Star festival(Tanabata)

tanzaku the milky way Shonan Hiratsuka's Star festival

Write Tanzaku with wish in Tanabata!

Star festival(July 7) called Tanabata festival in Japan is one of the seasonal festivals. It is popular that Japanese write their wishes on the Star festival papers called Tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches.

Writing and hanging Tanzaku are Japanse original way of celebrating. China, Korea and Vietnam also celebrate it, but don't that.


This custom and why to celebrate Star festival is related to the following Tanabata story.

Tanabata story: Beautiful princess "Orihime" lived in the west of the Mliky way. She was a good weaver, and her textile products was very popular. Her father looked for someone to marry her. He found a nice guy "Hikoboshi" lived in the east of the Milky way. He was a good worker, and a driver of a carriage pulled by cows. They fell in love and got married, but they didn't work after they got married. Her father was angry with them, and led them apart. They were in deep sorrow day after day after that . Her father felt compassion for them, and allowed them to meet in the Milky way once a year. Thus they can meet in the Milky way only on July 7 every year.

It is said that this story was inspired by two bright stars with the Milky way between. One of the two stars is called Vega in the constellation Lyra, the other is called Altair in the constellation Aquila. Vega is princess Orihime, and Altair is Hikoboshi.

the milky way

By the way, large and small Star festivals are held in all parts of Japan. Star festival in Sendai, in Hiratsuka and in Asagaya is very popular among them. Sendai's Star festival has three million visitors for three days is one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region. Sendai city is full of decorations for this festival.

Asagaya's Star festival is one of the largest Star festival in Tokyo. These festival are held not in July 7 but in August 7 because August is the seventh lunar month. Be careful of the date.

Shonan Hiratsuka's Star festival

Shonan Hiratsuka's Star festival is held in July 7, and is one of the three major Star festival in Kanto region. Shonan Star mall the main site of this festival is especially decorated. There are various decorations, big decoration over ten meters tall, decorations with animation character and more.

It takes twenty minutes from Tokyo station to Asagaya station, and takes a hour to Hiratsuka by Shinkansen train. Sendai city is a littele far from Tokyo, going there takes around 90 minutes. If you travel Japan in July or August, you can enjoy Star festival. You can experience Japanese culture through it.