Matsuri are held throughout the year, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, but are particularly concentrated in the summer months. On the shores of Lake Ashi, you can enjoy a number of special events during July and August. Hakone has long been a wonderful place to find cool summer days and cultural experiences. We encourage you to come taste the unique and colorful food stalls, enjoy a fireworks show (starts at 20:00), or just find a cool place to take in the festive atmosphere of a Matsuri. Below is a brief list of some events of the shores of Lake Ashi in Hakone during the summer months: (All events will be held in the Moto-Hakone area except for the Kuzuryu Dragon Festival held in Kojiri)
Ashinoko Kosui Matsuri 芦ノ湖湖水祭 7/31 Weds
A week of festivities starts with the Kosui Festival. Legend holds that at the bottom of Lake Ashi in Hakone a nine headed dragon lived, tormenting local villagers. He was placated and calmed by a wandering monk and now protects the shores of the lake and the people and visitors to the Hakone area. The festivities are centered around an offering of sake and red rice to the dragon by the monks of Hakone Shrine.
This is one of Hakone`s largest festivals. Walk among the food stalls along the cool shores of Lake Ashi and enjoy the firework display in the evening. The serene setting of floating lanterns, toro-nagashi, and illuminated red shrine gates is a wonderful scene to experience.
1262 Anniversary Celebration Hakone Shrine 8/1 Thurs
Hakone Shrine is one of the most historic sites in all of Japan. The rich history and culture of the area is celebrated on this day from 10:00am. The Hakone Shrine holds this celebration once a year to pray for the long life and health of the shrine and visitors. Festivities often include a kendo tournament, poetry recitals, samurai sword exhibitions and more on the grounds of the Hakone Shrine. There is also a fireworks display to be enjoyed in the evening.
Hakone Park Summer Night Festival箱根園サマーナイトフェスタ 8/2 Fri
The Hakone Park Summer Night Festival takes place at the base of Komagatake Ropeway near the Prince Hotel. Highlighted by the sailing of traditional Japanese boats in the earling evening from the Hakone Shrine to Sekishou along the lake shore. Stay for the fireworks display after dark.
Komagatake Shrine & Summer Festival 8/3 Sat
The festivities continue with a large fireworks show in the evening. This day we celebrate the enshrined spirits on one of Hakone`s oldest religous sites, Mt. Komagatake. Come before dusk to walk around the food and game stalls on the cool shores of Lake Ashi. Festivals give you the opportunity to try a number of wonderful Japanese foods; Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Shaved Ice and much more. The kids will love playing one of the festival games, much like the stands of a carnival or county fair.
Kojiri Dragon Festival湖尻龍神祭 8/4 Sun
An event dedicated to the enshrined Dragon of Lake Ashi. The main festivities will be held in the Kojiri area, opposite Moto-Hakone. Enjoy the dancing of the local “Soran” group. “Soran” is one of Japan`s most famous traditional songs with variations and styles differing depending on location and community. More music is provided by a marching band as well. There is also a fireworks display to be enjoyed in the evening.
Festival of the Burning Shrine Gates 鳥居焼き祭 8/5 Mon
The iconic scene of a red shrine gate floating on the shoreline with Mt. Fuji in the background is the setting for this festival. Things get dramatic and spectacular as a shrine gate is set a blaze on the lake. The fireworks and burning shrine gate. There will be a festive atmosphere to celebrate the last night of the festivities. Enjoy the food, entertainment, and fun of the Japanese summer festival.