Late July and August in Japan is the time for rock and popular music festivals. One of the best is the Earth Celebration on Sado-ga-shima, where the famed Kodo drummers collaborate with guests from the world music scene. If you want to catch up on the latest in Japanese rock and pop then schedule your visit to coincide with the most established event, as far as foreign bands is concerned, Fuji Rock (wwww.fujirockfestival.com). This huge three-day event hosts a wide range of top-name acts covering musical genres from dance and electronica to jazz and blues on multiple stages. It takes place at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata prefecture, easily accessible from Tokyo via Shinkansen. It’s possible to visit for a day, camp or stay in the hotels that in winter cater to the ski crowd.

Attracting an audience of well over 100,000 and simpler to get to is Summer Sonic (wwww.summersonic.com), a two-day event held in Chiba, just across the Edo-gawa River from Tokyo. This festival showcases a good mix of both local and overseas bands and has both indoor and outdoor performances.

Rock in Japan (wrijfes.jp), focusing on domestic bands, is usually held in August at Hitachi Seaside Park, north of Tokyo in Ibaraki-ken (accessible from Ueno Station).

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Sipping sake: a dispatch from one of Japan's oldest breweries

Sipping sake: a dispatch from one of Japan's oldest breweries

Sake is quickly replacing craft beer as the cool kid on the drinks scene globally – and a number of breweries have recently opened in the UK, USA and Austral…

10 Nov 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
6 reasons why Osaka should be on your radar

6 reasons why Osaka should be on your radar

Osaka is affectionately known as "Japan's kitchen". It's the birthplace of ramen noodles (which celebrate their 60th birthday in 2018) and is home to some of th…

26 Sep 2017 • Tamara Hinson insert_drive_file Article
Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

With its glittering royal palaces, ancient temples and sacred shrines as well as sandy beaches, some of the world’s best skiing and beautiful national parks, …

07 Sep 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook