One of the biggest events in summer is the annual Fuji Rock Festival. 2016 sees it celebrate its 20th Anniversary. It will be held on Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd, & Sunday 24th July and is spread out all around the Naeba Ski Area in Yuzawa town.
It is a huge festival with big names, thousands of music fans, and is one of the highlights of the summer festival circuit in Japan. There are stages dotted around the woods and slopes of the ski resort, food areas, kids play areas, performing art, circus acts, and rows upon rows of portable toilets.
As you drive to Naeba you can see stages, crowds, and hundreds of tents for the camping festival goers all trying to find a flat pitch on the slopes of the ski area. Others choose to stay in local accommodation. The hotels and lodges in Naeba are popular and sell out quickly. Many people stay in Yuzawa town and all the areas around it. There are free shuttle buses that run along the road from Yuzawa Station up to Naeba.
The organisation that goes into the Festival days is amazing, and it is great for the town to host such a big event. The quiet little onsen area in the mountains suddenly gets swamped by thousands of excited festival fans in various forms of attire. The experienced fans can usually be spotted by their footwear. The festival covers a large area and there is lots of walking between stages to catch favorite acts. Also, there is often heavy rain at this time of year so mud and wet feet are not uncommon.