All around the world, outdoor music festivals are a huge attraction during the summer months. Japan is no exception, hosting a large number of festivals throughout the summer filled with both local and international acts. Music festivals can be a great way to bond with the locals over your shared passion for your favorite artists, so why not try to catch one during your next trip to Japan?
Covering everything from rock to electronic dance music, here is a list of the biggest and best festivals Japan has to offer.
Fuji Rock Festival
What better place to start than Japan’s biggest outdoor music event, Fuji Rock Festival. The festival is usually held in late July in Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata, and held over the course of three days. It features over 200 local and international acts and attracts over 100,000 attendees each year. The festival’s natural setting heightens the experience. Attendees find themselves passing through lush forests and crossing streams on their way from stage to stage. This year’s headliners are The Strokes, Foo Fighters, and Lizzo.
If you want to avoid the trip out to Niigata, another strong contender is Summer Sonic. Held in August, this is Japan’s largest music event, taking place in both Chiba and Osaka simultaneously. Many of the acts who perform in Chiba on the first night travel to perform in Osaka the following night, and vice versa. Headlining this year are Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy, and Liam Gallagher. If electronic music is more your thing, the people behind Summer Sonic also host Sonicmania, a one-day event that takes place in Chiba the day before the main festival. This year’s line-up includes James Blake, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat.
Speaking of electronic music, Ultra Japan is the country’s biggest electronic dance music festival, hosting some of the world’s most famous DJs and producers. The festival is held in September in Odaiba, Tokyo. Past lineups have included Skrillex, Deadmau5, and Underworld.
Rock in Japan Festival
Why not try discovering some Japanese artists during your time in the country? Rock in Japan, held in Chiba in late August, has a lineup consisting entirely of Japanese rock and pop acts. One-day tickets are a little cheaper than Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic, so it can be a great way to find some new music during your time in Japan.
Tokyo Idol Festival
If none of the above pique your interest, perhaps Tokyo Idol Festival is the uniquely Japanese experience that you’re looking for! Featuring over 200 J-pop idols and idol groups, Tokyo Idol Festival is the go-to event for anyone looking to bask in the spectacle and excitement of Japanese idol culture. The event features live performances, exclusive merch sales, and even meet-and-greets with the performers. This is the first year since the pandemic that the ban on jumping and cheering has been lifted, so get ready to see idol mania in full swing!
About the author: