Japan Summer Festivals (Matsuri) in Tohoku Area You Would Not Want to Miss (Part 2-Last)

We already knew the big summer festivals in three Prefectures (Akita, Aomori and Fukushima) of Tohoku region. Let's continue to learn about the Matsuri in three other Prefectures!

Here they are:

  • Iwate Prefecture

It's the biggest prefecture in Honshu island with strong Buddhist culture. Geographically, it has endless amazing coastlines as well! But if you happens to be here from August 1 through 4, you can enjoy the Sansa Odori Festival.

There will a parade with around 10,000 people performing the Sansa Odori dance in the center of Morioka City. Of course, there are plenty of Taiko drummers, bells and flutes, too. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the festival listed as the largest Taiko drum festival in the world!

The Sansa Odori has a unique background, though. The dance began when a demon was punished by the god of Mitsuishi Shrine, according to Japanese legend. The demon swore he would never do bad deeds again and pledge his hand on a large rock. The rock has the demon's hand print. And the locals dance around the rock. Interestingly, the prefecture name “Iwate” means “rock hand” in Japanese language. The name is apparently came from the same story as the origin of the Sansa dance.

  • Miyagi Prefecture

The Prefecture is where Sendai, the biggest city in Tohoku region, located. No wonder, it's also the place of one of the biggest summer festivals since the Edo Period. The Tanabata festival is held every year on August 6 to 8 in Sendai. It usually attracts around 2 million people to come!

During the Tanabata festival, also known as “the star festival”, you will see the city decorations of Japanese paper and bamboo. Tanabata decorations are so elegant yet meaningful. They usually include cranes for health and long life; a net for good harvests; kimono to ward off accidents and bad health; a purse for successful business; a trash bag for cleanliness; and paper strips for good handwriting. People also write their wishes on the paper strips and hang on a bamboo branch.

  • Yamagata Prefecture

The prefecture which is home of magnificent nature, such as Zao Mountain Range and Mogami River. The production of fruits in here is also famously good. Yet, there's more reason to visit Yamagata Prefecture: the Hanagasa Festival!

Every year on August 5 to 7, more than 1 million people flock together to be part of Hanagasa Festival. You will see 10,000 people dancing along with flashy and colourful costumes. The flower-adorned hat is the signature costume that you can see everywhere in the main street of Yamagata city during the festival. It makes the parade looks like like an undulating wave of flowers. Clearly, we should see this at least once in a lifetime!


Talking about those summer festivals in Tohoku region makes you want to be there, right? But most of the festivals are held in early August, so you still have some time to book a ticket. In the meantime, Tohoku region is also known for excellent beef production.

Luckily, we can taste Tohoku's delicious beef here in Singapore! At Sandaime Bunji, to be exact. Their specialty dish, Gyutan (the beef tongue), is very hard to resist.

Sandaime Bunji 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-14/15 Millenia Walk, Singapore 03956 Tel: (65) 63331516 Opening hours: [Weekday] Lunch : 11.30am - 3pm (Last order 2.30pm) Dinner : 5pm - 11 pm (Last order 10.30pm) [Saturday] 11.30am - 11 pm (Last order 10.30pm) [Sunday] 11.30am - 9pm (Last order 8.30pm)

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