- belly button festival / Furano / heso odori / Hokkai Heso Matsuri / Hokkaido
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Japan has many unique festivals. In this article, I will talk about one of the most interesting festivals held during summertime in the northern area of the archipelago.
The Belly Button Festival, known as Hokkai Heso Matsuri/北海へそ祭り in Japanese takes place yearly in the idyllic city of Furano (富良野).
The city is also known for the various winter activities, splendid fields of flowers and it is located in the center of the beautiful Hokkaido Prefecture.
Besides the famous lavender fields and powdery snow, Furano is a place full of nature and uniqueness, and we can say that the Belly Button Festival is one of the elements that contribute to its unique factor.
The festival takes place annually in July, on 28th-29th, and has been around since 1969. At first, it wasn’t more than an event filled with dance, quite simple. But as years passed, it started getting more and more fun, gradually overflowing with creativity and humor and aiming to unite people through laughter.
At first, not many were attracted to the festival, but as the media started to take notice of it and their whole concept of bringing people together and having a good time, more and more people ended up participating. Now, it has become quite a popular festival in Japan.
Hokkai Heso Matsuri: Meaning and what you should be expecting
The festival, as I mentioned above is the result of the locals` creativity and unlike many other festivals in Japan, it is purely for fun.
The idea of bringing some humor and positiveness in our lives and having a good time together stays at the base of this festival and I believe that it is such a brilliant concept. A bit of humor can only do good, right?
The most famous point of this festival is the “belly dance”, known as “Heso Odori”.
However, don’t expect the kind of belly dance you see in the Orient, but more like a couple of participants in costumes with funny faces and unique mix of colors on their bellies that execute hilarious dances who will undoubtedly make the audience burst in laughter.
Besides the Belly Button Festival, the splendid area of Furano has a lot to offer, so you should check the surroundings, eat some of the local food and enjoy the chill summers of Hokkaido.
Official Website of Furano Tourism