Matsumoto Bon Bon

July 1st, 2009 by
Category: Events, Seasonal Topics, Sightseeing

Matsumoto Bon Bon 2008

Matsumoto Bon Bon 2008

Matsumoto Bon Bon is the biggest summer festival in Matsumoto with a turnout of over 20,000 people. A Bon Odori is a dancing festival. People get together in their Ren (group) and dance together for more than 3 hours with friends, schoolmates, and colleagues. Trevor and I danced in Matsumoto Bon Bon the last couple of years with his English school students and their families. It was such a good time!

So what is the dance?

It’s not so difficult. Just listen to the music and add some steps and hand claps. Even if you have never danced Matsumoto Bon Bon before, you can master it very quickly if you come to the festival and watch people dance in their Ren,. Some Rens practice a lot and wear Japanese costumes, while others wear the same T-shirts, but most of all it’s a festival for fun.

Last year, we saw a lot of foreigners at Matsumoto Bon Bon. We think that if you want to dance with people, just come to Matsumoto on August 1st, 2009 (usually the 1st Saturday in August) and find a Ren that is friendly enough to let you join in – this gets much easier as people get drunk. Then you are a part of the dancers!

There are also many stalls on the streets, so just watching people dancing and eating some Japanese stall food is fun enough, too.

Here are the details of this great event:
Matsumoto Bon Bon 2009
Date: Saturday, August 1st, 2009
Time: Dancing starts around 6pm and people dance until after 9pm
Location: Downtown, Matsumoto

The following are the words to Matsumoto Bon Bon. Most of it is just “Bon Bon Matsumoto Bon Bon Bon”. Once you hear the music, it will stay in your mind for a long time!

Natsu ga Bon Bon Azumino-ni
Ringo Konashi-no Hana sakeba
Kiri-ga Nagarete Kami Nurasu
Shinano-no Musume-no Kami Nurasu
Chochin Tomoshita

Matsumoto Bon Bon
Bon Bon Matsumoto Bon Bon Bon
Bon Bon Matsumoto Bon Bon Bon
Bon Bon Matsumoto Bon Bon Bon
Bon Bon Matsumoto Bon Bon Bon

So come to Matsumoto Bon Bon and celebrate with the city!

This is a blog for foreigners in Japan from all over the world, so here is some extra advice for our visitors.

1. The festival is rather long and needs lots of walking, so wear comfy shoes.
2. Watching many Rens is also fun, so be sure to look around at all kinds of teams, from young to old and everything in between.
3. If you are planning to go to a bar during or after the festival, be sure to reserve a table early or you may have to wait. Then again, you can also grab a couple of beers at a convenience store and have them the street like everyone else!

For more information on Matsumoto Bon Bon, check out:

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