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5 Recommended Summer Festivals and Fireworks Shows in Shikoku

When people think of western Japan, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka are the most famous sightseeing areas, but actually the island of Shikoku is a fascinating region with plenty of charms! Here are 5 festivals and fireworks shows in Shikoku to check out during the summer.

1. Awa-Odori (Tokushima)

The Awa-Odori is so famous that every Japanese person knows about it. It's a traditional dance that takes place in the city of Tokushima by groups made up of tens of people. They dance through the streets matching the rhythm of song and music played on traditional Japanese instruments like the shamisen (a stringed instrument) and flutes. The venue is centered around the theater and stages in the center of the city.
They also have a system called "niwakaren" that you can join without prior reservations. Dancers from famous groups teach participants the dance, so you can perform. There are also groups like the Tokushima International Association which is made up of mainly foreigners, so please participate!

Will be held between Saturday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1. Awa-Odori (Tokushima)

1-35 Ryogokuhon-cho, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima

2. Yosakoi Festival (Kochi)

This is a famous festival by local people held in the summer in the city of Kochi. About 200 teams of about 18,000 people perform this dance while playing a traditional percussion instrument called a "naruko" in 9 recital halls and 7 theaters throughout the city. The only rule of the dance is to move forward while playing the naruko, so the actual dance steps and costumes are completely up to the teams. Please enjoy the lively, florid atmosphere while delighting in the interests and individuality of each team.

Will be held between Wednesday, August 9 and Saturday, August 12, 2017

2. Yosakoi Festival (Kochi)

1-11 Obiya-machi, Kochi-shi, Kochi

3. Uwajima Ushi-oni Festival (Ehime)

The Uwajima Ushi-oni Festival is held in Uwajima, Ehime. The main attraction is the decorations called "ushi-oni," which are made to look like demons. They measure about 5-6m long, and have a bull-like head on top of a very long neck. The bodies are covered in hemp or red fabric.
Those ushi-oni are carried by tens of young people, and they parade down the street chanting "wasshoi, wasshoi" for a lively sight. Behind them, children follow playing the traditional instrument called a "takebora." During the parade, the ushi-oni's neck and head are thrust into homes as a blessing to ward off evil. Please check out this impressive summer festival if you can!

Will be held between Saturday, July 22 and Monday, July 24, 2017

3. Uwajima Ushi-oni Festival (Ehime)

Nishiki-machi, Uwajima-shi, Ehime

4. Onmaku Hanabi ~Wakuwaku~ (Ehime)

This is a fireworks festival held in Imabari, Ehime. While traditional dances are also held, the main event is the prefecture's biggest fireworks show. This year, about 14,000 fireworks are scheduled to be ignited. Some of the biggest sights in the show are the fireworks that look like countless butterflies fluttering through the air and the yearly climax of around 100 fireworks going off in succession.

Will be held on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6, 2017

4. Onmaku Hanabi ~Wakuwaku~ (Ehime)

2-3-20 Asahi-machi, Imabari-shi, Ehime

5. Sanuki Takamatsu Festival Hanabi Taikai Dondon Takamatsu (Kagawa)

This is a fireworks festival representative of Takamatsu, Kagawa. The main venues are Chuo Park, Chuo-dori, and Sunport Takamatsu (a multipurpose facility). There are events like concerts, live performances, quiz shows, and yukata contests as well as close to 200 food stalls. The main event is the fireworks show with the Seto Inland Sea as a backdrop. About 8,000 fireworks light up the night sky and the ocean surface.

Will be held on Sunday, August 13, 2017

5. Sanuki Takamatsu Festival Hanabi Taikai Dondon Takamatsu (Kagawa)

2-1 Sunport, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa

Shikoku is an island where each prefecture has its own unique qualities. Please add some of these festivals to your itinerary!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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