Nagoya News: The Return of Do-Matsuri

This weekend sees the return of Chubu’s biggest dance festival, Domannaka Matsuri (or Do-matsuri, as it is more commonly called), in-person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Almost two million spectators come to see performances from dance teams from not only the Chubu region, but also from all of Japan and the rest of the world. These teams create performances that feature music and costumes influenced by their local culture, heritage, or the team or community that they represent.

The festival started right here in Nagoya, by students who wanted to communicate their love for dance to the world, and has grown from 26 teams and 1500 participants to 210 teams and 23,000 participants since it began in 1999. Do-matsuri is now one of the biggest dance festivals in Japan.

This is a huge event, with stages in multiple locations across the city over four days (Thursday, August 23 – Sunday, August 28). The main stage is in Hisaya Odori Park. Tickets range from Y500 to Y4000 depending on the location and seats, but there are opportunities to see performances for free without getting a ticket at different points over the weekend, including the parade that takes place on Sakae’s Otsu Dori.

When I first came to Japan I was just passing through the area and this parade was taking place, and I was blown away by the effort that these teams had put into their performances. It’s really worth checking out and I really recommend you to see at least some of it out this weekend. Here are a few pictures I took! You can find more info on the official website (the Japanese version has way more detail than the English version).

Have a great week!

– Matthew

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