Looking for something special, worthwhile or just something fun to visit in Japan? Here is our pick of top events to visit in Japan during 2019. All accessible with the Japan Rail Pass.
Sapporo Snow Festival
(Jan 31st to Feb 11th)
Sapporo Snow Festival by ONLY in JAPAN
The Sapporo Snow festival returns years to exhibit some of the best spectacular ice sculptures in the world. Visit Ohori city park, right in the middle of Sapporo and be amazed by the different sculptures, in the past, there’ve been sculptures of famous Anime characters, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and much more. The Sapporo Snow festival will be even bigger in 2019 and once you are done marveling at the snow sculptures, enjoy yourself at one of the many local food stands.
Details about the Sapporo Snow festival are here
Fuji Rock is an annual Rock Festival and one of the best in Japan. Mixing domestic with talent from all over the world. It is an amazing festival to enjoy your favorite rock and be introduced to the Japanese rock scene at the same time. The festival tends to sell out quickly, so reserve your tickets while you can. Tickets are available for a specific day, or all days. You can also camp the night on the grounds.
Find the details at the Fuji Rock official website
(May 17, 2019)
One of the biggest festivals in Asakusa, Tokyo. The festival is held in honor of the 3 founders of the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple. There are parades, shows, local food stands, religious rites and fireworks. A television program asked locals last year what they are celebrating, nobody really knew the answer but they did know they had to be there, as the festival is amazing.
Find our more here about the Sanja Matsuri
(August 12th and 15th)
Awa Odori is the biggest dance festival in Japan, held every year in Tokushima (Shikoku) as part of the Obon celebration period. Dancers and musicians dance through the streets until late, accompanied by different traditional instruments, like shamisen lute, Japanese flute and taiko drums. The festival dates back to the 16th century and is now famous all over Japan. Be sure to book your accommodation early for it, as there will be a lot of visitors.
Rugby World Cub 2019 – Japan
Japan will be host to the Rugby World Cup 2019. Rugby games will be held all over Japan, from Sapporo, Hokkaido in the north to Oita, Kyushu in the south. Use the Japan Rail Pass to follow your favorite team and explore Japan at the same time. We have a special mini-website for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan find out how to best use your JR Pass, team fixtures, how to access the stadiums and much more!
Sumo Grand Tournament
(Various dates throughout the year)
A visit to Japan is not complete without visiting an authentic Sumo match. The atmosphere is way different from wrestling matches elsewhere and going to Sumo as a family trip is perfectly doable. Sumo is built on layers of tradition and respect, everything thing surrounding a match is worth the visit on its own. We recommend reading up on at least the basics. This way you’ll have a much better idea of what’s going on and will make the whole event more enjoyable. There are different tournaments throughout the year.
The Official Sumo website is here
Ramen show 2019 (25 Nov)
You’re already a ramen lover or soon will be. The Tokyo Ramen Show is the pinnacle of the best Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup. Chef’s from all over the country come to compete and show their best Ramen and the best part, you get to be the judge. A good bowl of Ramen costs less than 1.000yen, you probably won’t have to eat for days after visiting.
Learn more about the Tokyo Ramen show here