July is here! In Japan, it's the season to go out and celebrate. Cool down in the sizzling Japanese summer heat with a cool draft beer or sweet shaved ice, enjoy the sights, sounds and the fireworks. You might get sweaty, but it's totally worth it!
In Fukuoka Prefecture (north of Kyushu Island) from the 1st to the 15th of July, a very big festival called "Hakata Gion Yamakasa" will take place. On the last day, an including an impressive tank race will take place from dawn in front of the Kushida Shrine. The shrine is more than 750 years old, and it attracts more than a million visitors a year! Fukuoka is famous for its ancient temples, beaches and modern city, so don't hesitate to go there if you can!
In the Kansai area between 14th and 17th of July, you can enjoy the famous Gion Matsuri, one of the 3 largest festivals in Japan. This ancient rite is intended to fight against natural disasters.
You will be able to see Geiko and Maiko on the doorstep of their houses during the festival. And of course, Kyoto is a historic city full of wonders. This festival is definitely too good to miss!
One of Japan's other biggest festival called Tenjin Matsuri is held in Osaka, it takes about 1 hour by train from Kyoto to get there. Enjoy illuminated boats, large drums and beautiful fireworks over the Okawa River. There will also be a large parade of more than 3,000 people wearing eighth-century outfits. It takes place on July 24th and 25th in Osaka, a modern and trendy city. Enjoy typical Kansai dishes, and have fun!
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