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Goin’ Japanesque!

Summer Festival Season in Japan Starting Up Again! – Fuji Rock Festival

Summer in Japan is the season for music festivals. A variety of music festivals such as SUMMER SONIC, ULTRA JAPAN and ROCK IN JAPAN is held in summer throughout the country. By far the most popular among them is FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL, the largest outdoor music festival in Japan. Photo:


Fuji Rock Festival


Fuji Rock Festival, often shortened as “Fuji Rock,” started in 1997 as one of the first rock festivals organized in Japan. Since then, the event has been held every year at Naeba Ski Resort of Niigata Prefecture, around sometime from late July to early August. Over 200 individual and group musicians gather here for a 3-day live concert. Despite the event title, you can enjoy not only rock music but also various other genres such as pops, wadaiko (Japanese drums), Jazz, Hip Hop, world music and so on.


Super Hype in the Pre Party



The night before the opening day of the festival is magnificently celebrated with summer festival events such as bon dance party, lottery drawing and eating contest. At the last moment of the Pre Party, success of the festival is prayed for and the opening of the event is officially announced as fireworks are launched into the sky. What is great about the Pre Party is that it can be an opportunity for visitors to enjoy a variety of typical Japanese cultural events while exchanging friendship with the locals. This pre-festival event is too fun to miss out on!


3-Day Festival in the Great Nature


Over the vast event site, 6 main stages and a numerous of other smaller stages will be set up. One thing you have to keep in mind is that concerts will be held simultaneously at multiple stages so you won’t get to see all of them. It can be frustrating if two or more of your favorite artists or bands appear on separate stages at the same time. But this is what many Fuji Rock fans have gone through at least once.


Another great thing about Fuji Rock is its venue set amidst the wild woods and mountains, which allows you to enjoy not only music but also the forest, camping and other outdoor activities. The event also features other attractions such as makeshift restaurants offering foods from around the world, art events, movie screening and many others. And to top it all off, you can even enjoy a ride on “Dragondola,” the world’s longest ropeway here.


With well-organized garbage collection system and effort to encourage visitors from littering, Fuji Rock has established its reputation as “the World’s Most Clean Festival.” While you stay away from your everyday lives and spend 3 days at this precious site filled with music and surrounded by nature, some wonderful encounter may well be awaiting you.


Fuji Rock is going to mark its 20th anniversary this year in 2016. If you are up for a kind of big festival where you can enjoy nature, music and various traditional cultures of Japan at the same time, Fuji Rock is definitely worth visiting at least once in your lifetime!

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