April in Japan is a magical time when the all awakens from its winter slumber and bursts into a kaleidoscope of colours. Japan is a symphony of blossoms in delicate shades of pink and white, blanketing the land in a sea of beauty. Hanami, the tradition of appreciating the transient beauty of these flowers, brings people together to celebrate the arrival of spring. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima are among the most popular destinations for viewing cherry blossoms.
Delight your taste buds with seasonal dishes such as sakura mochi (sweet rice cakes wrapped in cherry leaves), hanami bento (a colourful and delicious picnic spread), and freshly harvested bamboo shoots. Savour the refreshing taste of amazake, a sweet, non-alcoholic fermented rice drink, or indulge in a cup of matcha tea while enjoying the view of the cherry blossoms. You can pack your picnic basket and join the hanami festivities as families, friends, and couples gather under the canopy of blossoming trees to enjoy food, drink, and good company.
With mild temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F), April is the perfect time to explore Japan at your leisure. Japan in April is truly magical. Japan’s event calendar is brimming with excitement in April, offering a unique blend of cultural, historical, and modern experiences. Let’s find out about the upcoming events and festivals of Japan in April without further ado.
Inuyama Festival (Inuyama, April 1-2)
A festival of ancient origins and beauty, Inuyama Festival Float Event celebrates the guardian spirit Of Haritsuna Shrine, where the lord of Inuyama Castle Started the tradition in 1635 with his loyal vassal. Inuyama Festival Float Event joins the list of UNESCO As one of the float festivals that showcase Japan’s culture and its rich heritage of art and craftsmanship. A festival of wonder and delight, the Inuyama Festival Float Event displays thirteen floats of grandeur with three tiers each and karakuri dolls that move and dance To the melody of flute and taiko that fill the air with romance. A festival of light and sight Inuyama Festival Float Event illuminates the night with lanterns That adorn each float as they parade through the cherry blossoms Creating a scene of elegance and charm that leaves you breathless.
Kanamara Matsuri (Kawasaki, April 2):
Kanamara Matsuri is also known as the “Festival of the Steel Phallus,” this quirky and lively event celebrates fertility in the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki. The annual Japanese festival is held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. Main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April 2. Phallus is the event’s central theme and reflects illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade. The festival started in 1969 and has become something of a tourist attraction.
There is also a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade of numerous giant phalli just before noon. Men in drag carry the pink ” Elizabeth Mikoshi,” donated by a drag queen club called Elizabeth. Profits raised from the event go to HIV research. The festival features three phallic portable shrines: the Kanamara Boat Mikoshi contains a phallus made of black iron; the “Elizabeth” is a pink shaft donated by a drag club in Asakusabashi; and the oldest of the three, the Kanamara Omikoshi, is made of wood.
At a shrine in Kawasaki, there are phallic symbols everywhere. They are the gifts of the gods who heal and bless those who love and lust. The signs of the stories that tell of the goddess who bore a flame, the women who worked at the tea houses, and the woman who fought a demon with an iron phallus. They are the symbols of life and joy, of metal and fire.
Ose Matsuri, Shizuoka (April 4)
On April 4, at the harbour of Shizuoka, a curious sight awaits the visitors. Boats of all shapes and sizes sail on the water, but their passengers are not ordinary sailors. They are men in women’s garb, wearing bright kimonos and wigs, painting their faces and lips. Dancing and swaying on the boats, waving their fans and parasols. Everyone smiles and laughs as they enjoy the music and the breeze.
Ose Matsuri is a festival of fishermen and fun. It is a festival that honours the past and celebrates the present. It is a festival that remembers when pirates roamed the seas, and fishermen had to dress as women to escape their wrath. The festival thanks the goddess Benzaiten, who watches over them from Ose Shrine. It is a festival that shows their gratitude for the sea’s bounty and the land’s beauty.
The Ose Matsuri is a festival like no other. The festival invites you to join the party and share the joy. It is a festival that lets you experience the charm and humour of Shizuoka’sShizuoka’s people. The festival offers you a taste of delicious seafood and the scenic harbor. It is a festival that you will never forget.
Yayoi Festival (Nikko, April 13-17)
Yayoi held at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nikko, this historic festival features a grand procession of samurai warriors and portable shrines, taking you back to Japan’sJapan’s feudal era. The Yayoi Festival is a traditional festival that celebrates the arrival of spring in Nikko, Japan. It is held every year from April 13 to 17 at the Futarasan-jinja Shrine, over 1,200 years old.
The festival’s highlight is the parade of 11 or 12 colourful floats decorated with flowers and cherry blossoms. The floats are called hanayatai, and people dressed in pink pull them. The festival also features music, dances, and food stalls. The Yayoi Festival is a popular tourist attraction and a way to enjoy the beauty and culture of Nikko.
Spring is in the air and the streets of Nikko, Where pink is the colour of joy and celebration. The Yayoi Festival honours ancient traditions with modern flair and innovation. On the final day, the town fills with wonder. As twelve dazzling floats parade with grace and splendour, Join the crowd and feel the rhythm of the music And immerse yourself in Nikko’sNikko’s culture and magic for your trip to Japan in April.
Yozakura, The Night blossoms (Entire April)
When the sun sets, the magic begins At Takada Castle Site Park and Hirosaki Park, Where cherry blossoms glow with radiant light And create a fairy tale scene in the dark. Finally The trees are lit with care and skill. To showcase their beauty and charm, Takada Park stands out for its vastness and grace. With a castle and a blossom-filled path to warm your heart. Don’t miss this chance to see this spectacle. Book your trip to Takada in early spring And Hirosaki later, when the flowers are in full bloom, And enjoy the night view of nature’s art at Takada Castle Site Park lit up at night.
Takayama Spring Festival (April 14-15):
The Takayama Spring Festival showcases beautifully decorated floats accompanied by traditional music and dance performances. The Takayama Spring Festival, or Sanno Matsuri, is famous in Japan. Hie Shrine in Takayama is where you experience the historic mountain town in Gifu Prefecture.
The festival has three main attractions: yatai (elaborate floats), a parade with mikoshi (portable shrines), and a marionette performance. Moreover, The 12 yatai are on display around the downtown’s historical core on the 14th and 15th. Each float enhances with intricate carvings, lacquer work, and metalwork. On the evening of the 14th, the floats are decorated with lanterns and paraded around for a few hours.
A few of the floats have karakuri or traditional Japanese marionettes and give performances of conventional folktales or legends. As it winds its way from Hie Shrine to Otabisho and back over two days, the parade includes a mikoshi procession, lion dances, musicians, and hundreds of people dressed in Edo period attire. It runs from Hie Shrine to Otabisho and back over two days. On the 14th, it departs from the shrine at 1 pm and arrives at Otabisho around 4 pm. The following day, it leaves Otabisho at 12:30 pm and returns to the shrine at 4 pm. Altogether the Takayama Spring Festival is a feast for the senses of your trip to Japan in April.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (Entire April)
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a journey of awe and wonder Through the majestic mountains of the Northern Alps where you can experience the beauty and power of nature. In every season and every weather the route connects Toyama and Nagano prefectures by various modes of transportation such as cable car, ropeway, bus, and trolley bus. Each offering a different view and sensation The route has many attractions and highlights such as the Kurobe Dam, the largest in Japan where you can see the water gushing out with might or a walk across the dam and enjoy the panoramic span.
Another highlight is the snow corridor at Murodo where you can walk between walls of snow up to 20 metres high or enjoy the alpine flowers and plants that grow. In the fields and wetlands under the clear blue sky the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a mountain sightseeing route that will leave you with unforgettable memories and impressions of the natural wonders and landscapes that are so diverse and beautiful.
Every six years, when the Tiger and the Monkey rule the sky, a sacred festival occurs in Suwa. It is a festival of renewal and reverence, courage and devotion, tradition and culture. It is the Onbashira Festival, the festival of sacred pillars.
From the mountains of Nagano, 16 giant fir trees are chosen and felled by the faithful. It then drags down to Suwa’s shrines, where the gods dwell. But this is no ordinary journey. Along the way, the brave and bold ride the logs as they slide down steep slopes, defying death and danger. They splash through rivers and streams, cleansing the logs and themselves. They chant and sing, pray and celebrate.
At the shrines of Suwa, four for each season, the logs are raised to the sky. They are lifted by ropes and poles, by hands and hearts. Symbols and offerings, flowers and flags adorn them. They stand on each corner of each shrine, guarding and honouring the gods. They are the onbashira, the sacred pillars. The Onbashira Festival is a spectacle like no other. It is a festival that spans two months and two seasons, April and May. The festival draws thousands of spectators and participants from near and far. It is a festival showcasing the spirit and culture of Suwa, a treasure preserved for your trip to Japan in April.
A Trip to Osaka or Okinawa (Entire April)
One of the main reasons to visit Osaka in April is to witness the stunning spectacle of cherry blossoms, or sakura, that bloom all over the city. There are many spots where you can enjoy hanami, or cherry blossom viewings, such as Osaka Castle Park, Utsubo-koen Park, Nakanoshima Park, and Kema Sakuranomiya Park.
Okinawa islands in Japan in April because it is a great time to enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful beaches, and the region’s rich culture. April is the start of the beach season in Okinawa, with many resort beaches opening for swimming in March. The sea temperature is warm enough for diving and snorkelling, and you can see amazing marine life like sea turtles and manta rays.
April is also an excellent time to avoid the rainy season, which usually starts in mid-May, and the typhoon season, which runs from June to September. Indeed April is also a time for cultural events and festivals in Okinawa, such as hari boat races, lily festivals, firefly watching, and eisa dancing. Okinawa islands offer a unique and diverse experience of Japan’s nature and heritage that you want to take advantage of.