Summer Jamming 101

by Tetsuo Nakahara
Stripes Okinawa

It’s summertime and that means it’s time for music fans to crank up their adrenalin! From now through September, there will be tons of great outdoor music festivals throughout Japan featuring world-renown artists and local musicians alike.

In recent years, I have been no stranger to some of these music festivals, and I strongly encourage music lovers to check them out. Listening to the sounds of your favorite musicians and dancing in the heart of nature is definitely a great way to spend a few summer days – and nights.

To make the most of these outdoor festivals, here are few things you should know and do to make your experience as safe as it will be fun.

  • Be ready for rain. Rain often comes expectedly during outdoor music festivals. Since many take place in the mountains, the weather changes easily and can get cold at night. Bring rain jacket, rain shoes and extra clothing appropriate for the rain.
  • Drink a lot of water. As you know, the summer in Japan is hot and humid. Never underestimate the potential for heatstroke.
  • Take a compact chair, tarp or blanket so that you can rest during the full-day, or several-day, event.
  • Reserve accommodations well in advance if you are planning to stay at hotel near the festival. Hotels fill up fast during festival season.  
  • If traveling by train, buy your return ticket in advance. Train stations near music festivals get super crowed after the festival ends, and people will be waiting in long lines to buy their return tickets. If you don’t buy your ticket in advance, consider using a prepaid Suica and Pasmo charge card and charge it up before you go.
  • Plan on frolicking with the dancing masses? Even if not, don’t bring all your credit cards or lots of cash. You may want to prepare a temporary wallet in case you lose it.    
  • Bring insect spray – and sunscreen.  There is lots of mosquitos at outdoor festivals in Japan – and it’s summer.
  • Some of the festivals are very eco-friendly. Make sure to segregate your trash at the garbage corner set at the festival. Respect Mother Nature.
  • And, most importantly, have a fun! 

Note: This story was originally posted on Stripes Okinawa Website, July 9, 2013.

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