Akita City and Japan, in general, has many wonderful and cultural festivals and events year-round. The festivals are usually linked to the seasons and you will find that they are grouped as such. On this EVENTS page, we are featuring three of the main festivals that take part every year in Akita City.


Kanto Matsuri Festival

This is one of the most well-known festivals and Kanto Matsuri translates to ‘pole lantern festival’. The festival kicks off the summer festivals in Akita and takes place every year from August 3 to 6. This is a long-standing traditional festival that draws huge crowds every year.

There are events that take place during the day and at night. The main event is the part when performers balance long bamboo poles (also known as kanto) which have a certain number of paper lanterns attached to them. These bamboo poles can reach up to 12 meters and can weigh up to 50 kilograms. Some hold as many as 46 lanterns. It is truly a site to see these performers balance and dance and show their skill.

Tsuchizaki Minato Hikiyama Festival

This is a local float festival with a long-spanning history of about 300 years. It takes place from July 20 to 21. It is a cultural festival that is acknowledged by authorities and government alike. The festival entails different neighbourhoods building and decorating floats with brave warriors. Each neighbourhood then drives their float as part of the big parade. The event is accompanied by music and dancing and is a high-energy event that is very enjoyable and invigorating.

Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

This is one of the winter festivals. A kamakura is a room built from snow. During this festival, hundreds of kamakura are made and candles lit inside them. It is an absolutely breath-taking sight. The festival is 400 years old and is a way to honour the water gods. It is a prayer for clear water in abundance. It also has to do with the traditional returning of New Year decorations to the gods through burning them.

There are many festivals that take place every year and they are all worth seeing. These three are our top choices to attend and experience. It will definitely be something to remember forever.