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Hiburi-shinji at Aso Shrine


Hiburi-shinji is the annual festival held at Aso Shrine in Aso, Kumamoto-prefecture.

Hiburi-shinji is a Shinto ritual that signifies the wedding ceremony of the gods.

When the deity of the Himegami wrapped in oak branches and leaves arrives,

the parishioners all celebrate by lighting torches made from grass and waving

them around.

A ring of flames swinging heroically colors the Shrine at night, and the whole area

is enveloped in a fantastical atmosphere.

After Hiburi-shinji end, spring comes to Aso.

Wasshoi Million Summer Festival


Wasshoi Million Summer Festival is one of the festivals representing Kyushu and  started in 1988

to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the formation of the city and has more than one and half

million spectators every year. 

The festival is held on Komonji dori Avenue in front of Kitakyushu City Government  Office on the
first Saturday and Sunday of August ( August 5 and 6 this year).
On the first day (Saturday),after the opening ceremony parade, festivals representing each of the
old cities assemble to join the parade and excitement grows among all the festival participants and
On the second day (Sunday), the Million Dance is performed around Kokura Castle by one and
half million citizens who come from local companies and town groups,wearing themed festival
costumes. They dance and dance, enlivening and energising the festival.
One of the greatest highlights is the firework display,this spectacular show marks the finale
of the festival.
 ・Venue : Komonji Avenue and Katsuyama Park Kokura kitaku

・Direction : A 15 min. walk from JR Kokura Station

Nagasaki Kunchi


Nagasaki Kunchi is one of big-three festival in Japan, held on October 7 to 9 at Suwa Shrine.

The festival features Chinese dance including Ja-odori (Snake dance), this time dancing all

around the city but especially at Suwa Shrine. History of the Festival, after Christianity was

harshly suppressed in Nagasaki in 1624, a festival was dedicated to Suwa Shrine, the guardian

god of local people. It is believed that Suwa Shrine festival called “Nagasaki Kunchi” and danced

were offered to shrine with cooperated of local people in 1634.

At the outset, dedicated dance were very simple but gradually became colorful. During Eiho Era

(1673-80), a Chinese dance with an exotic flavor offered to the shrine. The Ja-odori or snake dance

was first performed in the Nagasaki Kunchi during period 1789-1800. In 1970, the government

designated the whole of Nagasaki Kunchi dance including Ja-odori as an Important Intangible

Cultural Asset.

Tamaseseri / wooden ball catching festival


Tamaseseri, a lively New Year’s Festival held on January, at Hakozaki Shrine in Fukuoka-city,
including a traditional form of fortune-telling.   
Several hundred men wearing lion cloths compete on piggy-back in two teams, the “sea” team
and the “land” team team, for possession of a wooden ball.

If the sea team wins, a bountiful fishing catch is predicted for the year; if the land team wins

a rich harvest is predicted. 


Chikugo Yoshii Hinadoll Festival


Hina matsuri, also called Doll’s Festival or Girls’ Day, is a special day in Japan, celebrated

each year on 3 March. A platforms covered with a red carpet-material are used to display a

set of ornamental hina dolls, representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians

in traditional court dress of the Heian period.

It is an occasion to pray for the well-being and prosperity of girls. It is thought that the festival

has its roots in an ancient purification ceremony, in which dolls were floated down the river,

taking all of the girls’ bad luck with them.

Yoshii-machi, Ukiha-city Hina doll Festival

 from February 11 through April 3

Main Hina dolls are displayed at Shirakabe Avenue district, where the river is lined by attractive former

warehouses, all with traditional wood and white plaster exteriors. The doll displays of Ukiha usually

feature two types of dolls: okiage (paper cut-outs covered in cotton and wrapped in fabric) and hakobina

(dolls in individual display cases).

Yanagawa Sagemon Festival


Yanagawa Sagemon Festival is one of the most beautiful and very unique Japanese

traditional Festival in Kyushu.  The festival is held from February 11 through April 3 in

Yanagawa.  Hina dolls are displayed by families with girls to pray for safe growth of 

their children, in Yanagawa, in addition to Hina dolls, colourful “Sagemon” are displayed.

Sagemon Meguri was started in order to showcase beautiful “Sagemon” to visitors. 
Each display of “ Sagemon” represents parents’ wishes for their girls to grow into
beautiful, strong, and proud women.

Kyokusui-no-en at Dazaifu Shrine


The festival is held on the first Sunday of March. Kyokusui-no-en is a Japanese traditional
ceremony held at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine on the first Sunday of March, a purification
ceremony on a winding stream, is performed by ladies and gentlemen in a ceremonial court
robe under the plum blossoms in full-bloom. 
After the Tobiume-no-mai dance by shrine maidens, Kyokusui-no-En Festival begins.
Vermilion-lacquered cups full of sake are set afloat down the stream.

Before the cups reach each of the participants sitting along the stream, they have to

make up a Japanese poem called waka, and write it down on a strip of fancy paper.
When the cups reach the participants, they drink the sake and hand the paper strip and
cup over to an attendant.

The ceremony has its origin in a historical fact that Ono-no-Yoshifuru, an elder brother of a

noted-calligrapher Ono-no-Tofu, held a ceremony to appease the soul of Michizane

Sugawara and to beguile tedious hours in a rural life.

Tobata Gion Yamagasa, in Kitakyushu-city


Float Festivals including Tobata Gion Yamagasa inscribed on UNESCO Intangible
Heritage List in 2016.
The festival has a lot of energy and is very dynamic as is the case with festivals such
as the Hakata Gion Yamagasa,with young men wearing the happi (festival costume)
and hachimaki (head band), carrying the Yamagasa (festival float) and walking 
around the town shouting  “yoitosa yoitosa”. 

What is remarkable is the way the character of the Yamagasa changes from daytime,

with the Nobori Yamagasa (festival floats with flags); to nighttime with the Chochin
Yamagasa ( festival floats with lanterns).
The highlight is the Chochin Yamagasa Contest held in Tobata Ward Office on Saturday
night. The Nobori Yamagasa used during the daytime is dismantled, and the 10 metre-high 
Chochin Yamagasa,with its 309 lanterns arranged in 12 tiers, is assembled and carried
along in a race by dozens of young people crying  “yoitosa yoitosa”.

Kokura Gion Daiko, in Kitakyushu-city


Kokura Gion Daiko is a summer festivals in which the main attraction is the playing the drums.

In 1958 the event was designated as an intangible folk cultural asset of Fukuoka prefecture.
On July 1st the Kokura Gion Taiko Uchizome-shiki (the ceremony to inaugurate Taiko practice

sessions) is held,and from that moment,Kokura’s exciting summer begins,

with each town and company group striving to perfect its own Taiko performance ahead of the 

Festival which is held from Friday of the third weel in July.

A prominent feature of the festival are the dashi (decorated cart) parades through the town,

carrying two drums,one at the front of the cart and one at the rear,with four drummers

beating the Taiko in time to gongs called jangara, and reciting the phrase Yassa Yare Yare. 

The highlights of the Festival which you should not miss are the Taiko Performing Contest

held at Kokura Castle on July 16th; and the Taiko Performing Parade held at Komonji-dori

street on Sunday of the third week in July.

Nagasaki Lantern Festival


An annual festival in Nagasaki held on Chinese new year.  The festival has been started to

celebrate a new year by Chinese who lived in Nagasaki, and it became the Nagasaki’s festival

since 1994. More than 10 thousand lanterns are decorated at China town during the festival.