Nagoya Events and Festivals

(Nagoya, Chubu, Central Honshu, Japan)




Photo of the Dome baseball stadiumThe city of Nagoya enjoys a good selection of annual events and festivals, with something significant happening every month, with the exception of May. Many visitors try to plan their trips to coincide with popular events, such as the Tagata Fertility Festival and the Nagoya Castle Summer Festival.

Over the years, Nagoya has hosted many enormous events, with the World Expo of 2005 standing out as one of the biggest. On the eastern side of central Nagoya and in the Aichi-ken area, the pavilions relating to this expo event are often open and worth a look. Yearly festivals and other things to do within the city are shown below.


Nagoya National Public Holidays


  • Ganjitsu - January 1st (New Year's Day)
  • Seijin-no-hi - Second Monday in January (Coming of Age Day)
  • Kenkoku Kinem-bi - February 11th (National Foundation Day)
  • Shumbun-no-hi - March 20th or 21st (Spring Equinox)
  • Midori-no-hi - April 29th (Green Day)
  • Kempo Kinem-bi - May 3rd (Constitution Day)
  • Kokumin-no-Saijitsu - May 4th (Adjoining Holiday)
  • Kodomo-no-hi - May 5th (Children's Day)
  • Umi-no-hi - Third Monday in July (Marine Day)
  • Keiro-no-hi - Third Monday in September (Respect for the Aged Day)
  • Shubun-no-hi - September 23rd or 24th (Autumn Equinox)
  • Taiiku-no-hi - Second Monday in October (Health Sports Day)
  • Bunka-no-hi - November 3rd (Culture Day)
  • Kinro Kansha-no-hi - November 23rd (Labour Thanksgiving Day)
  • Tenno Tanjobi - December 23rd (Emperor's Birthday)

Nagoya Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Seijin Shiki - otherwise known as the Japanese Coming-of-Age Ceremony and held on the second Monday of January, this annual affair sees a variety of festivities conducted at the city's public halls and parties held at the homes of locals, to celebrate and marking individuals' transition into adulthood

February


  • Tagata Fertility Festival - this internationally famous event is held in Komaki, a small farming town just north of Nagoya. The highlight of the festival is a procession in which a giant carved wooden phallus is paraded through the streets. Phallic food and souvenirs are available for purchase and sake is drunk in generous quantities

March


  • Japanese Doll Festival - held on the 3rd of March and otherwise known as Girls' Day, this event sees cities across Japan laying out red cloth-covered platforms in order to display ornamental dolls that represent the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians, as they would have been typically dressed in the Heian period. This event is a tribute to the people of this dynasty. Traditionally, amazake (fermented rice drink) is drunk and arare (soy sauce flavoured crackers) are eaten at this festival

April


  • Hanami - this is essentially the name of the spring flower period and is a time when locals and visitors alike take to the outdoors to appreciate the country's many beautiful blossoms and in particular, the much cherished cherry blossom
  • Nagoya Springfest - this annual event described by the media as the 'party in the park' sees a variety of activities including a showcase of artistic works by painters, photographers, potters, musicians, sculptors and jewellery makers

May


  • No significant events and festivals in Nagoya in the month of May

June


  • Atsuta Festival - held on the 5th of June at the Atsuta Jingu Shrine, this festival is one of the calendar's most significant and sees religious rites performed inside the shrine, while outside a martial arts contest is conducted and street entertainers showcase their talents. In the evening, the lighting of paper lanterns and the setting off of fireworks takes place

July


  • Tanabata Festival - translating as 'seven evenings', Tanabata is a festival that has evolved from Obon traditions and out of the Chinese Star Festival, known as Qi Xi. Generally held on the 7th of the month, the festival celebrates the meeting of the two stars Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair)
  • Minato (Port) Festival - normally held sometime around the 20th of July, the highlight of this annual festival is the raftsmens' water logging contest, while other attractions include a massive street dance with over 1,500 performers, a marching band and copious amounts of fireworks
  • Nagoya Basho Sumo Tournament - mid-July, held on the third Sunday at the Aichi Prefectural Gynasium

August


  • Nagoya Castle Summer Festival - held early in the month, this festival gets going after sunset and sees the city's residents flock to Nagoya Castle for live music, dancing and other festive activities

September


  • Chrysanthemum Festival - on the 9th of September, sees the whole of Japan join together in celebration of the chrysanthemum. The flower is of great cultural importance and the festival sees many specimens of its multitude of species displayed for the visual appreciation of locals. Popular historical scenes are depicted by clay dolls dressed in robes made from chrysanthemums petals

October


  • Nagoya Festival (Matsuri) - held mid-October in Hisaya Ohdori Park (Central Park), this festival sees the Parade of the Three Heroes as its highlight. This massive procession featuring over 700 people honours Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu

November


  • 7-5-3 Festival - also known as Shichi-Go-San, this is a festival in which boys of five years old and girls of either three or seven years old are taken by their parents to their local shrine in order to pray for their futures. These numbers are considered unlucky hence locals feel the need for some spiritual protection for their offspring

December


  • Omisoka - is simply the Japanese name for New Year's Eve and is considered an important time for the locals in Nagoya, who put great emphasis on the idea of shaking off the old to usher in the new. A noodle dish known as toshikoshi-soba is traditionally eaten during the daytime on this date







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