Matsuri Madness: Events Inspired by Japan

Be inspired by Japan’s summer Matsuri festivals by reading these great event ideas

Are you hoping to organize something particularly special for your next event? Try bringing a touch of Japanese flavor to your occasion—specifically with a Matsuri-inspired event. Matsuri festivals are celebrated at Shinto shrines in Japan and are among the most memorable occasions on the planet. Whether it’s a street parade or a fireworks spectacle, we can all learn something from “Matsuri Madness.”

If you’re wondering how to best incorporate Matsuri into your event, here are some great ideas to consider for creating a truly memorable occasion.

Fireworks, Anyone?

Matsuri is commonly celebrated with fireworks, and the Japanese certainly don’t hold back. The Sumida River Fireworks is held annually in Tokyo, and it is truly inspiring. The event has stood the test of time, with nearly 300 years of unique history. Visitors are afforded a spectacular view of 20,000 fireworks, set off at a picturesque setting along a beautiful skyline. 

You can learn a lot from this incredible spectacle. Add that element of sparkle with a bonfire—sure to keep everyone toasty, and it creates a centerpiece for your guests to marvel at. A bonfire can be a stand-alone treat, or it can be a complement to your main attraction: a mesmerizing fireworks display. Complete your evening with traditional cuisine, including some delightful Japanese favorites.

Get Your Dancing Shoes On!

An event that includes dance is fantastic for team-building and creates a buzz in the room. This is fun for a summer’s evening, when people can unite to have fun and unwind. Everyone can take part regardless of their ability, and your event can be adapted to suit your budget. 

Okinawa’s dance and music culture gives you a recipe for success. The Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri is a lovely occasion with traditional costumes, drumming and dancing. Though it’s predominantly a street festival, there’s nothing to stop you from bringing elements of this event to a venue of your choice, especially if you’re celebrating at an exotic location like the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa. If you are hosting a street festival, consider hiring a team of professional dancers to make sure you’re the talk of the town.

Food, Glorious Food! 

Planners know that the way to win an attendee’s heart is through the stomach, so think carefully about what food will win guests over, whether that’s something familiar to the attendees or something farther afield. Pay attention to the small details, and perhaps add your own twist to classics.

Alongside its bright colors, the Azabujuban Noryo Matsuri event features stalls from across the region with various specialties to sample. Why not include some food stalls at your event with a taste of regional cuisine? People may initially come for the food, but they’ll be even happier to stay to hear your message.

Paper Floats?

Every event needs a wow factor, but it can be difficult to know how best to include something unexpected. The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan and is known for its gigantic paper floats of fierce warriors. These are lit up in the evenings, making for an eye-popping display, and are the focal point of what has become a staple of Matsuri culture. 

Although you might not choose to create floats of fierce warriors, you can have paper floats made to convey a message of your choice. Whether you create floats with your branding on them, or simply use characters that resonate with your message, they are certain to get people talking. Movable floats are perfect for a street event, but a stationary version can be included either outside or inside your venue.