Hiroshima in summer is full of fun events such as festivals and fireworks. This time, we picked up five that are highly recommended.
1. Miyajima Kangen-sai Festival
First, we'd like to introduce an ocean festival held at Itsukushima Shrine, one of Hiroshima's most famous sites and a World Heritage site. At the festival, you can watch brilliantly decorated boats, on which old Japanese court music is played, sailing around to Jigozen Shrine on the opposite shore and to other places. Many stalls, such as of food, are set up around Jigozen Shrine. Lanterns are lit in the evenings giving the area a magical feel.
The festival has its roots in the Heian period (around 784-1185) when aristocrats played on boats on rivers and ponds. With the passing of time, this pastime evolved into a sacred ceremony.
Event schedule: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
2. Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival
Next, we introduce a fireworks festival held near Itsukushima Shrine, mentioned earlier. Its key characteristic is that the fireworks are "water fireworks" that are launched into the water from boats. They burst with a large bang in the water and mystically light up Itsukushima Shrine and the torii gate that float on the sea. We hope you will experience this dynamic and fantastical scene!
Event date: Saturday, August 26, 2017 *Will be held even in rainy weather
3. Toukasan Grand Festival
Next, we introduce the festival for Touka-san, a nickname for Inari Daimyojin, the deity enshrined in Enryuji Temple, Hiroshima. It has a history of nearly 400 years and is visited by approximately 450,000 people every year.
The festival is also known as the Yukata Festival because of the many people who visit wearing yukata kimono, and because it is considered to mark the time of year to start wearing yukata.
The festival is held on the streets around Enryuji Temple. Many food and game stalls open on the streets that are gaily decorated with lanterns, and there are performances of traditional dance.
4. Sera Kogen Farm Sunflower Festival
Next, we introduce the Sunflower Festival that is held annually between early and late August at Sera Kogen Farm in the eastern part of the middle of the prefecture. This is a festival where you can enjoy a stunning view of approximately 1.1 million sunflowers of about 50 varieties covering a huge hill that is approximately 60,000 square meters. A variety of activities, such as sunflower field mazes, are held during the festival.
Festival schedule: Saturday, July 29, 2017 to Sunday, August 20, 2017
Entrance fee: 800 JPY/adult; 400 JPY/ages 4 through elementary school
5. Hiroshima Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony
Next, we introduce a lantern floating ceremony that is held to console the spirits of those who died in war and to pray for lasting world peace. It is held on August 6 every year, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 during World War II.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and later, lanterns on which people have written messages of peace are set afloat down the Motoyasu River (between the World Heritage site, Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome), and Motoyasu Bridge). Some of the lanterns are set afloat by the event sponsors and others by individuals. Be aware that there may be long lines to set a lantern afloat yourself.
Event schedule: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Lantern fee: 600 JPY each
There is a wide variety of summer events, ranging from those to enjoy beautiful scenery, and those where you can experience traditional culture handed down over the ages. We hope you will participate in them!
*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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