June in Japan sees colourful hydrangea blooms flourishing in parks and temple, and many seasonal events and festivals to be enjoyed throughout the country.
It's considered the rainy season as it generally receives more rainfall than other months but it doesn’t mean it necessarily rains every day. Hokkaido is an attractive destination at this time of year as it receives significantly less rain than other parts of the country.
Sanzenin Temple, Kyoto
We've highlighted a few festivals and events below that you can keep in mind when planning your future travel to Japan. They are selected from a list compiled by JNTO's Tourist Information Center and provides details on which festivals were scheduled for or went ahead in 2021 and which were cancelled. The full list can be found at the end of this article.
Note: Many websites only have information in Japanese so you may need to use an online translation service such as Google Translate or DeepL . Alternatively, the Chrome browser allows you to translate many webpages from Japanese into English.
Please note that dates, times and functions are subject to change without notice and can vary slightly each year. In particular, the schedule of outdoor events and flower festivals may change due to the weather. Be sure to check the latest information in advance.
Where: Shimoda Park
Summary: Over a hundred thousand hydrangea plants burst into colour each June in this hillside park, with views of the city and Shimoda Port.
Yosakoi Soran Festival
Where: Odori Park and other areas in the city
When: 9–13 June 2021
Summary: A multi-day event featuring dance performances, competitions and food stalls.
Where: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, Kyoto Prefecture
When: 10 June 2021
Summary: A rice-planting festival where people traditional farming clothes and plant rice seedlings in the shrine's paddy field while traditional music and songs are performed nearby.
Official website: Fushimi Inari Taisha
Izawanomiya Rice Planting Festival
Where: Izawanomiya Shrine, Mie Prefecture
When: 24 June 2021
Summary: A rice-planting rite praying for bumper crops for the year ahead, and designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. People in traditional attire transplant rice seedlings in the sacred paddy field of the shrine, while music plays in the background.
Official website (JP only): Ise Jingu
Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival (Ajisai Matsuri)
Where: Hakusan-jinja Shrine and Hakusan Park, Tokyo Prefecture
When: Cancelled 2021 (Early to mid-June)
Summary: Annual ajisai (hydrangea) flower festival featuring around 3,000 hydrangeas blooms with various events are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival period.
Where: Atsuta Jingu Shrine, Aichi Prefecture
When: Cancelled in 2021 (originally scheduled for 5 June 2021)
Summary: The annual festival of the shrine. It features Kento Makiwara, huge altars with 365 lanterns each, that light up beside the torii gates of the shrine.
Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Festival
Where: Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa Castle Park and other areas, Ishikawa Prefecture
When: Cancelled in 2021 (usually held on the first weekend of June)
Summary: An annual festival in commemoration of the feudal lord Maeda Toshiie (1537-1599) who built the foundation of Kanazawa City. The main event of this festival is the Hyakumangoku Parade which features a procession of participants dressed in 16th-century attire and also involves historical re-enactments, taiko performances and lion dancing.
Hokkaido Shrine Festival
Where: Hokkaido Shrine and surrounding areas, Hokkaido Prefecture
When: Cancelled in 2021 (usually held annually on 14-16 June)
Summary: Also known as the Sapporo Festival, this is the annual festival of the shrine. The highlight is a parade of mikoshi (portable shrines), ornate floats and over 1000 people in colourful Heian period costumes.