Held each year in July, the Japanese Taiko Drumming Festival brings together ‘taiko’ (drum) groups from all over Japan, in a magnificent display set against the backdrop of Matsumoto Castle. Blending power and performance, taiko is one of Japan’s most engaging musical experiences and an unforgettable spectacle that reflects the history, character and beauty of the castle itself.
A Historic Setting for a Thrilling Event
Proud of its samurai heritage, Matsumoto is known for the beauty of its castle, making it the ideal setting for the festival. During the Taiko Festival, musicians from all over Japan share their passion for their art through the power of their performance. That power engages the audience in a way that few musical events do, as the sound of the drums moves through your body and captures your imagination - and all against the backdrop of Matsumoto Castle.
Prior to the performance, you can explore the castle grounds and enjoy sunset over the historic precinct before the rising moon heralds the first beating of the drums. Much like the samurai of old once did from the castle’s ‘Tsukimi Yagura’ (Moon Viewing Tower), you can recline and take in the moonrise, sound tracked by the stirring taiko performance and beauty of the illuminated castle – a magnificent combination of sound and color.
A Celebration of Heritage, Culture & Community
The festival brings together professional groups – including well-known artists – and amateur performers in a celebration that’s as much about community as it is culture. Held now for many years, the Japanese Taiko Drumming Festival offers performers the opportunity to engage in acoustic duels that are as thrilling for them as they are for their audience.
The event is free to attend and taking place in the warmth of summer, it’s a fantastic opportunity to be among the local community and truly feel the vibrancy of Japanese culture.
The Japanese Taiko Drumming Festival 2023 will be held over the weekend of Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th July from 17:30 to 20:30. Admission is free.
Matsumoto Castle Tour & Taiko Workshop
Want to try your own hand at taiko in combination with a guided tour of the castle? Matsumoto Experience offers just that with a combined castle tour and taiko drum workshop, led by a taiko master. Fun and engaging for guests of all ages, it’s the ideal way to further your appreciation for the heritage of the castle and taiko culture before sitting down to enjoy the festival, in what promises to be one of your most memorable days in Japan!