Love Toya: Creative Life Festival
A festival featuring live music, alternative vendors, and all kinds of activities celebrating life that is fun for the whole family.
What is Love Toya?
Every July, Lake Toya hosts the Love Toya: Creative Life Festival. Spanning both Saturday and Sunday, this free-to-enter festival features live music, alternative vendors, and all kinds of activities that are fun and family friendly. While the event isn't as large as some of the other Hokkaido music festivals, like Rising Sun or Join Alive, it offers a distinctly unique atmosphere and is more than just a music festival. For any summer travelers looking to gain a glimpse of Japanese sub-cultures, this event is an excellent opportunity.
Food and Services
As with most events in Japan, food vendors can be expected in great abundance at Love Toya. For any traveler familiar with Hokkaido, the quality of food is always dependably excellent. Love Toya is no exception to the high standard of food, but what made it stand out even more was the extensive range of foods. Choosing what to eat was not easy when options like Okinawan chicken taco rice were vetted against Vietnamese pho; the selection of organic baked goods had many guests coming back for seconds and thirds!
In addition to food, there were as many vendors offering hand-made goods like hemp-made dresses and accessories and home-grown hanging plants and planters. The selection of services didn't end there. One stall offered henna tattoos, another offered massage, and there was even a stall for custom-designed and installed wood-fire stoves!
Activities and Workshops
Daily activities are always a bit different year-to-year, but always are in abundance and tend to be aimed at family inclusiveness. The giant bubble blowing and different dancers from this years line-up were purely for the attendees' viewing pleasure; however, other activities, like the hot air balloon rides and yoga workshops, were open for active participation. This past Sunday featured a full workshop on solar energy and off-grid living which drew quite a crowd.
Music and Entertainment
Yearly line-ups vary, but this year saw a great selection of different musicians and artists. While the evening was lively, featuring a variety of upbeat artists like Tike from Sapporo (video above), the afternoon featured Hawaiian dancers and a really incredible group performing on traditional taiko drums and shamisen.
Information and Contact
If you are in the Niseko area, either visiting or living here year-round, it is definitely worth working Love Toya into your plans. Their website, while currently only available in Japanese, does have a lot of photos and still provides some information even when unable to read the language. In any event, you can always drop them an enquiry on their contact page and they will do their best to get back to you in English!