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

 Plum blossoms mark the arrival of Spring in Japan. Kairakuen Park is home to around 3000 plum trees of 100 different species which flower from late February to March, filling the park with a delicate floral fragrance. Kairakuen also features various attractions which can be enjoyed throughout the year, such as Kobuntei villa and a lush bamboo forest. 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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Itako Iris Festival (Itako City)

Itako City is a waterfront city surrounded by the ocean on one side and rivers and lakes on the other. The city is most famous for its Iris Festival in which nearly one million iris plants fill the city with innumerable shades of purple. During the festival in late May and June, visitors can also see a traditional ceremony in which a bride in a stunning white wedding kimono travels by boat to join her new husband's family as well enjoy leisurely row boat cruises on the city's many canals.

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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.