Tans and tunes: Summer music fest coming to mainland Japan and Okinawa
With headliners from The Cure and Beck to SIA and Chance the Rapper, Japan’s two big summer music gatherings are sure to draw a crowd once again this year.
Although the first of the two won’t being until mid-August, it’s never too early to start planning (and saving) for that big summer concert or two, especially if you plan to fly in from Korea or Okinawa. Japan’s two big music festivals, Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic, are currently on sale and much of the lineups have been announced, with more coming.
Fuji Rock will be the first to kick off, as the three-day festival runs July 26-28 at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture. Headliners at this show currently include: SIA, The Cure, The Chemical Brothers, Jason Mraz and Janelle Monae.
Summer Sonic will run Aug. 16-18 and include events in both Tokyo and Osaka. The headliners for the three days include: Weezer, The 1975, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, Zedd, and Rancid.
There is also SonicMania, which takes place as a warmup to Summer Sonic has yet to be officially announced for 2019. The lineup and schedule for the Makuhari Messe event are TBA.
Visit the festival websites for more info on the full lineup and other ticket options.
Corona Sunsets Festival
Dates: July 13 – 14
Where: Okinawa Chura SUN Beach Outdoor Special Stage
Headliners: José González, Amp Fiddler Ft. A drummer from Detroit, Capital Cities, Sairu, etc.
Tickets: • 1 day 6,800 yen • 2 days 10,000 yen
PEACEFUL LOVE ROCK FESTIVAL
Dates: July 13
Where: Koza Music Town, Okinawa
Headliners: Koza City Kats, Freddie Eto & Queeness, JET, etc.
Tickets: Free admission.
Dates: Aug. 16 – Aug. 18
Where: Tokyo (ZOZO Marine Stadium and Makuhari Messe) & Osaka (Maishima Sonic Park)
Headliners: Weezer, The 1975, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, Zedd, Rancid, BABYMETAL, Two Door Cinema Club.
• 1-day: 15,000 yen ($150). Platinum tickets: 25,000 yen.
• 3-day: 39,000 yen.
• 1-day: 13,800 yen. Platinum tickets: 25,000 yen.
• 2-day: 36,000 yen.
Dates: July 27 – July 29
Where: Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture
Headliners (so far): The Chemical Brothers, The Cure, Sia, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz, Thom Yorke, Janelle Monae, The Lumineers, and Toro y Moi.
• 1-day: 18,000 yen to 20,000 yen ($160-$180).
• 2-day: 32,000 yen to 36,000 yen.
• 3-day: 39,800 yen to 45,000 yen.
• Campsite: 3,000 yen per person for up to 3 days.
• Parking: 3,000 yen per vehicle per day.
Sound advice for concerts
It’s summertime and that means it’s time for music fans to crank up their adrenaline!
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 as you dance in the heart of nature. It 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 unexpectedly during outdoor music festivals. Since many take place in the mountains, the weather changes easily and can get cold at night. Bring a 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. Wearing a hat is also recommended.
• 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. Personally, I have lost my iPhone at Fuji Rock.
• 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, just have a fun!
Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!
Follow us on social media!