Music in the Mountains: Fuji Rock Festival

When music meets nature. Fuji Rock Festival is a three-day music festival held annually in July at the Niigata Prefecture in Japan. The festival was originally held at the base of Mount Fuji, hence its name. But after a large typhoon hit the festival on the year of its debut, this became a state of emergency for the team, causing them to go through multiple rounds of trial and error. 

Fuji Rock 2013 | Photo by yamauchi

In an attempt to return to the original idea of nature, the mastermind of Fuji Rock, Masahiro Hidaka decided to move the festival to Naeba Ski Resort in the Niigata Prefecture. The origins of Fuji Rock dates all the way back in 1997 and has been a highlight of the Japanese music calendar ever since.

The Rise of Music Tourism 

Photo by t.kunikuni

Going to concerts are absolutely loved by many people. But going to a music festival outside of your own country is a whole different thrill altogether. 

Music tourism is a tourism trend that is gaining popularity amongst tourists. Just like voluntourism, which is tourism that combines volunteering and travelling, the concept of music tourism is almost the same. Essentially, it is the act of visiting a town or city for the purpose of attending a music festival or event in the area. 

Personally, I have travelled outside of the country myself to attend a music festival within the region to enjoy good music, as well as a good time with friends. 

Many people fly out to these festivals for the factor of experience. And Fuji Rock definitely delivers.

Why Do People Go to Fuji Rock?

Photo by Global Panorama

Each year, at least 100,000 attendees grace the festival. Every year as Fuji Rock season draws closer, festival-goers look forward to the line-up for the festival’s bands and artists, featuring some of the best in the world.

Coldplay at Fuji Rock ’11

The 2017 lineup featured headliners Björk and The XX, while the 2018 lineup did not disappoint and included artists like American rapper Kendrick Lamar, American rock band Vampire Weekend and renowned DJ, Skrillex. On top of that, the setting of the festival is a literal translation of ‘when music meets nature’.

Besides good music, the festival is also a haven for good food. You’ll see dozens and dozens of food trucks and kiosks selling everything from authentic Japanese cuisine to organic and vegan options as well. 

Fuji Rock ’10 | Photo by Kentaro Ohno

Fuji Rock is more than just a music experience. Whether you’re with family, your significant other, or with your friends, there is always something for everyone at the Festival. If you want to go for this year’s instalment, it’s not too late! Get your tickets here.

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