Festivals

Festivals

Spring in Ibaraki begins with plum blossom festivals, and a variety of events follow. In summer, traditional festivals take place in cities and towns throughout Ibaraki. Come and enjoy the events together with the local people.

Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge (Ryujin Gorge)

A dam creates a placid lake surrounded by mountains in Ryujin Gorge. The gorge features a 375-meter-long suspension bridge which is decorated with countless traditional carp streamers around Children’s Day in spring, in the hope that children will grow up to be healthy and strong. A 100-meter-high bungee jump from the bridge is another attraction here.

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Hitachi Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) and Hitachi Furyu-mono

Approximately 14,000 cherry trees in Hitachi bear beautiful blossoms in April, and lots of visitors flock here day and night. For two days, huge festival floats called furyumono (15 meters high, 18 meters wide, and weighing 5 tons) appear on the street, and puppet plays are performed on it. The furyumono have been designated as a UNESCO intangible cultural property. Cherry blossom map link

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Mito Plum Blossom Festival

Kairakuen Garden and Kodokan Mito-han School/Mito City

 Giving off a subtle fragrance from late February to March, ume (plum blossoms) are a herald of spring. Kairakuen Garden is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan, and it is known for its 3,000 ume trees in 100 different species. The park features various attractions which can be enjoyed throughout the year, such as the Kobuntei villa and a lush bamboo forest, and Tokiwa Shrine is situated near the main entrance to the park.

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Himatsuri Pottery Festival

Kasama City

An annual event held from April 29 to May 5 in Kasama, the Himatsuri Pottery Festival features over 200 pottery artists, makers, and shops coming together to showcase and sell their ceramic works in tents that they set up by themselves. You are sure to find something you like at this event which attracts over 550,000 visitors every year.  

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Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition

The Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition takes place annually on the first Saturday in October. Roughly 20,000 fireworks are launched and nearly 700,000 people come to see them. Don’t miss the gorgeous star mine that lasts for five minutes at around 7:00 pm. Most impressive, it is the highlight of the event.

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ISHIOKA NO MATSURI

The Ishioka Festival is one the three most popular festivals in the Kanto region. You will be awed by the huge, magnificent portable shrine, where the deity is believed to temporarily stay, as well as amazed at the gorgeous festival floats and spirited lion mask performances. You can also see sumo matches and kagura (dancing to music), both of which afford you the opportunity of getting a close-up view of traditional cultural beauty and energy.

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Makabe Hina-Mamatsuri (the Doll Festival)

People living in over 160 houses lining the streets display their hina dolls and welcome visitors during the Makabe Hina Doll Festival. Some of the various hina dolls are hundreds of years old, while others feature contemporary designs, and some of the dolls are made of stone. Enjoy strolling around the quaint streets of historic Makabe, and experience the warmth and love the local people feel toward their town,

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Suigo Itako Iris Festival(Suigo Itako Ayame-en Park,Itako City)

The city of Itako is a waterfront city surrounded by the sea, rivers and lakes, and 1 million iris plants of 500 varieties will be in full bloom from late May to mid-June. You can enjoy cruising on the river by rowing boat. Also, Yomeiribune, a wedding ceremony, where a bride in a traditional costume is on a boat, can be seen on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during the iris festival.

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MITO KOMON MATSURI/ FIREWORKS FESTIVAL

The Mito Komon Festival is a three-day affair that takes place in early August and draws scores of people from all over. Roughly 4,500 fireworks are set off at Lake Senba on the first night of the festival, and over the next two days you can see a variety of festival floats with colorful decorations and portable shrines shouldered by local people parading the streets. A Citizen’s Carnival and other festive events are a lot of fun, too.

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Shimodate Gion Festival

Chikusei City

  Portable shrines (mikoshi) parade down the streets at the Shimodate Gion Festival, which has a history of over 120 years. The most popular portable shrine is the Heisei Mikoshi, which is Japan’s heaviest. Feel the excitement as you watch the men carry their o-mikoshi, and the women carry their onago-mikoshi. On the last day, the people carry the mikoshi into the Gongyo River to rinse them off, another event which is well worth seeing.