Summer time in Japan is a time for lots of festivals all over the country. I try to make it to a festival every time I go back home. It is a very special atomsphere. Usually there are lots of food, drink and game stalls. Young people from the neighborhoods near by form groups and each group participates in the festival. sometimes they carry big floats called Mikoshi.
I went to the Hoshi Kudari festival in Takarazuka City near Osaka. It's a small, neighborhood festival that doesn't bring in too many people form far away. Some of the more famous matsuri, like Nebuta in Aomori attract tens of thousands of visitors from all over Japan. I have even heard of matsuri lovers who travel the country going from festival to festival.