#1 Best Guide: Shizuoka Matsuri In Japan

What’s one thing that Japanese festivals like Omizutori Festival (お水取り) and Ninnaji Flower Festival (仁和寺花祭り) have in common? Cherry blossoms (桜), of course! I’m sure we all know by now that the best thing to do in Japan in spring is to admire the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, also known as Hanami (花見) or cherry blossom viewing. In this article, I’ll be introducing you to one more spring festival – Shizuoka Matsuri in Japan!

So if you’re ready to learn about yet another Japanese festival, as well as new Japanese phrases that you can use along the way, put on Japanese singer Fuiji Kaze’s (藤井 風) hit song Matsuri (祭り) for the vibes and let’s get right into it! 

An image of people at Shizuoka Matsuri

What Is Shizuoka Matsuri?

As you can probably already guess, Shizuoka Matsuri (静岡祭り) is one of the many vibrant spring festivals in Japan. As its name suggests, Shizuoka Festival is held in Shizuoka City (静岡市) in Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県).

Just like any other spring festival, it welcomes the spring and cherry blossoms with a lineup of colorful and exciting events. Taking place from April 5th to 7th (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), this three-day event features an outdoor food village, also known as Yataimura (屋台村). The word Yatai (屋台) means “stall” or “booth”, while Mura (村) means “village”. Put together, Yataimura means a village-like area where there are many stalls and booths!

Aside from Yataimura, you can also anticipate entertaining performances and cosplay events, so don’t be afraid to join in if you’re into that! And of course, no festival is complete without parades, which you can catch a glimpse of. Shizuoka Festival is the biggest spring festival in Shizuoka City, so don’t miss out on it if you happen to be there!

History Of Shizuoka Matsuri

You may be surprised to know that the Shizuoka Festival is a relatively young event that became a thing only in 1957! It is said that this festival started when Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), the founder and first Shogun (将軍) of the Tokugawa Shogunate (徳川幕府) military government during the Edo period (江戸時代), invited his vessels to go cherry blossom viewing together. 

The Edo period (1603-1868) was ancient in the history of Japan. Since it’s said that the Shizuoka Festival started from this period, it’s probably also the reason why people dress up and cosplay as people from that period by wearing traditional Japanese outfits such as Kimono (着物), Hakama (袴), Kosode (小袖), and more! Everyone pretty much comes together in the city center to celebrate, which is probably why Shizuoka Matsuri is also known as a citizens festival. 

An image of Shizuoka Matsuri street food

How To Celebrate Shizuoka Matsuri

Did you know? There’s more than one festival venue for Shizuoka Matsuri! There are three main locations in total: Senpu Castle Park (駿府城), Aoba Kaijo (青葉会場), and Otemachi Kaijo (大手町会場).

The good news is all of them are within walking distance of Shizuoka Station (静岡駅), so it’d be more than convenient to check all of them out. Here are some suggestions you can do at Shizuoka Matsuri, but of course, there’s more than just these to look out for.

Join The Cherry Blossom Viewing Parade

Unlike what its name may suggest, there’s more to this parade than just admiring cherry blossoms! Held at Senpu Castle Park, watch as the grand lord of Sunpu Castle (駿府城), along with his entourage, will parade through the castle grounds. A musical parade consisting of bands with people of all ages will lead the parade, so do keep your eyes and ears peeled for them. 

But that’s not all! Performances that will give you a glimpse into the Edo period, including one at Shizuoka Sengen Shrine (静岡浅間神社) which is the main shrine of Suruga Province (駿河国) where Shizuoka City was founded, take place around the festival location. You can also catch Japanese drumming or Taiko (太鼓) and Japanese dance or Boyu (舞踊) performances around the area. 

An image of Shizuoka Matsuri plants

Marvel At Yozakura Ranbu

Think of Yozakura Ranbu as a mega dance event that lights up the Cherry Blossom Viewing Parade! It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old as people of all ages and all over the world come together to put up splendid dance performances.

The dance steps aren’t particularly difficult to follow, so don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner! Just let loose and join in the fun. This great dance event lasts from the day all the way to the night, so make sure to visit as many food stalls and booths as you can to get your energy up!

Easy Japanese Phrases For Shizuoka Matsuri

Here are some easy Japanese phrases that you can use for this incredible event. 

English TranslationJapanese ScriptRomanizationPronunciation
I want to go to Shizuoka Festival.静岡祭りに行きたいです。Shizuoka matsuri ni ikitai desu.
Shizuoka Festival is beautiful, isn’t it?静岡祭りは美しいですね。Shizuoka matsuri wa utsukushii desu ne.
There are so many people here.たくさんの人がいますね。Takusan no hito ga imasu ne.
There is delicious food here.美味しい食べ物があります。Oishii tabemono ga arimasu.
Where can I buy souvenirs?どこでお土産を買えますか?Doko de o miyage o kaemasu ka?
I’m looking forward to the parade.パレードが楽しみです。Pare-do ga tanoshimi desu.
Shizuoka Festival is fun, isn’t it?静岡祭りは楽しいですね。Shizuoka matsuri wa tanoshii desu ne.
What beautiful decorations!きれいな装飾ですね。Kireina sōshoku desu ne.
This music is soothing.この音楽は心地よいです。Kono ongaku wa kokochiyoi desu.
Japanese festivals are fun.日本のお祭りは楽しいです。Nihon no o matsuri wa tanoshii desu.

Ready To Experience Shizuoka Matsuri In Japan?

There you have it, Shizuoka Festival! So if you happen to be in Japan in April, don’t forget to check it out if you get the chance. Just imagine yourself enjoying the good spring vibes alongside locals and fellow tourists under the sun. Sounds amazing it?

And do you know what would be even more amazing? Being able to converse in some Japanese with the locals and connecting with them on a deeper level! This is exactly why you should download the Ling app to learn and practice Japanese. Just think about smiles lighting up on people’s faces when you compliment their dance skills or perhaps their food in Japanese! So what are you waiting for? Try out the Ling app today! Ganbatte (頑張って)!

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