Summer Festival in your neighborhood
This useful tip is for short term visitors and for long term residents, both. If you wish to immerse in local japanese culture, make new friends, know your neighborhood, or simply enjoy a fun-filled evening with beer, pan-fried noodles ("yaki soba"), etc. look out for summer festivals organized in your neighborhood. You can find event details either within the flyers in your mailbox or through announcement on noticeboard next to mailbox. Voluntary community associations (Jichikai) usually organize summer festivals for residents within their area so they can get together, mingle with each other. These festivals are organized in large play-ground or parks within your area. Organizers are local residents who volunteer for managing events, setting up shops, hosting kids games (such as scooping toys from pool of water), playing Bingo, etc. Don't be surprised to see young children in their full entrepreneurial spirit running shops, shouting "irrashaimase" (welcome), delivering sales pitches, etc. All in all, you will come out "refreshed" and re-energized after attending this lively event. So, what are you waiting for? Until summer lasts, look out for those flyers in your mailbox or announcement on noticeboard.