Ebisu Drift Matsuri – All You Need To Know

Ebisu Drift Matsuri – All You Need To Know

Ebisu circuit in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima prefecture is the birthplace of the original ‘Drift Matsuri’. ‘Matsuri’ means ‘festival’ in Japanese, so drift matsuri means Drift Festival. The Ebisu drift matsuri is held 3 times a year – Spring, Summer and Autumn (or Fall for all you Americans 😉 ).

The matsuri is 31 hours of non-stop drifting that stretches over a whole weekend – starting at 9 am on the Saturday and going right through the night until they wave the checkered flag at 4 pm the next day (Sunday).

drift matsuri on nishi course
You can catch the nishi train session on the Sunday afternoon from 3 to 4 pm.

Matsuri goers have access to all 7 tracks at Ebisu circuit during the festival, including Higashi (east) course and West (nishi) course which aren’t usually open to drifting on regular days.

With the wide selection of exciting tracks, night time drifting and lively ‘festival’ atmosphere, it has become a world-famous event that attracts local Japanese and international drifters alike. Everyone can join in the fun, whether it’s you bringing your own car to drift or just spectating and soaking up the vibes.

2021 Ebisu Drift Matsuri Dates

ebisu drift matsuri dates 2021

Find the dates of this year’s Drift Matsuris below. They happen three times a year at Ebisu circuit – in Spring, Summer, and Fall (Autumn). Start planning your trip!

  • Spring 2021 Matsuri – May 1 – 2
  • Summer 2021 Matsuri – August 7 – 8
  • Fall 2021 Matsuri – November 13 – 14

(please note that these dates are subject to change in extreme circumstances, such as a global pandemic!)

About the Three Matsuri’s

The Spring matsuri usually falls on the weekend of Golden week every year in Japan, typically the first weekend of May. The weather in early May here is cool and sunny. It’s around the time of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, but it’s too early to see them in Fukushima (around Ebisu circuit). It’s quite cool during the day and cold at night so bring a jacket!

The Summer matsuri usually happens in the middle of August as it coincides with the O-Bon summer holiday in Japan. It’s usually either mega hot and humid or rainy and humid. Either way, bring your hat and sunscreen and an umbrella and plenty of water. You’ll sweat like crazy. It’s not easy on your car either so make sure your car is equipped with adequate cooling such as large radiator and additional cooling fans, etc. It’s punishing on cars on summer days.

The Fall matsuri happens in late November. The Fall matsuris usually have the largest turnout of cars and spectators. The weather in November is cold during the day and even colder at night, so bring a big jacket, gloves and a beanie!

The dates are roughly the same each year, however the final dates are not announced officially until the January of each new year, so come back to this page around February each year for the exact Drift Matsuri dates.

Coming to the Ebisu drift matsuri is definitely a ‘bucket list’ item for every fan of drifting. It’s definitely a spectacle that you can plan your whole Japan drift holiday around.

Cost of Entering Drift Matsuri

Entry passes for drivers can be bought in advance (15,000 yen) via their application form which you can download and FAX to them after depositing the fee. Alternatively, you can pay at the gate on the day (20,000 yen).

Spectators pay 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for kids under 13 y.o. at the gate. For more information about buying tickets for drift Matsuri, check the Ebisu Circuit Drift Matsuri web page here. http://www.ebisu-circuit.com/ms2020/d_matsuri/d_matsuri.html

The Highlights of Matsuri

There is action to see all the time, but some of the highlights that you won’t want to miss are the high-speed entries on Nishi and Higashi courses, the packed pits and busy course on Kita (north) course on Saturday night from about 7 pm to midnight, and the final Nishi short (west course) grand finale on Sunday afternoon where you see the mega long drift trains.

Sleek s14 Silvia zenki at Ebisu drift matsuri
Ebisu drift matsuri attracts a ton of tasty drift cars three time a year
Drift Matsuri Rx-7 FC on Nishi course
My FC Rx-7 at 2020 Fall Matsuri. If you see me at a Matsuri come say G’day!

If you happen to see me at one of the matsuris don’t be a stranger. Come and say hi! I don’t drive at the matsuri’s as much as I used to but I am usually there watching on Saturday nights at North course and at Nishi (west) course for the afternoon short course trains! If I am driving, I’ll either have my black FC Rx-7 or my black C33 Laurel.

Disco Stu

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