Autumn Festivals in Japan – Part 2 (Iwashimizu, Okinawa, Kishiwada and Nagasaki)

Nov 29, 2017


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.

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