Festivals and Events for April 2015 in Japan

Dosan Festival Gifu City

Festivals and Events for April 2015 in Japan

April in Japan sees spring in full swing with cherry blossoms at their peak in early April through-out the main island of Honshu. It is usually the best time to see the cherry blossoms in both Tokyo and Kyoto. Japan is truly beautiful at this time of the year. The weather is warm and it is generally a good time to travel in Japan. There are quite a few traditional cultural festivals happening around this time of the year.

Here are a few of the most popular April festivals and events in Japan.

4-5 April 2015

Event: Dosan Festival
Location: Gifu City
Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Times vary according to the event)
Price of Admission: FREE

The Dosan Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Gifu City and celebrates the memory and achievements of Saito Dosan. He was a samurai warlord during the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japanese history and his actions lead to the establishment of Gifu City. The festival is held on the first Saturday and Sunday of April. It starts with a memorial service for Saito Dosan at Jozai Temple (Dosan’s family temple) and is followed by many events such as festival floats (mikoshi), parades and a flea market.

Official Website

4-5 April 2015

Event: Inuyama Festival
Location: Inuyama City
Time: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm for the nigh time floats (Times vary according to the event)
Price of Admission: FREE

The Inuyama Festival is held on the first Saturday and Sunday of April in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. It is the annual festival of the Haritsuna Shrine and first started around 1635. The festival features beautiful festival floats which are 25 feet in height and designated as a tangible folk culture properties of Aichi. The 13 three-layered floats are pulled through the streets of the town to the sound of Japanese flutes and drums. The floats are topped with karakuri dolls (mechanical puppets) which perform music and dance. At night, the festival floats are lit by 365 Japanese lanterns which makes for a gorgeous picture with the beautiful cherry blossoms in the background.

Official Website

11 April 2015

Event: Tejikara Fire Festival
Location: Gifu
Time: 6:30 pm to 9:10 pm
Price of Admission: FREE

The Tejikara Fire Festival is one of the most spectacular festivals in Japan with a history of over 300 years. The festival is held at Tejikarao Shrine in Gifu City and features portable shrines (mikoshi) that are carried under a curtain of fire and fireworks. Other highlights include the gohei andon (Standing Lanterns) that are hung 20 meters above the ground on bamboo poles and tedutsu hanabi (Hand-held Fireworks).

Official Website

12-19 April 2015

Event: Kamakura Festival
Location: Kamakura
Time: Times vary according to the event
Price of Admission: FREE

The Kamakura Festival is held at the historic Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura and is a week-long celebration of events. The festival includes portable shrines (mikoshi) and musical bands. The highlight is yabusame held on Sunday, April 19. It features the revival of the samurai art of shooting arrows from horseback at a target.

Official Website

13 and 17 April 2015

Event: Yayoi Festival
Location: Nikko
Time: Times vary according to the event
Price of Admission: FREE

The Yayoi Festival signals the start of spring in Nikko, famous for its World Heritage temples and shrines. The main attraction takes place on April 17 and features a parade of festival floats. The festival dates back to the 8th Century and follows ancient customs and traditions.

Official Website

14–15 April 2015

Event: Takayama Spring Festival
Location: Hida Takayama
Time: Times vary according to the event
Price of Admission: FREE

The Takayama Spring Festival is one of the Three Most Beautiful Festivals of Japan and dates back to the 17th Century. The Spring Festival also called the “Sanno Matsuri” centers on Hie Shrine and is to pray for a good harvest. The highlight of the festival is the spectacular elaborately decorated festival floats that pass through the beautiful city of Takayama.

Official Website

29 April 2015

Event: Showa Day
National Holiday

Showa Day or “Showa no Hi” in Japanese is an annual Japanese National Holiday held on April 29. It honors the birthday of the former Showa Emperor, who reigned from 1926 to 1989. The purpose of the holiday is to encourage the Japanese people to reflect on this turbulent period of Japanese history. It is the first holiday of the “Golden Week” period in Japan.

Festivals and Events for April 2015 in Japan

John Asano (93 Posts)

John Asano is a blogger, traveler and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has lived in Japan now for over 12 years. John loves nothing better than picking up his camera and exploring all the amazing sights and attractions that Japan has to offer. He writes about the must see sights and attractions in Japan at Japan Travel Advice, as well as about Japanese culture and modern life on his blog Japan Australia. You can read more of his work at http://japan-australia.blogspot.com/


  • http://www.sanrikufukkou.com Gesa Neuert

    Hida Furukawa – April 19 and 20 – the most beautiful Matsuri!

    • http://japantraveladvice.com/ Japan Travel Advice

      That is a good one Gesa! I’ll have to add it to the list along with the Mino & Seki Matsuri here in Gifu Prefecture.