Okinawa Eisaa Matsuri

Fri, August 31th to Sun, 2nd September: Okinawa Eisa Matsuri in Okinawa


You can witness dynamic dancing, the sound of drums, shamisen, and listen to music! On the first day dancers and musicians will parade the streets of Okinawa city. On the two other days you can enjoy the dances of groups from all around the island at the Koza Sports Park. On the last day don’t miss the Kachashi, a moment during which viewers can join the dancers!

●Okinawa Eisaa Matsuri
Place: Goya crossroad in Okinawa city on the first day, and Okinawa City Koza Sports Park for the two last days
Access:For the final event on the last day, you can take shuttle buses departing from various points in Okinawa city.
Official website (English): Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri

Sat, 1st September:  Imokurabe Matsuri in Shiga Prefecture

Oumi Nakayama Imokurabe Matsuri
Photo by: 歴史探訪京都からー旧木津川の地名を歩く会ー

This is a very peculiar festival even for Japanese people! It’s a festival to compete for the longest taro (a kind of potato), in front of a god. Two villages in the east and west compete with each other. The one having the longest taro is said to have a good harvest, and the other one a poor one. The event is said to be a ritual from the Heian period, but there is no established theory to explain why they compete for the longest taro. However, some say the taro was the main source of food for ancient Japanese people, or that it was a substitute for the god that enshrines ironware. Gather at Kumano Jinja at around 13:30 and then go to Mt. Nogami for the competition at 14:00.

●Oumi Nakayama Imokurabe Matsuri
Place:Kumano Shrine and Mt.Nogami
Access:10 min drive from Oumi Rail way “Hino”station

1931 Nakayama, Hino, Gamou District, Shiga Prefecture

Sat, 1st September: Zenkoku Shinsaku Hanabi Kyogi-taikai in Nagano Prefecture


Zenkoku Shinsaku Hanabi Kyogi-taikai is the event where fireworks creators from all Japan gather and show their new technologies and techniques! More than 18000 fireworks will be launched in one night above the beautiful lake Suwa.

●Zenkoku Shinsaku Hanabi Kyogi-taikai
Place:JR Kami-Suwa station
Access: 8 min walk from JR Kami-Suwa station
Map:*Japanese text only

Sat, 1st to Mon, 3rd September: Owara Kaze-no-Bon in Toyama Prefecture

Owara Kaze-noBon
Photo by tsuda

“Owara-kaze-no-Bon” is a night event more than 300 years old. Its original role to appease the winds and praying for being safe from calamities such as typhoons or floods. For three days the small village of Yatsuo becomes the center of this lively festival. The dancing women, traditionally young and unmarried, hide their faces from the gods with a special straw hat. Their dances are the main attraction, but the area is also decorated with paper lanterns, creating a eerie atmosphere.

●Owara Kaze-no-Bon
Place: Yatsuo Old Town and Around the station
Access: About 40 minutes’ walk to the enbujo dance stage from Ecchu Yatsuo Station. Ecchu Yatsuo Station is about 20 minutes from JR Toyama Station on the JR Takayama Honsen Line.

To learn about the best festivals for the rest of the month, read: The Best Japanese Festivals for the Second Half of September 2018

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!