Children's Festivals in Japan

Koinobori,carp shaped windsocks

The eel with its fellow carp swimming in the sky

Jerome Laborde

The Best Children's Matsuri in Japan

Children hold a very special place in Japanese society. It is therefore natural that several festivals were dedicated to them throughout the year. Whether national, local, or simple traditions not listed in the calendar, the following events all put children at the heart of celebration. Religious customs for the most part, which aim to make the future of the nation grow in the best conditions.

Inherited from a 7th century Shinto ceremony in which boys from 10 to 15 years old and girls from 12 to 16 years old participate, seijin shiki is borrowed from this tradition. When the boys used to choose their adult name and the young girls put on their first female clothes, the present ceremony is a little less formal.

Young people who have turned 20 in the year are called to go to the town hall of their neighborhood to receive an official speech on the importance of entering adulthood, and the participants then visit their local shrine accompanied by their families to the delight of passers-by.

The white shawl, often in fur, overcomes the traditional dress of young women

The white shawl, often in fur, overcomes the traditional dress of young women


Used to ward off evil spirits, mame maki is one of the most fun Shinto rituals for Japanese children. Handfuls of beans are thrown at a demon, a man wearing an Oni mask, which symbolizes the evil spirits.

The demon will then give way to spring and its benefits as a reward for their effort, for their greatest pleasure as that of their parents.

Mame maki at Setsubun

Mame maki at Setsubun

Flick/L.S.P Tokyo

Very popular in Japan, the traditions of Setsubun give rise to numerous festivities each year. They are accompanied for example by a Lantern Festival in Kyoto and Nara, and several giant mame maki are organized in the large shrines of cities around the country. It was also at this time that the goodies such as candy or costumes with images of Japanese demons appear in stores, however, wear at your own risk!

Setsubun Festival

Masks and beans used for the Setsubun ceremony


Dolls from Hina Matsuri

Dolls from Hina Matsuri


Hamamatsu festival

Hamamatsu festival


Kodomo no Hi being one of the most popular festivals in the country, Japan is also adorned with carp streamers ( or koi no bori ) for the occasion. These are all inherited right to the tradition of kites of Hamamatsu, and thus find themselves floating in the wind the window sills of the houses or public places to wish good health to all children. This is why, several events around the koi no bori are organized all over the country in May, starting with Tokyo, where Tokyo Tower and Roppongi Hills hold each year a festival of banners.

Tokyo Tower Koinobori 2019

Tokyo Tower Koinobori 2019


Shichi Go San

Shichi Go San

Latest Articles

Red spider lily: How to grow and care for this enchanting fall-blooming bulb

The red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is a striking fall-blooming bulb known for its vivid red flowers that seem to appear magically on bare stalks.

Japan Visitor - manyoshu20195.jpg

The Manyoshu: Japan's oldest and most renowned poetry anthology

The Manyoshu, meaning "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves", is the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry.

Japan Visitor - mask20192.jpg

Unmasking the Mystique and Allure of Traditional Japanese Masks

Masks have been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, dating back to at least the 6th century.

See All (368)