Japan Times contributor Patrick St. Michel and Culture Editor Alyssa Smith headed to Naeba Ski Resort in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture last weekend for the 2022 edition of Fuji Rock Festival. Here are their experiences from one of Japan’s premier summer music festivals.


It didn’t take long into the first day of Fuji Rock 2022 to stumble across this year’s central tension. After attendees went through temperature checks, installed tracking apps and listened to a lecture about rules meant to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, Mongolian metal band The Hu delivered an early highlight via its mix of shredding, traditional instrumentation and throat singing.