Three Festivals a Year every Year: Celebrating Ritsumeikan University 2019

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Campus - Party Stage night

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Campus - Power Rangers from afar entertain a young crowd

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Campus - Power Rangers mock battle close up

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival Aladdin cos-play calligraphy

  • A traditional dance troupe perform a dance based on Inari okami at Ritsumeikan University

  • The expectant crowds gather at the festival stage on a sunny autumn day at Ritsumeikan University's Kinugasa Campus in Kyoto

  • Flying dancers performing modern dance fly dramatically across the festival stage on Osaka Ibaraki Campus

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Kinugasa Campus Kyoto - Cute festival banners with a penguin-like character

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Campus - large crowds mill through the foo stalls

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival - a student plays the traditional game shogi with a local child

December 10, 2019

The unifying theme across Ritsumeikan University’s three college festivals this year was ‘Makes you wonder’ – an expression of the underlying idea underpinning this year’s festivals: to create a sense of ‘can’t wait for what’s next!’ excitement in guests.

With the curtain coming down on the final festival of 2019 at Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC) on December 1, check out some of the visual highlights of all three 2019 festivals above and below; and, if this is the first you have heard of college festivals in Japan, be sure to read the introduction at the bottom of the page too.

Housed in the recently opened 'Wakebayashi International Plaza' on Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC), full use was made of new spaces dedicated to traditional arts this year - including this 'rakugo' performance (a traditional art of story telling with a comical emphasis)
The new tea ceremony room was exceptionally popular
Popular this year at Biwako-Kusatsu Campus festival was a blow up tent which housed a relaxing surprise...
This blow up tent at BKC housed a relaxing surprise...
The tent was in fact a hot spring bath house equipped with natural hot spring water from the Beppu region in Kyushu (the third largest of Japan's five main islands famous for its hot springs)
Students with home-made signs advertising their food stall selling Japanese-style skewered roast chicken 'yakitori' - 2 for 200 yen and 5 for 500 yen
Numerous pop-up stalls selling home-made food make for a celebratory atmosphere, with this particular stall specializing in fried buckwheat noodles, otherwise known as 'yakisoba'

College festivals in Japan and Ritsumeikan University’s three fall festivals:

Many universities around the world hold college festivals – some as part of a long tradition, some as a relatively new introduction to their yearly schedule. What is perhaps not so well known in the wider world, however, is that universities in Japan also have a long history of such festivals, with some even dating back as a tradition more than 100 years.

Established in Kyoto, the home of the world famous Gion Matsuri, an annual festival with well over a thousand years of history, Ritsumeikan University, is, of course, no exception.

Each of its three main campuses, Kinugasa (Kyoto), OIC (Osaka), and BKC (Biwako-Kusatsu, Shiga), hold their own unique festivals without fail every fall. Organized and led by the student community, for just one day, the campuses are abuzz with students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public indulging in live music, performances of all kinds, and stalls offering handmade goods or delicious homemade snacks and much, much more.