaga Festival

Best June Events in Japan Nobunaga Festival

Credit: The Gifu Festival website

Honnoji, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
June 2nd

The first Saturday and Sunday of June mark the annual Nobunaga Festival, organized by the Oda Nobunaga Commemoration Society. This event serves as a tribute to the renowned historical figure, Nobunaga Oda, who tragically ended his life at Honnoji Temple on 2 June.

While Nobunaga is commonly celebrated for his military achievements, it is worth noting that he was also a patron of the arts. He displayed exceptional skills in various literary arts, including raku-ichi raku-za (enjoying flea markets) and the tea ceremony. The Nobunaga Festival acknowledges and celebrates these cultural aspects of his legacy along with his military prowess.

Horikawa Festival

Best June Events in Japan Horikawa Festival

Credit: 名古屋コンシェルジュ

Atsuta Ward, Nagoya City
June 3rd – June 4th

The Horikawa Festival takes place in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, specifically in and around Miyanowatashi Park. The festival is organized by the NPO Horikawa Machi Net and local residents, with the goal of purifying the Horikawa River. Since 1990, the festival has been held annually, aiming to revive the traditional Atsuta Tenno Festival that was historically celebrated in the area. The festival includes handmade reenactments of the Maki-wara boat and Oyama float, adding to the cultural richness and festive atmosphere of the event.


Credit: Miyajima Tourist Association

Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
July 5th

During the Heian period, nobles in the capital enjoyed the elegant pastime of floating their boats on ponds and rivers in a game called “kangen-no-asobi.” Taira no Kiyomori, the founder of Itsukushima Shrine, brought this tradition to the shrine, transforming it into a ritual to honor the gods. Today, the festival is a graceful and distinctive event on Miyajima Island, surrounded by the sea, resembling a dynamic Heian-era painting come to life, with performances taking place not on a river but on the Seto Sea.

Embrace the Start of Summer in Japan

As summer unfolds across Japan, June kicks off with a bang, offering a whirlwind of exciting experiences that capture the essence of the season. From traditional festivals to modern celebrations, each event paints a vivid picture of Japan’s diverse culture and vibrant spirit.

Let the warmth of the sun and the buzz of excitement guide you through Japan’s June events, promising memories that will last a lifetime. Get ready to kick off your summer in style and embrace all that Japan has to offer!