7 of the Best Events to Attend in Japan in November
Japan is an amazing place to visit at any time of year, but in November, there are many events in Japan that you will not want to miss.
Have you ever wanted to visit Japan? Have you been looking for a destination that can offer you all sorts of experiences this time of year? If so, then November is your month to head to Japan.
In addition to the normal sights to see and adventures to be had, Japan’s social calendar is quite busy these days. In fact, all over the country, you will find event after event.
Types of Events in Japan in November
Some events encompass ancient traditions, others are religious. Some just offer a great time for food, costumes, music, and parades. With the summer crowds beginning to dissipate and the weather becoming cool and comfortable, it is the perfect time to head to Japan and discover something new.
It is rumored by seasoned world travelers that the best way to visit a new and unfamiliar destination is to totally immerse yourself in the local culture. And, what better way to do just that than to join in on local events? It is your chance to experience the local food, arts, traditions, and even history.
Get ready to experience Japan in November. Here is a sample of the many event choices you will have.
1. Ohitaki Festival located at Fushimi Inari Shrine, Fushimi, Kyoto
Photo by Jase Bloor on Unsplash
This festival at the Fushimi Inari Shrine is based on a giving of thanks for the year’s rice harvest.
The festival consists of a large bonfire in which approximately 100,000 prayer sticks are burned.
It is seen as an offering to the Gods – and to banish evil spirits. At the festival, you will have the chance to see the traditional, ancient Kagura dance performed as entertainment for the Gods.
2. Momiji Festival located in Arashiyama, Kyoto
If you want a breathtakingly beautiful festival to enjoy, then you won’t want to miss the Momiji festival.
First, the word “Momiji,” translates to “red leaves.” This festival is designed to re-create the Heian court when the Emperor and his court went sailing along the Oi River.
Each year, in the middle of November, this recreation hosts 5 decorated boats filled with people dressed in Heian costumes. These beautiful boats then cruise by on the Oi River, while those on board bless the crowd with traditional music played on classical instruments.
This festival is best experienced on the Togetsukyo Bridge.
3. Ebisu-san Matsuri located at Ebisu Shrine, Hiroshima City
The God of Commerce, Ebisu-san, is the reason for this festival. It takes places behind two large department stores and seems like an ideal time to get the commerce boosting in the area.
Many local shops offer bargains on their items and street vendors can be found at every turn.
If you are a traveler that loves to snag goods or souvenirs from the places you visit, then doesn’t the Ebisu-san Matsuri festival seem like the perfect opportunity?
Shopping isn’t the only thing that takes place, however. You will also find various activities and parades along the busy streets.
Of course, to give yourself some good luck for the upcoming year, you may want to toss some money or other superstitious items into the empty barrel known as the “barrel of fortune.”
4. Sukagawa Taimatsu at Sukagawa, Fukushima
Fire, drums, and dancing? Sukagawa Taimatsu in Japan is a must-see experience. This is a fire festival that is in celebration of the winter that is coming.
Thirty enormous torches are lit and the sound of the taiko drums can be heard all over. The torches are paraded all throughout the town in a celebratory manner.
This festival offers a time of fun celebration and anticipation for what the winter will bring – and it has been a tradition for over 420 years.
5. Wild Monkeys in Yudanaka
Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash
While it is not a formal festival, it is something to see and experience in Japan during the month of November.
Yudanaka has wild snow monkeys. And, when it is cold, they like to stay warm in the nearby hot springs.
You can also visit them at the monkey park. And, when you are through, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery, skiing, and shops that surround these snow monkeys.
6. Asakusa Tori no Ichi at the Chokokuji Temple and its annex, Otori Shrine, Asakusa, Tokyo
This festival occurs on what is known as the Day of the Rooster in Japan. It is a festival of wishes for good fortune and prosperity.
This old tradition in Tokyo offers sales of silver and gold rakes, known as kumade. They are decorated with flowers, masks, ropes, wooden plaques, etc.
Those participating in the festival will buy a new kumade for good fortune in the upcoming year. And, they then leave last years kumade at the temple.
The Asakusa Tori no Ichi festival is a wonderful opportunity to experience the old traditions of Japan.
7. Hadakambo Festival at Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine, Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Visiting festivals in Japan just wouldn’t be complete without experience one of their “naked” festivals. And, the Hadakambo Festival seems to be the most popular.
There is much that goes into this festival, but it circles around the Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine, which is dedicated to academic learning.
It is important to note that those who participate in this festival are not truly naked. Instead, they wear loincloths.
Together, they carry floats in parade-style to the shrine. It is a sight to see and is full of fun and tradition.
There are so many festivals to attend in Japan in November. The above seven look like so much fun.
But, can you imagine that these are only a handful of all the events taking place in Japan this month? What city and shrine will you visit? What festivities will spark your interest? Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
Prepare to immerse yourself into the Japanese culture as soon as you step foot off that plane.
To make the most of your trip, consider chartering a private jet. Not only will your private jet take you much closer to the festivities you want to partake in, but you will be able to attend multiple festivals all over the country with ease.