Top Choice Religious in Miyajima


This Shintō ritual sees decorated wooden boats float by to the sound of traditional drums and flutes. It's held in summer, starting early evening on the 17th of the sixth lunar-calendar month (late July/early August…
Top Choice Art in Naoshima

Setouchi Triennale

This festival of art, music, drama and dance comes around every three years and has a packed calendar of events occurring on multiple Inland Sea islands, many on Naoshima. The 2016 schedule is spread across three se…
Top Choice Cultural in Tsuwano


At Washibara Hachiman-gū (鷲原八幡宮), south of town about 4km from the station, crowds gather to watch archery contests on horseback on the second Sunday in April.
Theatre in Shōdo-shima

Nōson Kabuki

Shōdo-shima was famous during the Edo period for its tradition of rural kabuki (stylised Japanese theatre), and two 17th-century thatched theatres survive in the mountain villages east of Tonoshō. Performances are h…
Cultural in Okayama

Saidai-ji Eyō

Also known as the Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival), this event takes place at the Kannon-in temple in Saidai-ji, where a chaotic crowd of around 10,000 men in loincloths fight over two sacred shingi (wooden batons) w…
Cultural in Matsue

Matsue Suitōro

In Matsue's night festival of water and light, hand-painted lanterns create atmospheric paths of light around the moat and up to the castle grounds of Matsue-jō, where there are group drumming battles and outdoor fo…
Memorial Service in Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Ceremony

On 6 August, the anniversary of the atomic bombing, a memorial service is held in Peace Memorial Park and thousands of paper lanterns for the souls of the dead are floated down the Kyūōta-gawa from in front of the A…
Religious in Miyajima

Hiwatarishiki (Fire Walking Ceremony)

The island's monks walk across fire on 3 November. You can join in if you're keen.
Dance in Yamaguchi

Gion Matsuri

On 20, 24 and 27 July, during the Gion Matsuri, the Sagi-mai (Egret Dance) is held at Yasaka-jinja.
Cultural in Yamaguchi

Tanabata Chōchin Matsuri

From 6 to 7 August, thousands of decorated lanterns illuminate the city.