Exploring Japanese Festivals with Natsume Yuujinchou

Mastering Japanese Festival Vocabulary with Dagashi Kashi

Are you planning to attend a Japanese festival soon? If so, you’ll want to brush up on your Japanese festival vocabulary. In this article, we’ll explore some common words and phrases you’ll hear at Japanese festivals, and we’ll use examples from the popular anime and manga series Dagashi Kashi to help you remember them.


Japanese festivals, or matsuri, are an important part of Japanese culture. They are held throughout the year to celebrate everything from the changing of the seasons to local traditions and customs. Japanese festivals are known for their lively atmosphere, colorful decorations, and delicious food.

What is Dagashi Kashi?

Before we dive into Japanese festival vocabulary, let’s take a moment to talk about Dagashi Kashi. Dagashi Kashi is a popular anime and manga series that revolves around Japanese snacks, or dagashi. The series follows the adventures of a young man named Kokonotsu who dreams of becoming a manga artist, and a girl named Hotaru who is obsessed with dagashi.

Common Japanese Festival Vocabulary

H1: Matsuri (Festival)

The word matsuri simply means “festival” in Japanese. Matsuri can refer to any type of festival, from small local events to large national celebrations.

H2: Omatsuri (Big Festival)

Omatsuri is a term used to describe large festivals that are held throughout Japan. These festivals often feature parades, fireworks, and other exciting events.

H2: Yatai (Food Stalls)

Yatai are food stalls that are set up at Japanese festivals. They offer a variety of delicious foods, including yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), takoyaki (octopus balls), and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).

H2: Mikoshi (Portable Shrine)

Mikoshi are portable shrines that are carried through the streets during Japanese festivals. They are believed to house the spirits of the gods and are carried by groups of people who shout “wasshoi!” as they carry them.

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H2: Taiko (Japanese Drum)

Taiko are large Japanese drums that are often played during festivals. They are used to create a powerful, rhythmic sound that adds to the festive atmosphere.

H2: Bon Odori (Bon Dance)

Bon Odori is a type of traditional Japanese dance that is performed during the Bon Festival, a festival that honors the spirits of ancestors. The dance is performed in a circle around a raised platform called a yagura.

H2: Hanabi (Fireworks)

Hanabi, or fireworks, are a common feature of Japanese festivals. They are often set off at night and are accompanied by music and cheers from the crowd.

H2: Yukata (Summer Kimono)

Yukata are lightweight, casual kimono that are worn during the summer months. They are often worn to Japanese festivals and are available for rent at many festivals.

H2: Furin (Wind Chimes)

Furin are traditional Japanese wind chimes that are often hung outside during the summer months. They are believed to bring good luck and are a common sight at Japanese festivals.

H2: Kakigori (Shaved Ice)

Kakigori is a popular Japanese dessert that consists of shaved ice topped with flavored syrup. It is a refreshing treat that is perfect for hot summer days.

Using Dagashi Kashi to Learn Japanese Festival Vocabulary

Now that we’ve covered some common Japanese festival vocabulary, let’s take a look at how Dagashi Kashi can help you remember these words and phrases.

In one episode of Dagashi Kashi, the characters attend a local festival. As they walk through the festival, they encounter yatai selling all kinds of delicious food, including takoyaki and okonomiyaki. They also see mikoshi being carried through the streets and hear the sound of taiko drums in the distance.

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Later in the episode, the characters watch a fireworks display and enjoy some kakigori. They also wear yukata, which are available for rent at the festival.

By watching this episode of Dagashi Kashi, you can learn and remember many of the common Japanese festival vocabulary words we’ve covered in this article.

Vocabulary Lists

To help you practice using the Japanese festival vocabulary words we’ve covered, here are some vocabulary lists with pronunciation guides and sample sentences:

Food Vocabulary

– Yakitori (yaki-tori) – grilled chicken skewers
– Takoyaki (tako-yaki) – octopus balls
– Okonomiyaki (o-kono-mi-yaki) – savory pancakes
– Kakigori (ka-ki-go-ri) – shaved ice
– Oden (o-den) – a type of Japanese hot pot

Sample sentence: “I love eating takoyaki at Japanese festivals.”

Clothing Vocabulary

– Yukata (yu-ka-ta) – summer kimono
– Jinbei (jin-bei) – casual summer clothing for men
– Geta (ge-ta) – traditional Japanese sandals
– Hachimaki (ha-chi-ma-ki) – headband worn during festivals

Sample sentence: “I rented a yukata and wore geta to the festival.”

Festival Vocabulary

– Matsuri (ma-tsu-ri) – festival
– Omatsuri (o-ma-tsu-ri) – big festival
– Yatai (ya-ta-i) – food stalls
– Mikoshi (mi-ko-shi) – portable shrine
– Taiko (ta-i-ko) – Japanese drum

Sample sentence: “The mikoshi was so heavy, but we shouted ‘wasshoi!’ and carried it through the streets.”


Japanese festivals are a fun and exciting way to experience Japanese culture. By learning some common Japanese festival vocabulary, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the festivities. And by using examples from Dagashi Kashi, you can make learning these words and phrases even more fun and memorable. So grab a yukata, head to a festival, and enjoy all the delicious food and exciting events that Japanese festivals have to offer!

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1. What is a mikoshi?
– A portable shrine carried through the streets during Japanese festivals.

2. What is Bon Odori?
– A type of traditional Japanese dance performed during the Bon Festival.

3. What is kakigori?
– A popular Japanese dessert consisting of shaved ice topped with flavored syrup.

4. What is a yukata?
– A lightweight, casual kimono worn during the summer months.

5. What is a furin?
– A traditional Japanese wind chime often hung outside during the summer months.Mastering Japanese Festival Vocabulary with Dagashi Kashi