This is the second part of our article on “Autumn Festivals in Japan”. You can read part 1 (Towada, Sapporo and Hanamaki) here.
The Iwashimizu Festival
The Iwashimizu Festival is a Shinto festival featuring a big parade of around 500 people and is one of Japan’s oldest festivals. Numerous rituals are conducted, such as releasing fish into the shrine’s pond and in the Hojo River. Young children also perform a special “butterfly dance” on the Angobashi Bridge.
When: September 15, 2017
Where: Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine, Yawata, Kyoto
The Okinawa Eisa Festival
The Okinawa Eisa Festival has been celebrated for more than 400 years and is an exciting festival with lots of Okinawan music and dancing. Each community has its own style of eisa (Okinawan folk dance) and perform in unique costumes, with the dancers using all different sizes of drums to add spice to their lively performances.
When: August 25-27, 2017
Where: Okinawa City Koza Sports Park
The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival
The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is one of the most famous Danjiri matsuri (float-pulling festivals) in Japan. Huge wooden floats in the shape of shrines or temples are pulled through the streets by 35 different teams. Each pull the floats as fast as they can, moving through crossroads and around corners. The floats also carry lively bands and dancers who jump on the roofs of the floats to perform their moves.
When: September 16-17, 2017
Where: Around Kishiwada station and Haruki station on the Nankai Line, Osaka
The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival
The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival is enjoyed by the whole city and celebrates Nagasaki’s multicultural history. It is characterized by elaborate floats on wheels and lively dance performances. Each neighborhood has its own unique dance, with many of the dances dating back hundreds of years. Eight or nine neighborhoods perform every year, giving each neighborhood in Nagasaki the chance to perform every seven years.
When: October 7-9, 2017
Where: The main venue is at Suwa Shrine, but there are other venues such as Nagasaki Station and floats are paraded through 59 different neighborhoods in the city.