2024 Local Summer Festivals

  • By Camryn

When the sun is shining in Niseko, the area turns into a summer oasis filled with culture and celebration. We will explore the summer festivals in Niseko and beyond in this article. The festivals promise an unforgettable experience, providing an opportunity to experience the heartwarming spirit of community and celebration.

Photo Credit: Hokkaido Love

Lake Toya Anime Festival

Date: 22-23 June 2024

Perhaps the most creative summer festival in the area, the Lake Toya Anime Festival is a unique experience for both participants and viewers. If you do not know, anime refers to cartoon or comic characters. People come to Lake Toya for this festival dressed as their favourite character. They then walk through the crowded streets interacting with one another and with viewers.

Photo Credit: Hokkaido Love

Demon Fireworks of Noboribetsu

Date: June and July

Prepare for a mesmerising spectacle that lights up the night sky in Noboribetsu – the Demon Fireworks Festival. This event is a visual feast that combines the artistry of traditional Japanese fireworks with the mythical allure of demons. 

As darkness falls, the picturesque town of Noboribetsu transforms into a canvas for a breathtaking display of pyrotechnic brilliance. What sets this festival apart is the performers dressed as Yukijin (demon gods), release powerful Demon Fireworks into the night sky, resembling a volcanic eruption.

The legend of Demon Fireworks has been passed down through the generations and the fireworks are launched with the hope that they will bring happiness and carry away people’s troubles.

Photo Credit: Nippon Matsuri

Shakotan Fire Festival

Date: 4-6 July 2024

Get ready for a spectacle of light and tradition at the Shakotan Fire Festival, a summer event that illuminates the coastal town of Shakotan with fire. Held against the backdrop of the Sea of Japan, this festival is a celebration of both summer and the region's unique cultural heritage. 

As the sun sets, the festival comes to life with blazing torches, creating a captivating dance of flames. The festival's highlight is the Tengu Fire Dance. A performer dressed as a Tengu, a Japanese mountain spirit, walks through a huge pillar of flame to symbolise purification.

Photo Credit: Experience Niseko

Iwanai Shrine Festival (岩内神社例大祭)

Date: 7-9 July 2024

This annual celebration honours tradition, spirituality, and community. At the historic Iwanai Shrine, a sacred site rooted in local culture, the festival unfolds. 

Visitors can witness captivating traditional rituals, including ceremonial dances and processions, where participants dress in colourful clothing. Local young men transport religious shrines through the town while stomping and making rhythmic sounds to keep in time, the shrines are also transported on fishing boats for part of the ceremony. Apart from the religious ceremonies, the festival offers a feast for the senses with a market of 100 stalls showcasing local delicacies and crafts.

Niki Fruit Festival

Date: July

Visitors to the Niki Fruit Festival can indulge in a variety of fresh, locally grown fruits. The festival not only highlights the delicious produce but also offers a chance to learn about traditional farming practices and the agricultural heritage of the region. 

Beyond the tasting booths, the festival features lively entertainment, including live music, cultural performances, and fun activities for all ages. Stroll through the charming stalls, sample the seasonal delights, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere that permeates Niki during this delightful celebration of nature's bounty.

Photo Credit: Vacation Niseko

Jaga Matsuri

Date: Early August

The Jaga Matsuri is a summer festival to celebrate Kutchan’s produce of the potato. People come together to celebrate a successful harvest and wish for a prosperous season. There are fun games to enjoy, such as ‘all you can take potato’ where you are given a bag and have 10 seconds to collect as many potatoes as possible. Also, another highlight of the festival happens on the second night when 1,000 people dance on the street in front of the Kutchan Station. 

Festival-goers can indulge in an array of local delicacies creating a feast for the senses. As part of the festival, the city's main street is closed off for a dance parade, games, food stalls, including potatoes of course, and fireworks. There is a buzzing atmosphere in the local izakayas as the celebrations continue into the night.

Niseko Tanabata Festival

Date: Early August

This is a summer festival right here in Niseko full of excitement and fun. Niseko buzzes with local food stalls, fun games for both adults and children and much more. There are many activities such as hot air balloon rides, lantern making and areas where children can play in fake snow. 

The official name for this festival is “Tanabata no Yube” meaning “Star Festival Evening”. Therefore it is no surprise that fireworks are a major part of the celebrations. The festival reaches its pinnacle with a fireworks display of 1,500 fireworks at night.

Photo Credit: Hirafu Matsuri

Hirafu Matsuri

Date: Mid August

Prepare to be swept away by the joyous atmosphere of the Hirafu Matsuri, an annual festival that brings Hirafu to life. The Hirafu Matsuri is unique because it has an international vibe. It reflects Niseko which is a melting pot of nationalities and personalities. So come along to enjoy a local Japanese festival with international flavour. 

Over two days you can experience fun games and yummy food stalls with local and international food. Those who have attended the festival before will look forward to the mochi and candy toss event. Mochi is tossed out to the crowd and some mochi even have prizes hidden in them such as onsen, restaurant or stay vouchers. The highlight is a collaboration of fireworks and taiko drumming performances. This combination of exciting artforms will leave you stunned.

You May Also Like

The Heroes Who Brings the Freshest Produce to Town

The Heroes Who Brings the Freshest Produce to Town

Get to know more about our local heroes, what they do and the story behind all their hard work producing and delivering the town's best quality vegetables for our locals and guests to enjoy. 

September 08, 2021
Read More
The Winter Legends

The Winter Legends

While we appreciate living in a town renowned for the best powder snow in the world, we also want to recognize the legends behind the beautiful snowscapes; the snow-clearing team who work incredibly hard throughout the whole snowy season, ensuring every guest has an amazing winter experience.

March 29, 2022
Read More
Travel Freely in Japan this Winter

Travel Freely in Japan this Winter

Setsu Niseko as a licenced Japanese travel agent can help you travel to Japan this winter. Japan is open to International tourist with a few extra steps required to enter.

September 14, 2022
Read More