Summer Festivals

Arimatsu Shibori Festival

First Weekend of June

Venue: Arimatsu town


  • Shibori Demonstrations: Watch artisans meticulously showcase the process of shibori tie-dyeing, bringing fabric to life with intricate patterns.
  • Shibori Market: Browse stalls displaying various shibori products, from elegant kimonos to decorative items.
  • Traditional Parade: Enjoy the “Dashi Parade,” where participants proudly display their shibori garments on elaborately decorated floats.
  • Cultural Performances: Engage with puppet shows and traditional Japanese music, enriching the festival atmosphere.

Reasons to Attend: Walk the historic streets of Arimatsu, procure unique shibori crafts, and immerse yourself in a centuries-old textile tradition.


Atsuta Festival (Atsuta Matsuri)

June 5th

Venue: Atsuta Shrine


  • Mikoshi Procession: A grand parade where mikoshi (portable shrines) symbolizing the transportation of deities are carried through the streets.
  • Traditional Performances: Witness kagura (sacred dance and music), martial arts demonstrations, and other rituals at the shrine precincts.
  • Evening Lanterns: As dusk falls, lanterns illuminate the shrine grounds, creating a serene ambiance.
  • Food Stalls: Experience a culinary journey with numerous yatai (food stalls) offering traditional festival foods.

Reasons to Attend: Delve into the spiritual essence of Nagoya, indulge in local culinary delights, and immerse in traditional Japanese culture at a significant Shinto shrine.

Shibori: The Japanese Art of Tie-Dyeing

Shibori is a traditional Japanese resist dyeing technique that has been practiced for centuries. The term “shibori” comes from the Japanese verb “shiboru,” which means “to wring, squeeze, or press.” It involves folding, twisting, or binding cloth and then dyeing it to create intricate patterns.

Shibori Techniques:

There are various shibori techniques, each producing unique patterns. Some of the prominent ones include:

  • Kanoko Shibori: Similar to what’s known as tie-dye in the West, this technique involves binding sections of fabric using thread to produce small circle patterns.
  • Miura Shibori: Fabric is looped with a hooked needle and then bound with thread. The resulting pattern consists of small, water-like circles.
  • Kumo Shibori: The fabric is pleated in small sections and then bound, producing spider-like designs or cloud-like patterns.
  • Nui Shibori: A stitched shibori where the fabric is hand-sewn in a specific pattern and then gathered before dyeing. Once the threads are removed post-dyeing, a pattern emerges.
  • Arashi Shibori: Also known as “pole-wrapping shibori.” The fabric is wrapped around a pole, tightly bound, and then dyed. The result is a diagonal storm-like pattern, with “arashi” meaning “storm” in Japanese.
  • Itajime Shibori: A shape-resist technique where the cloth is folded and then pressed between two pieces of wood or other shapes held in place with clamps or ties. The areas of fabric that are under the wood resist the

Nagoya Castle Summer Festival

Late July to Early August

Venue: Nagoya Castle grounds


  • Bon Odori Dances: Join in or watch as participants dance around a central tower, celebrating the spirits of ancestors in this traditional dance.
  • Taiko Drum Performances: Feel the rhythm as powerful taiko drums resonate, offering an auditory treat.
  • Castle Illumination: As night falls, Nagoya Castle is splendidly illuminated, emphasizing its architectural beauty and historical presence.
  • Traditional Arts: Engage with traditional Japanese arts showcased during the festival, from tea ceremonies to flower arrangements.

Reasons to Attend: Relish the backdrop of the majestic Nagoya Castle, partake in traditional dances, and dive deep into the history and culture of the region.


Shikemichi and Endoji Tanabata Lantern Festival

Early to Mid-August

Venue: Shikemichi and Endoji districts


  • Lantern Illumination: Wander streets bathed in the warm glow of thousands of lanterns, creating an enchanting setting.
  • Tanabata Decorations: Marvel at streets adorned with vibrant Tanabata streamers and bamboo branches laden with wishes.
  • Street Performances: Local artists offer music, dance, and other performances, adding liveliness to the festivities.
  • Traditional Games: Engage in age-old Japanese games, offering fun for all ages.

Reasons to Attend: Bask in the romantic lore of Tanabata amidst Nagoya’s historic districts, enjoy cultural performances, and partake in traditional festivities.


Nagoya TV Tower Summer Festival


Venue: Surroundings of Nagoya TV Tower


  • Tower Illumination: Behold the Nagoya TV Tower, an iconic city landmark, magnificently lit in festive colors.
  • Live Music: Enjoy a variety of musical performances, spanning from traditional to contemporary genres.
  • Dance Performances: Witness and even join in various dance shows, feeling the pulse of the festival.
  • Interactive Workshops: Participate in activities and workshops, offering hands-on experiences and learning opportunities.

Reasons to Attend: Experience a modern twist on traditional celebrations, indulge in diverse entertainment, and immerse in the vibrant atmosphere at the base of a city icon.


Imaike Matsuri


Venue: Imaike district, Nagoya


  • Street Performances: Various artists, musicians, and local talent showcase their skills, adding to the lively atmosphere of the festival.
  • Local Food Stalls: Numerous yatai (food stalls) serve traditional Japanese festival foods and local Nagoya delicacies, offering attendees a culinary journey.
  • Interactive Activities: Workshops and games set up for festival-goers allow adults and children to engage and have fun.

Reasons to Attend: Dive into the vibrant local culture of the Imaike district, enjoy a mix of traditional and contemporary performances, savor delicious foods, and immerse yourself in the genuine community spirit of the Imaike Matsuri.

KKPCW(Kyu3), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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