Shizuoka is both moderately rural, and moderately flourishing as a city.
Surrounded by the sea and the mountains, visitors can enjoy the changing seasons from its rich natural setting, as well as traditional festivals passed down from the distant past.
Come enjoy the charm of Shizuoka throughout the four seasons.
The most famous festival in Shizuoka is the "Shizuoka Matsuri" held every April. People celebrate as cherry blossom petals fall at Sunpu Castle, with 400 locals dressing as the "Ogosho" (Tokugawa Ieyasu), his wife, feudal lords, bannermen etc. to parade around Sunpu Castle in the "Ogosho Hanami Gyoretsu", and over ten thousand residents dancing in the "Yozakura Ranbu". Cherry trees including Somei-yoshino bloom from late March around Nihondaira, Sunpu Castle Park, Gotenyama, Shizuhatayama Park, Shimizu-Funakoshitsutsumi Park, and the Terao district. Cherry blossom viewing under these trees is another fine way to enjoy spring in Japan.
Sunpu Marathon (Early Mar.), Minowa Inari Shrine Festival (Mid Mar.), Umegashima Festival (Mid Mar.)
Shizuoka Festival (Early Apr.), Shizuoka Sengen Shrine Hatsukae Festival (1st - 5th), Nihondaira Sakura Marathon (1st Sunday), Kanbara Gotenyama Sakura Festival (Early Apr.), Umegashima Onsen Shinryoku Festival (Late Apr.)
Yui Sakura Ebi Festival (Early May), Shizuoka Samba Carnival (Early May), Shizuoka Hobby Show (Mid May), Mochimune Fishing Port Festival (Mid May), Open fishing season for ayu in the Okitsu river (20th)
Fully enjoy the summer at festivals held in Shizuoka! Watch stupendous fireworks from the riverbanks at the "Abe River Fireworks Festival". Lay in the grass to enjoy fireworks and night view spread out below at the "Nihondaira Festival". See beautiful decorations while enjoying the old fashioned atmosphere of the Shimizu shopping district at the "Shimizu Tanabata Festival". When the sea opens for swimming, head down to the beach to enjoy the ocean waves in the Japanese summer.
Sui Shrine Festival (14th & 15th), Wakuguri (At various shrines in the city on the 30th)
Shimizu Tanabata Festival (Early Jul.). Tomoe River Floating Lantern Ceremony (16th), Beach Opening, Southern Japan Alps Opening (16th), Miho Asari Festival (Mid Jul.), Abe River Fireworks Festival (Late Jul.), Nihondaira Festival (Late Jul.)
Shimizu Minato Festival (Early Aug.), Shizuoka Summer Festival Night Stall Market (Early Aug.), Utogi Bon Festival (14th & 15th)
Shizuoka is packed with crowds during the "Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka" held in November, which draws people from within Shizuoka Prefecture, across Japan, and around the world. Many of the acts can be seen for free, so take a folding chair and a guidebook to go see various performances around town. At the "Shimizu Port Tuna Festival" in October, there are free samples of tuna, stage performances, and other fun ways to enjoy tuna. The autumn colors contrast beautifully with the lakes and mountains at Ikawa Lake, Abetoge Pass, and Oyakuzure.
Kusanagi Shrine Ryusei Fireworks (Late Sep.)
Mikan Festival (1st - Dec.), Toro Festival (Early Oct.), Hagoromo Festival (Early Oct.), Shimizu Port Tuna Festival (Mid Oct.), Shinno-bayashi (Mid Oct.), Yui Kaido Festival (Mid Oct.), Shizuoka Mikoshi Festival (Late Oct.), Sunpu Motoyama Tea Festival (Late Oct.)
Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka (Early Nov.), Ikawa Momiji Marathon (Mid Nov.), Kanbara Shukuba Festival & Industrial Fair (3rd Sunday), Industry Fair Shizuoka (Late Nov.)
In the city of Shizuoka, decorative illumination is made from late November onwards, switching the whole town to Christmas mode all at once. From early January to mid March, visitors can enjoy plum flowers at Toukei-in Temple, Umegashima Baien (plum orchard), Kuno Bairin (plum grove), and Nihondaira Baien, or enjoy camellia at Seihoen Tsubaki no Sato. The flowers with Mt. Fuji in the background are a true sight to behold.
Illumination (Late Nov. to early Feb.), Tokugawa Ieyasu Hand Planted Mikan Harvest (Early Dec.), Akihasan Shuyouji Temple Festival (15th & 16th), Hobby City Shizuoka Christmas Festa (Early Dec.), Riverwell Ikawa Ski Slopes Open (Late Dec. to late Feb.)
Toyozumi Shrine Otaiko Festival (1st - 3rd), Stone Wall Strawberry Picking (Dec. to early May)
Shizuoka Oden Fair (varies year to year), Okitsu-jyuku Kanzakura Festival (10th), Miho Shrine Tsutsugayu Festival (14th & 15th), Kunozan Toshogu Spring Festival (16th - 18th), Nihondaira Plum Festival (Mid Feb.)