I visited Fuji Rock Festival in Japan in July, 2015
I finally reached the other end of the festival area, it must have taken me half an hour to walk at least, without any long stops. Walking in a crowd slowed me down a bit though, and it was mostly crowded here. Trying to see the whole area took some time, so large and so many different paths. And always so many people.
Here, at the other end, it was a lot less crowded. More laid back. A small stage was open for anybody wanting to show their skills, lots of chairs to sit in. A bar, a food truck and Cafe de Paris, which looked more like a stage than a cafe. A band was playing, people were dancing.
I bought myself a beer, found a chair to sit down in, watched the amateur stage. People of very different skill levels were performing. Some of them were really good, others should stick to singing in the shower. You can find everyting at a festival in Japan it seems.
I watched the different performers for a while before heading back towards the main stage and all the food trucks. I was getting hungry.
Fuji Rock Festival was first held in 1997 at the base of Mount Fuji. In 1999 the festival was moved to Naeba Ski Resort where it had been held ever since. The festival area includes seven stages, the biggest with a capacity of close to 50.000 people, as well as several smaller stages scattered across the area. There are also over a hundred food trucks at the festival, so there should be something to everybody’s taste. Up to a hundred thousand people have visited the festival every year.
At times it felt really crowded at the festival. Just before a concert begins, everybody rushing to the stage from the toilets or the food area. You just have to follow the crowd, sometimes at a snail’s pace. Still, the Japanese knows how to behave in a crowd, everything goes smoothly. Even if going the opposite direction there is always a line, and you are always moving.
I eventually made it through the crowd, arrived at the food area. The crowd was moving the other way, the food area was relatively empty. I used the opportunity to get some food while the lines were short.
I bought a taco and a beer from a truck, the restaurant originally located in Tokyo. Found a seat, ate my taco. It was very good, the Japanese know how to make food. Finishing my beer I headed for the main stage. Not sure who was playing at the moment, might as well go and take a look.
Getting to Fuji Rock Festival is easy. A shinkansen goes almost all the way from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa station, then a shuttle bus takes you the rest of the way, about half an hour drive. If you are travelling in Japan in July I greatly recommend visiting the festival. It is a great music festival in Japan to visit.