Nippon Domannaka Matsuri in Nagoya

ByRay Proper
Jul 31, 2023

Nippon Domannaka Matsuri in Nagoya

The Nippon Domannaka Matsuri, commonly called Domatsuri, is the largest dance festival in the Nagoya/Chubu region and involves dancers from all over Japan and abroad. This festival is one of the highlights of the Nagoya summer. Every year over 200 yosakoi dance teams and 23,000 performers participate by sharing original music, costumes, and dance routines that incorporate their own local culture with an expected crowd of 2 million people in an effort to connect people from vastly different locations and cultures through song and dance.

What the heck is yosakoi?

The yosakoi dance style dates back to 1954 in Kochi Prefecture. Wanting to return some enjoyment to the local population following WW2, a youth group organized a yosakoi festival. A dance style that blends classical Japanese festival dance, like Bon Odori and Awa Odori, with modern music and styles, pretty much anything goes. A significant element of the festival is the dancers’ bright, outlandish, and downright wild clothing styles. Like the music, these blend the traditional and modern; think samurai era Japan set in the 24th century.

Running for three days, Domatsuri sees some of the best dance troupes descend on Nagoya, though they are not just here to entertain you. They mean business. The festival, you see, is a competition, and after three days of dancing at numerous locations around the city, the winner will be decided. As you can imagine, the competition will be fierce.

Back with a bang!

In 2019, Domatsuri saw some 2,357,000 spectators attend the festival. Of course, the pandemic hampered the following few events, but this year is promising to be one of the best yet. Furthermore, as this is a live, open-air event with great music, the dancing need not be restricted to the competitors, as the audience also gets in on the action in the ‘souodori’ event where everyone dances together, so why not join?

The festival occurs at more than 20 venues throughout the city, but the main stage is in Hisaya Odori Koen near Sakae, which is the best place to view the teams. Paid seating is available, but festival seating in the park is free.

Nippon Domannaka Matsuri 2023

The inner city event will be held on August 25, 26, and 27. Televised events will be held on November 23 and 24 with the final contest and the grand prix finals to be held at Moricoro Park and televised on November 25 and 26.

A detailed 2023 schedule can be found here. The website has an option to translate the page with Google Translate in the upper-righthand corner.


  • A 1-minute walk from Yabacho station (Exits 5 and 6), Meijo subway line
  • A 3-minute walk from Sakae station (Exit 15), Higashiyama, and Meijo subway lines


Image Source – courtesy of
Image: by via [CC BY NC  ND 2.0] Modified
Image: by via [CC BY NC  ND 2.0] Modified

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