Music festival on the foothills of Mt. Fuji

It’s not quite summer anymore, but this balmy weather is perfect for a weekend of camping and cool music festival sounds with a Mt Fuji backdrop.

Asagiri Jam is a smaller version of Fuji Rock: more laid-back, lower-key, and featuring only two stages. A favourite amongst true music fans, Asagiri Jam sells out its 12,000 weekend passes every single year. Surprisingly, promoter Smash divulged the 2012 lineup three weeks in advance, as opposed to the few days notice of the previous years.

Taking place on the Asagiri plateau (from which the festival borrows its name) at the base of Mount Fuji, the two-day event not only gives a great view of Japan’s highest peak, but also presents yet another flawless lineup. A blend of local artists and international names will perform over the weekend, ranging from American indie rockers Dirty Projectors to famed DJ Cut Chemist and reggae/dub master Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Other noteworthy acts include didgeridoo prodigee Goma, a hip hop DJ turned master of the indigenous Australian wind instrument, who will play alongside The Jungle Rhythm Section, as well as English electro dance artist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, who will likely be clad in a full-body dino suit. See full timetable here to discover what else could entice you.

The festival extends its scope much beyond the music: don’t miss the evening campfires for a true camping feel, as well as the Sunday morning group radio taiso for early risers (if you’ve taught at or attended a public school in Japan, you know the exercise I’m talking about), and stalls selling local products to keep your stomach full.

Take advantage of a (hopefully warm and sunny) early October weekend for some outdoor and music vibes, before hibernating for the winter that awaits us. Proceeds from the ticket sales go to a post-earthquake reconstruction fund, so why not listen to music for a good cause. Ticket information here.

Asagiri Jam (official website, Japanese only)

When: Oct 6-7 (Saturday and Sunday – Monday is a national holiday.)

Where: Asagiri Arena, Fujinomiya (shuttle and direct buses available)

How much: 2-day pass ¥13,800