Attractions Life in Japan

My first 夏祭り! (natsu matsuri, or summer festival)

17 January 2014

Since it is effin’ cold now (temperatures at night are 1°C, give or take), what better way to imagine warmth and toastiness by reliving one of my favorite times during summer?

This is a re-post from my old blog (now inactive) that I kept when I was in Japan previously, and part of the Flashback Friday series! ^_^

First written: 18 July 2009

I have been looking forward to this day for SO LONG.

My first time at a 夏祭り (natsu matsuri), aka summer festival!


I have watched countless j-dramas and anime where summer festivals are shown, where the girls all don pretty yukatas (like a summer kimono) and happily go to the festival.

At the festival, there are lots of stalls from food to games and it always seemed full of fun and excitement! I have been DREAMING of going to one and I finally got to live it today!

We went with 2 other couples (Fu’s friends) and both couples are on their honeymoon! Awww. It’s like a double-date for them, only better!

The festival really is as I imagined it to be – People happily exploring the festival site, which is decked out with endless rows of store after store.

Like with our pasar malam, the stores repeat after a while, but the difference is I don’t get bored of seeing the same stores here!

From yaki soba (fried noodles) to choco banana (fresh bananas coated with a layer of chocolate and often sprinkled with confectionary) to yakitori (grilled meat on a stick) to okonomiyaki (japanese-style pizza). Everything was straight out from the drama/anime and I wanted to try everything!

I missed eating my cotton candy though. Only saw it at the end and was too friggin’ full (and expensive!) >_<



Jumbo takoyaki

Jumbo takoyaki

Choco banana

Choco banana

Candied apple

Candied apple

Shaved ice

Shaved ice

They give you a cup of ice to do your own ice-kachang, japanese-style! There are more than 10 types of syrup for you to pick from!

Happy kid

Happy kid

Fu was a little top trigger-happy with the syrup and what was supposed to be ice with a tinge of syrup turned out to be ice drowned in syrup -_-

When it comes to summer festivals, who can forget the highlight…



The Japanese really love their fireworks and the fireworks lasted for a full hour!

Ttaken by Jaze, a professional photographer! Artistic not? ;D

Ttaken by Jaze, a professional photographer! Artistic not? ;D

Koon Yang and Joelle- Couple #1!

Koon Yang and Joelle- Couple #1!

Here's Jaze with Ivy- couple #2!

Here’s Jaze with Ivy- couple #2!

I was totally used as a prop for their photos, because I was decked out in a yukata and adds to the “authenticity” of being in Japan. Though there’s nothing authentic about it since I’m not Japanese… but as long as I look the part, eh? :D

I think this might be one of the few things I love about summer!

Ending note: Time really flies! These 2 couples, who were on their honeymoon when these photos were taken, already have 2 kids EACH D:


  • Reply Yuki 1 March 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Hello Rin,

    May I know the location of the natsu matsuri that you went to, and when is it usually held?

    Thank you! I really enjoy reading your blog by the way. :D

    • Reply Rin 2 March 2016 at 12:57 am

      Hi Yuki, my memory is a little fuzzy on this exact natsu matsuri (I’ve been to many over the years), but if I’m not mistaken, it’s the Sumida River Fireworks Festival (this is a link to the official website).

  • Reply Ly 16 September 2016 at 10:06 am

    I like how it’s so festive and lively over in Japan. Over in Houston we have the Japanese festival every spring, I believe. I just wished there was more vendors to check out and more Japanese food to be eaten. I really like things anime to0 and more K-shows than J-shows. Unless, you have something to recommend like a comedy romantic show of the sort. Or, action? I’m terrified of horror. Japanese movies has the hands down on all scary movies though!!

    Check out << scroll down to the you tube video to check out how we celebrate Japan festival too. =)

  • Reply Nicole 22 March 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Rin,

    May I know how do you go about finding out the dates of the various natsu masuri? My bf and I are going to japan in Aug and we really want to go to a summer festival! Thank you!

    • Reply Rin 22 March 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Nicole,

      This is the 2016 link for the fireworks festivals in Tokyo. The dates for 2017 should be updated on the same page as they become available later in the year.

      Usually the bigger festivals will have the food stalls that you saw above.

      Hope this helps! :)

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