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Review Highlights
Fun festival

Akita Kanto Festival gets crowded, but no where near the level of Tokyo and Kyoto. And that makes... read more

Reviewed October 2, 2018
Alan B
Akita, Japan
Spectacular festival

My wife and I went on a warm almost windless evening. It was amazing to watch the bamboo frame of... read more

Reviewed August 27, 2018
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  • Excellent55%
  • Very good36%
  • Average8%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
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The Kanto, or "Pole Lantern", Festival is held from August 3-6. Performers take to the street en masse to show their skill in balancing bamboo "kanto" poles. Each pole, which can be up to 40 feet tall and 90 pounds in weight, has paper lanterns...more
Kyokuhokusakae-machi, Akita 010-0922, Akita Prefecture
+81 90-8756-7123
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All reviews fun watching amazing opportunity paper lanterns unique experience early august bamboo pole shoulder strength teams heads drums hips balance ropes balancing festival men
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1 - 10 of 11 reviews
Reviewed October 2, 2018

Akita Kanto Festival gets crowded, but no where near the level of Tokyo and Kyoto. And that makes it much easier to enjoy the festival.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Alan B
Reviewed August 27, 2018

My wife and I went on a warm almost windless evening. It was amazing to watch the bamboo frame of paper lanterns being hoisted up and held in turn by each of the team members. As I looked into the distance I could see many...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank RussellS1538
Reviewed August 25, 2018

Akita city really welcome visitors during the Kanto festival!! Performance area setup at the JR Akita station and welcome guest arrival using Akita Shinkansen. Detail information about the Kanto festival is available from the booths at the stations entrance areas. For me, this festival is...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank guant2013
Reviewed August 5, 2018 via mobile

It was raining in the morning but cleared up by the afternoon. There were tons of sponsors each having their own lantern team. Maneuvering in the wind was tricky but my favorite was watching the next generation little ones give balancing the lanterns a go.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank LW811055
Reviewed August 4, 2018

This festival really was a best of Japan kind of event, since it brings an excellent, exciting festival to a small town. I'm no fan of the massive crowds that Tokyo area events attract; the can't-even-move, can't-escape, can't use the bathroom without a line, can't...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Michelle C
Reviewed July 5, 2018 via mobile

It was really an amazing opportunity to see this festival. We can take the picture with lantern background and it's so beautiful. Actually, i recommend to you visit this kanto festival lantern

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank isnainifa
Reviewed October 27, 2017 via mobile

This is one of Akita’s highlight! It was fun watching the lanterns dance together with the beat. This shows their strength, balance and teamwork. After the show we did our picture taking to the lanterns with their crew. Fun fun fun! Worth the visit!

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank 746van
Reviewed August 13, 2017 via mobile

This festival is an amazing display of tradition, strength, balance, and team work. I had so much fun watching I went twice. These people balance 100lbs of lanterns on their hips, heads or hold them in their hand as the audience cheers them on. They...More

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank SportTrekker
Reviewed December 1, 2016

Akita’s Kanto Festival was an incredible experience – truly unique and a sight to see. Celebrating the pole lanterns it is held every year in early August for large crowds to see the spectacular skill involved in carrying the massive poles decorated with many paper...More

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank PJLtravel
Reviewed August 22, 2016

The Kanto festival celebrates Akita's exceptional rice culture. Teams of people in traditional costumes enter to the sound of drums and pipes, carrying a 12 meter pole with several crosspieces from which dozens of lit lanterns are suspended. At a signal of furious drumming each...More

Date of experience: August 2016
2  Thank Peter S
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Questions & Answers
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March 14, 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Odyssesian |
DrSheryl - thanks for the tip about the website. From what I gather: The kanto parade starts at 7:25pm and ends at 9:pm Seems the festival is along the whole stretch from the plaza in front of the Akita train station to... More