Horan-Enya Festival 2019 (May 18, 22 & 26)

Around 370 years ago, during a time of feudal Japan, the Izumo province was struck with bad weather which lead to a bad harvest that threatened the region with famine. The lord of the domain at the time, Matsudaira Naomasa, then decided to take the deity by boat from Jozan-Inari Shrine, behind Matsue Castle, to Adakaya Shrine on the outskirts of the city in order to pray for a good harvest. That year was Shōhō 4 or 1647 according to the Gregorian calendar and since then they have continued the tradition every 10 or 12 years.

Horan-Enya

Currently, the festival is known as one of three big boat festivals in Japan, where the procession of boats involved total to about 100 boats, but it always didn’t involve that many boats. It actually wasn’t until 1808 when stormy conditions threatened the festival that local fishermen from the Makata village became involved in escorting the boats safely to the shrine. Since then it became a tradition to have these “kaidenma” boats help with the escorting, and four other villages (Yada, Ooi, Fukutomi, Oomisaki) also joined in the ceremony as well.

The ceremony encompasses a total of nine days and is split up into three main parts; “Togyosai” Transfer Festival, “Chuunichisai” Middle Day Festival, “Kangyosai” Return Festival.

“Togyosai”  Transfer Festival
May 18, 2019 (Sat)

“Chunichisai”  Middle Day Festival
May 22, 2019 (Wed.)

“Kangyosai”  Return Festival
May 26, 2019 (Sun.)

 

For more information check out the official Horan-Enya 2019 homepage.
https://www.ho-ran2019matsue.jp/en.html

 

And, check out the Horan-Enya Memorial Hall museum if you want to learn more about the festival and the history of past festivals. They also offer admission discounts to international visitors. ↓More Information↓

To commemorate the festival they are offering FREE ADMISSION on May 18, 26 2019

Also, check out our 1 min. YouTube video of the Horan-Enya Memorial Hall.

Matsue Horan-Enya Memorial Hall (松江ホーランエンヤ伝承館)
■Address: 250, Tonomachi, Matsue City
Google maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/yrZWmNaqvb3hj5oS6
■Website: https://matsu-reki.jp/en/horanenya.html
■TEL: 0852-32-1607
■Hours of Operation: [Apr. ~ Sep.] 8:30am – 6:30pm (last admission at 6pm)
[Oct. – Mar.] 8:30 am – 5pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
*Closed 3rd Thurs. of the month (Fri. if Thurs. is a holiday)
■Discounted Admission: Adults 100JPY
Elementary/ Junior High School students: 50JPY

SL Yamaguchi Train Schedule for 2019

Experience a Steam Locomotive Journey

SL Yamaguchi

SL Yamaguchi-go Steam Train, is an engine model C571 steam locomotive train which runs through the unspoiled countryside between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station (Yamaguchi) and Tsuwano Station.  Its beautiful black solid iron body impresses all the SL fans. And even if you are not an SL fan, your heart will beat just as fast when you hear it blowing its whistle as it comes by leaving a trail of steam and smoke. 

SL YamaguchiSL Yamaguchi, also known by its nickname “The Lady”,  is a retro five-coach train with three different car style types.

Shin-yamaguchi Station, easily reachable by bullet train, is where your 2-hour journey on the SL Yamaguchi will start. It is recommended to reserve in the observation coach or open the windows to enjoy the lovely scenery, however, please be careful when you go through tunnels. Hurry back inside and close the windows, or you will find yourself sooty by the time you get out.

 At the last stop, the old castle town of Tsuwano will be waiting for you. At this time you can watch the SL train turn around on the turntable at the Tsuwano Station to make its return trip back to Shin-yamaguchi Station. 

 

SL yamaguchi

History of SL Yamaguchi

 In Japan, steam locomotive trains were put out of service at the end of the 1960s, and steam locomotives on the Yamaguchi Line also disappeared in 1973. However, a lot of SL fans were eager to see restored SLs run again and it was then decided that the traction engine Model C571 would run again on the Yamaguchi Line.

During the summer of 2013, heavy rain hit Shimane several times, leaving damages across the western Shimane. JR Railway’s lines were seriously damaged and some sections were put out of service. SL Yamaguchi was also put out of service for a year and its absence was lamented by not only train fans, but also many locals and sightseers. 

The beloved SL Yamaguchi made its come back the next summer, running proudly through the unspoiled nature again and was welcomed by a lot of people.  

 

Operation schedule 2019
     *The operating schedule may be subject to change.

March – 23, 24, 30, 31
April – 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30
May – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
June – 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23,
July – 20, 21, 27, 28
August – 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31
September – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29
October – 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 26, 27
November – 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 24

※ SL Yamaguchi doesn’t run during winter, except Christmas holidays and New Year holidays.

Time Table
[Outbound : Shin-Yamaguchi 10:50 ⇒ Yamaguchi 11:13 ⇒ Tsuwano 12:59 ]
[Inbound : Tsuwano 15:45 ⇒ Yamaguchi 17:09 ⇒ Shin-Yamaguchi 17:30 ]

SL YamaguchiTicket Information
*SL Yamaguchi is a reserved -seat train. You need a railway ticket (You don’t need it if you are a Japan Rail Pass holder) and also need to reserve your seat in advance (Rail Pass holders also need to pay the fee for the reserved seat ticket). You can purchase and/or reserve your seats at ticket reservation office Midori-no Madoguchi at JR stations or major travel agencies. Tickets can be purchased from a month in advance.
The fare and the vacant seat conditions are available on the official website (Japanese) or by phone.
Customer support center: +81(0)570-00-2486 /JR WEST JAPAN Hiroshima Branch :+81(0)82-264-7420

 

Iwami Kagura, the world of Japanese Mythology & 2019 Performance Schedule

Iwami Kagura

Amongst famous Japanese traditional performing arts like Kabuki and Noh, Kagura is the oldest with its origin in ancient Japanese mythology. It was originally offered to shinto deities to welcome and entertain them and performed only by shinto priests and miko at shinto shrines thanking and praying for abundant crop and bumper, however, it has become widely common for the public to be enjoyed with. 

Especially in the eastern Shimane, where is referred to as the Iwami region,  it is called “Iwami Kagura” and very popular for containing entertaining features, such as the use of sound and visual effects so that the performance can be better understood for the audience.

 

 

The series of performances usually start with a ritualistic dance to welcome the deities, and then entertaining performances follows.  Performers dressed up in gorgeous costumes dance to the rhythmical sounds made by traditional Japanese instruments.

There are varieties of about thirty programs, and performers play deities, demons, and sometimes humans who appear in ancient Japanese mythology. Among them, “Orochi” can be said as the most popular. This program is about a heroic deity Susano-o slaying an evil serpent called Yamata-no-orochi and save Princes Inada. The serpent had eight heads and eight tails and its body was long enough to cover eight peaks and valleys.

Umi Kagura

This is the special version of Kagura, which is performed on the beach. It is called “Umi (the Sea) Kagura” and take place on August 13th every year. The highlight of the day comes along the dark when they dance with the setting sun on their back. Bonfires are lit, and it makes the ritual dances even more mysterious.  

 

kagura Orochi (photo contest)

 

 

Where you can enjoy Iwami Kagura casually

==Regular Schedule from April 2019== *Please refer the map below

 Oda City 

1.  Tatsuno-gozen-jinja Shrine (Yunotsu Onsen) [map]
Dates and times : 8pm~9pm, Every Saturday
Admission Fee : 1000 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Gotsu City 

2.  Yunomachi-Kaguraden (Arifuku Onsen) [map]
Dates and times :
[Apr.] 13, 27
[May] 4, 25
[Jun.] 22
[Jul.] 13, 27
[Aug.] 10
[Sep.] 14, 21
[Nov.] 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
[Dec.] 14
[Jan. 2020] 11
[Feb. 2020] 8
[Mar. 2020] 21
8:30pm ~ 9:30pm
 
Admission Fee: 500 JPY

3.  PALETTE Gotsu [map]
Dates and times: 2nd Sunday of every month, including 4/28 and 6/8. No performances in October and November.
[First show] 10:30am ~ 11:30am
[Second Show] 1:00pm ~2:00pm
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Hamada City 

4A.  Sanku Shrine [map]
Dates and times: 8pm~9pm, Every Saturday  *special performances may go until 11:30 pm
Admission Fee: 700 JPY  *Special Performances: 1,000 JPY

4B.  Asahi-so (Asahi Onsen)  [map]
Dates and times: 8:30pm~, Every Saturday between Sep. 9 – Nov.18)
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

5.  AQUAS Hasshi Square  [map]
Dates and times: 1pm~3pm, Every Sunday in Mar to beg. of Nov. and National Holidays (Apr.to Nov.)
Admission : Free of Charge

6.  Road Station Yuhi Park Hamada  [map]
Dates and times : 1pm~3pm, 2nd Sunday of every month
Admission : Free of Charge

 Masuda City 

7.  Masuda EAGA Building  [map]
Dates and times : 7:30pm~9pm, Every Saturday (except Sep. to Dec.),  no performances during Aug. 13-15
Admission Fee: 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 Tsuwano Town 

8.  Road Station Nagomi-no-sato (Tsuwano Onsen)  [map]
Dates and times: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month
[First Show] 11am ~
[Second Show] 2pm ~
Admission Fee: Free of Charge

9.  Taikodani Inari Shrine  [map]
Dates and times : 8pm~9:10pm, Every Saturday (Aug. to Sep.), Special Performance days
Admission Fee : 500 JPY (Junior High School and under get in for free)

 

==Iwami Kagura Venues==

kagura_schedule2017

 

bird2-small

 

 

EXPLORE more into Iwami area !

The Nagata Collection of Hokusai

The Shimane Museum of Art is celebrating their 20th Anniversary with a very special Hokusai exhibition from the “Nagata Collection”.

Hokusai Collection Flyer (front)Hokusai Collection Flyer (back)

The “Nagata Collection” is a 2,000 piece count collection of Hokusai and his pupils that had been personally owned by the foremost ukiyo-e specialist, Mr. Nagata Seiji and donated to the Shimane Art Museum. From the collection and on display will be rare high-quality first editions, Hokusai classics, hand drawings, and other ukiyo-e related pieces. Beginning with this two-part exhibition of Hokusai, the museum will display the whole “Nagata Collection”  to the public over the course of 10 years.

[Part 1] February 8th (Fri.) ~ March 4th (Mon.) 2019
[Part 2] March 6th (Wed.) ~ March 25th (Mon.) 2019

Hokusai (Part 1)Hokusai Collection (Part 2)

Nagata Seiji who is known as the foremost ukiyo-e specialist and owner of one of the world’s biggest Hokusai collections was born in the town of Tsuwano in the western part of Shimane.

Information

Shimane Art Museum

The museum offers a spectacular view of the sunset over Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum
1-5, Sodeshicho, Matsue City
TEL: 0852-55-4700
HP: http://www.shimane-art-museum.jp/en

Opening Hours:
[October ~ February] 10:00 ~ 18:30
[March ~ September] 10:00 ~ *30 min. after sundown
The museum is closed every Tuesday
*last admission is 30 min. before closing

Admission Fee:

Special Exhibition Museum Collection Set Ticket
(Special Exhibition + Museum Collection)
General Admission 1,000 JPY 300 JPY 1,150 JPY
University Student 600 JPY 200 JPY 700 JPY
Elementary / Junior / High School Student 300 JPY FREE 300 JPY

*International Visitors Discount Information → present your passport or residence card when purchasing your tickets to receive 50% off the admission fee.

 

2018-2019 Shimane Snow Resorts Schedule

Shimane_Asahitengusuton_01

Japan has over 500 snow resorts from small to large throughout the nation. Of course, some are in Shimane too, located along its southern border with Hiroshima prefecture.

ski2

Compared to other Japan’s well-known snow resorts, i.e. Niseko in Hokkaido, Hakuba in Nagano, Yuzawa in Niigata, they are smaller and have a less number of courses. Though, they are less packed, usually no need to que up for lift, and furthermore, family-friendly! All equipment and clothing can be rented, so head there to have fun in the winter.

ski3

Shimane_kotobiki_02

 


Snow Resorts in Shimane

Kotobiki Forest Park

Shimane_kotobiki_02[Official Website] (English site)
Open Season: December 8th, 2018  ~ mid March 2019
*closed for holiday on 12/31 ~ 1/4
Hours of Operation: [weekdays] 8:30 ~ 16:30 [weekends/holidays] 8:00 ~ 17:00
Night Skiing Hours: 16:00 ~ 21:00 (available thru reservation)
Address: 1151, Sami, Iinan Town, Iishi-gun, Shimane [map]

 

Miinohara Ski Resort

[Official Website]
Open Season: December 23rd, 2018 to February 28th, 2019 *end date is subject to change
Hours of Operation: 8:30 ~ 17:00
Address: Miinohara, Yakawa, Okuizumo Town, Nita-gun, Shimane [map]

 

Mizuho Highland

mizuho ski run snow[Official Website]
Open Season: December 15th, 2018 ~ April 7th, 2019
Hours of Operation: 8:00 ~ 17:00
Night Skiing Hours: 17:30 ~ 22:00 [every Sat. thru Jan. and Feb. including 1/13, 2/10]
Address: 6242-19, Ichigi, Ohnan Town, Ochi-gun, Shimane [map]

 

Asahi Tenguston Snow Park

asahi tenguston snow[Official Website]
Open Season: December 28th, 2018 ~ March 10th, 2019
Hours of Operation: 8:30 ~ 16:30
Address: 7600, Ichigi, Asahi-cho, Hamada City, Shimane [map]

Overnight Course Model : An Active Holiday in Western Shimane

 

*Most resorts are open from December to March, but please check their schedules on their websites. Ski Resorts are subject to close due to sudden changes in weather conditions. 

 

 

 

 

Okuizumo Autumn Tour 2018

Easy access to enjoy autumn in Okuizumo in addition to the open-air sightseeing train! 

Enjoy autumn in Okuizumo Town and take a glimpse of the history and culture of good old Japan with the new 4 hour bus/taxi tour! Autumn is the best season to enjoy the open-air sightseeing train called “Okuizumo Orochi-go” on JR Kisuki Line. The bus/taxi service allows you easy access, after arriving by the open-air train, to the popular autumn tourist destinations within Okuizumo such places as the Okuizumo Tatara and Japanese Sword Museum, Orochi Loop Bridge, Maitake Mushroom farm, Oni-no-Shitaburui Gorge, and much more. Okuizumo was an area prominent with Tatara craftsmen who altered the landscape shaping the once mountainous land and it gave birth to the popular Nita-mai brand rice.

okuizumo-autumn-tour

 

Scheduling & Booking

[September  16, 17, 23, 24, 29 ,30]
[October  5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 29]
[November  2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 25]

Time:  12:15 PM ~ 4:08 PM  *finishing time depends on course
Capacity:  20 persons
Minimum:  3 persons

For Reservations or Inquiries
Contact:   Okuizumo Tourism Association
https://okuizumo.org/en/inquiry/

*Reservations must be made 7 days prior before 5:00 PM (JST)
*Participants have to be 3 years old or older
*In the case of bad weather or insufficient amount of people, visitors will be notified 7 days prior of cancellation and will not be charged with a cancellation fee

 

Tour details

Timetable

12:15   Miinohara Station (Start)
12:20   Orochi Loop Roadside Station
12:45   Maitake Mushroom Farm
13:20   Cultural Landscape: Terraced Rice Fields
13:30   Okuizumo Tatara and Japanese Sword Museum
14:20   Izumo-Yokota Station
(End of course for Orochi-go Train riders *14:32 departure)
14:50   Oni-no-Shitaburui Gorge & Suspension Bridge
15:50   Izumo-Minari Station
(Local Market Place)
16:08   Izumo-Minari Station
(Connecting to the local train on JR Kisuki Line *16:08 departure)

okuizumo-orochigo-train

Okuizumo Orochi-go Train (Train ticket is not included in this tour)

maitake-mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms

okuizumo-tatara-and-japanese-sword-museum

Okuizumo Tatara and Japanese Sword Museum

onino-shitaburui-gorge

Oni-no-Shitaburui Gorge

Fees
●Miinohara Station ~ Izumo-Yokota Station Course
(Adult: 1,000 yen / Elementary School Student: 500 yen)
●Miinohara Station ~ Izumo-Minari Station Course
(Adult: 1,500 yen / Elementary School Student: 800 yen)
*prices include admission to Okuizumo Tatara and Japanese Sword Museum and transportation costs (bus/taxi)
*prices to be paid on the day

 

Cancellation Policy
*no cancellation fee for cancellations due to the weather
*no cancellation fee for cancellations made more than 3 days prior
*cancellation fee of 30% will be applied for cancellations made 2 days prior
*cancellation fee of 40% will be applied for cancellations made 1 day prior
*cancellation fee of 50% will be applied for cancellations made on the day of

 

For reservations or inquiries contact:
Okuizumo Tourism Association
https://okuizumo.org/en/inquiry/

 

Discover more of Okuizumo Town
https://okuizumo.org/en/

 

 

< EVENT > UMI KAGURA 15th & 16th 2018

Come and watch this special performance of Iwami Kagura, UMI KAGURA, on a quiet beautiful beach of Iwami!

Umi Kagura  is a performance of Shimane’s traditional performing art, Iwami Kagura. It is performed on a specially built stage on the beach with the setting sun in the background. Watch the heroic stories unravel at this marvelous location!

umi kagura1

Photo Credit : Mika Yamashita

Umi Kagura Character

Photo Credit: Mika Yamashita

What is Iwami Kagura?

Iwami Kagura is a traditional performing art that has been passed down in the Iwami region of western Shimane.

Originally it was dedicated to the patron god during the autumn festival every year to show gratitude for the year’s harvest, but slowly evolved into the hero of the Iwami people and the extravagant local performance they have now.

Luxurious costumes made from threads of gold and silver worn along with expressive masks attract people of all ages to the dynamic performances of Iwami Kagura.

Iwami Kagura is not only performed within Japan, but there are also many performances overseas as well.

The Iwami Kagura performance of “Orochi” breathes fire and smoke with a classic ending of good prevailing over evil. An easy to understand plot inviting people into the world of Japanese mythology.

iwamikagura-orochi

 

Schedule  &  Ticketing

Umi Kagura 2018

9/15 (Sat) 4 pm – 8 pm  1000 yen  *Iwami Kagura Performance only

9/16 (Sun) 4 pm – 8 pm  5000 yen  *Special Performances with Exile ÜSA & Balinese Dance

Tickets go on sale from 7/12. Seats are limited so get them while they are still available.
For more information on reserving your tickets,
E-mail: kanko-inbound@pref.shimane.lg.jp
(*we will be unable to respond to emails from 14-16 Sep as we will be on location. Please contact us via Facebook message! )

 

Location

Fukumitsu Beach (5min walk from JR Iwami Fukumitsu Station)

Fukumitsu Kaigan, Yunotsu-cho, Ohda City, Shimane Prefecture

 

Directions to JR Iwami Fukumitsu Station

Example 1 : From Izumo Airport side

[Rapid Service Train]
MATSUE STATION (13:20 departure)
-> IZUMOSHI STATION (14:01 departure)
-> YUNOTSU STATION (14:50 arrival)
  transfer
-> [Normal Train] YUNOTSU STATION (15:46 departure)
-> IWAMI FUKUMITSU STATION (15:49 arrival)

Example 2 : From Hagi-Iwami Airport side

[Normal Train] MASUDA STATION (13:30 departure)
-> (14:18 arrival) HAMADA STATION
  transfer
[Normal Train] HAMADA STATION (14:37 departure)
-> IWAMI FUKUMITSU STATION (15:21 arrival)

*express trains do not stop at JR Iwami Fukumitsu Station.

umikagura-access

Accommodations

There are ryokans located in the area of Yunotsu Onsen near the event. (closest station is JR Yunotsu Station. Please make reservations through online booking sites if necessary. (e.g. booking.com)

 

▼ Download a brochure from here 

ENGLISH  umikagura brochure    (PDF file)

繁体字  海神樂2018(繁体字)  (PDF file)

簡体字  海神乐2018(簡体字) (PDF file)

 

<Note>

-Pictures/videos will be taken for use at a later time, so please understand that there is a chance that you may appear in the recordings.

-In the event of rain, the performances will be moved indoors. Yunotsu Elementary School (map) Please check our Facebook page or the Ohda City Tourism Association website for information in the case of location changes or cancellations.

-No refunds will be made except for the case in which the event is cancelled. Handling fees will be applied when refunding.

 

 

2018 Summer Festivals in Shimane

Rows of food stalls, music performances and fireworks lighting up the night sky is how Japan celebrates summer. From July through August, summer festivals are held all over the country. And in Shimane, like many other areas in Japan, many people get together to enjoy traditional Japanese-style dancing, singing, fireworks and the delicious festival foods. Some of the smaller festivals are mostly enjoyed by locals, and are recommended for those who really want to experience the traditional Japanese countryside.

   East Area         Central Area         West Area        Island Area   

 

   Summer Festival in Tamatsukuri Onsen    

Summer event

WHERE:  Tamatsukuri Onsen Area (Tamayu-cho, Matsue City) [map

WHEN:  July 14th (sat)~ September 1st (sat) 2018   everyday from 8:15 p.m. ~

ABOUT :  Tamatsukuri Onsen Area is well known for its long history and highly qualified onsen water. During the summer, while lanterns illuminate the riverside, visitors can enjoy night stalls and various stage events every night. There are night kids stalls offering mini games that children will love to play! Stage events differ every day. Two shows are shown every night – first show, starting at 8:15 pm featuring local artists, differs every day and second show, starting at 9 pm, showcases traditional performances (Yasugibushi or Izumo Kagura)!! Please stay a night here, take a walk along the riverside and enjoy Japanese summer night festival!

    Nima-Goise Festival     

Nima goise

WHERE :  Around the Nima Sand Museum (Nima-cho, Oda City)  [map]  

WHEN :  July 14th (sat)  2018  5:00 p.m. ~  *fireworks (8:30 p.m. ~) 2000 count

 

   Tsuwano Gion Festival, Sagimai Ritual    

Yasaka Shrine Sagi-mai

WHERE : Yasaka Shrine and other spots around central Tsuwano
                    (Tsuwano Town, Kanoashi-Gun) [map]

WHEN :  July 20th (fri)  2018  3:00 p.m. ~ 5:10 p.m.
                 July 27th (fri) 2018  3:00 p.m. ~ 5:20 p.m.

ABOUT :  The Sagimai Ritual in Tsuwano is a ritual that has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property with 400 years of history. Wearing costumes that evoke herons, ritual dancers perform to music and drums at several spots around Tsuwano. Originating in Kyoto, Tsuwano is the only location in Japan where the Heron Dance has been continuously held for over 400 years. Performed every year on July 20th(during Yasaka Shrine’s Gion Matsuri) and 27th around Tsuwano town center and Yasaka Shrine.

 

   Hirose Gion Festival    

Hirose Gion Festival

WHERE : Main Street in Hirose-chō  (Hirose-cho, Yasugi City)  [map]   

WHEN :  July 19th (thurs) ~ 21st (sat)  2018  *fireworks 7/21 (8:00 p.m. ~ 8:30 p.m.) 1600 count

ABOUT :  One of the three biggest festivals in Shimane, the Gion Matsuri takes place every year on July 21st. A Mikoshi (portable shrine) and Kanto (lantern pole with a lot of lanterns) parade through the town during the night.

 

   Kisuki Summer Festival    

WHERE :  Hii-River riverbed  (Kisuki-cho, Unnan City)  [map]

WHEN :  July 20th (fri)  2018  *fireworks (8:00 p.m.)  2000 count

ABOUT :   Boasting over two hundred years of history, the festival is host to street stalls that line the main street while Kagura (a traditional dance ritual) is performed. Visitors can enjoy about 2,000 fireworks from a distance of just 120m. Kagura starts at 8:30 p.m.

 

   Shirakata Tenmangu Summer Festival    

Tenjin fes2014

WHERE :  Matsue Castle ~ Shirakata Tenmangu Shrine area (Matsue City) [map]

WHEN :   July 24th (tues)  5 p.m. ~ , 25th (wed)   ~     2018

ABOUT :   A lot of night stalls stand on the both sides of the main street that leads to Shirakata Tenmangu Shrine. Group of locals bring portable shrines called mikoshi through the main street accompanied by resounding drums and folk music with cheerful and powerful enthusiasm in the heated summer evening air. You can totally soak yourself up in and enjoy the mood of Japanese summer festival!

 

    Mitoya Tenmangu Shrine Summer Festival    

mitoya tenmangu-shrine
WHERE :  Mitoya River Bank  (Mitoya-cho, Unnan City) [map]  

WHEN :   July 25th (wed) 2018  *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~) 2000 count

 

 

   Eena Matsuri Kawamoto Gonokawa River Fireworks Display    

Go-nokawa River Fireworks Festival

WHERE :  Kawamoto Main Street   (Kawamoto Town, Ochi-Gun) [map]  

 WHEN :  July 28th (sat)  2018  *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~ 9:00 p.m.) 2500 count

 

   ‘Koi Koi Koi’ Festival in Tsuwano    

WHERE : Roadside Station Nagomi-no-Sato (Tsuwano Town, Kanoashi-Gun) [map]

WHEN :  July 28th (sat)  2018  4:00 p.m. ~

ABOUT :   This festival allows guests to traditional drumming and modern performances in the historic town of Tsuwano.

 

    Kirara Taki Summer Festival    

michinoeki-kirara-beach

WHERE :  Kirara Beach at Kirara Taki Roadside Station  (Taki-cho, Izumo City)  [map]

WHEN :   July 29th (sun)  2018  4:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks 

ABOUT :   This event takes place on a beautiful beach! It is recommended to come here during the day while the sun is up and have fun at the beach swimming in the shining clear water or having a walk with a great ocean view. The sunset seen from the beach is a must see. At night enjoy the fireworks and night events!

 

   Matsue Suigo-sai Festival    

matsue_suigosai

WHERE :  Lake Shinji, near the Matsue City Office  (Matsue City)  [map

WHEN :   August 3rd (fri)  2018  6:00 p.m. ~
                  August 4th (sat) 2018  1:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~)  10000 count 
                  August 5th (sun) 2018  11:00 a.m. ~

ABOUT :    One of the biggest festivals in San-in, Matsue Suigo-sai Festival takes place for three days in Matsue this year. Incredible 10 thousand fireworks are to be set off above the Lake Shinji, which reflects the beautiful sparks of fireworks on its glossy surface. Matsue is known as the water city and The Lake Shinji represents it.

*Due to the expected amount of traffic, please use public transportation. If you plan on coming by car please park in the designated parking areas.

 

     Tenryo-san Festival      

WHEN :  August 4th (sat)  2018  *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~ 9:00 p.m.)  5000-10000 count
WHERE :   Kute Port (Oda City) [map]
*
WHEN :   August 5th (sun)  2018
WHERE :  near JR Odashi Station (Oda City) [map]
*

WHEN :  August 26th (sat)  2018
WHERE :  Omori-cho  (Oda City) [map]

ABOUT :    Tenryo-san festival takes place in 3 days at 3 different venues. On August 4th, more than 5,000 beautiful fireworks are set off at Kute Port. On August 6th, you can enjoy many local folk performance such as Tenryo Dancing, Tenryo Drums and Iwami Kagura etc. around JR Oda-shi Station. Lastly, on the 27th, people parade in traditional costumes along the historic town of Omori, in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine World Heritage Site!

 

   Lake Jinzai Fireworks Festival    

WHERE : around Lake Jinzai & Kohan no Onsen-yado Kunibiki (Koryo-cho, Izumo City) [map]

WHEN :   August 4th (sat)   2018  *fireworks (8:30 p.m. ~ 9:00 p.m.) 2500 count

 

   Masuda Suigo-sai Festival    

WHERE :  Takatsu River Bank (Masuda City) [map]

WHEN :  August 4th (sat)   2018  6:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~) 3000 count

 

   Hamakko Summer Festival    

WHERE :   Hamada Port (Hamada City) [map]

WHEN :   August 4th (sat)  2018  4:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks (8:30 p.m. ~ 9:15 p.m.) 5000 count

   Yunotsu Onsen Summer Festival     

yunotsu summer festival

WHERE :  Yunotsu Port (Oda City) [map]

WHEN :  August 11th (sat)  2018  5:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks (7:50 p.m. ~ 8:20 p.m.) 1000 count

ABOUT :    Fireworks are displayed over Japan Sea and you will enjoy the dynamic view of beautiful fireworks at close! Awe-taking Kagura performances, local food stalls are also something that you can really enjoy!

   Daito Tanabata (Star) Festival    

Daito Tanabata Festival

WHERE :  Daito Shopping Street (Daito-cho, Unnan City) [map]

WHEN :    August 6th (sun)  2018  *fireworks (8:30 p.m. ~) 1500 count

ABOUT :    This traditional festival has more than 400 years of history. Bamboo are beautifully decorated with wishing papers, as well as the unique amazing floats with lanterns are a must-see!

 

   Izumo Shinwa (Japanese Myth) Festival    

Izumo Myth Festival

WHERE :   Kunibiki-chuou Street (Imaichicho, Izumo City),
Kandachi River Bank Park (Otsu, Izumo City) [map]

WHEN :  August 11th (sat)  2018   5:00 p.m. ~ 8:30 p.m.
                    *fireworks 8000 count, August 12th (sun)  2017  8:00 p.m. ~ 8:50 p.m.

ABOUT :    This festival take places over 2 days. Izumo Bon Odori folk dancing on 11th and breathtaking 8,000 fireworks display at the Hiikawa riverbank on 12th . Hiikawa River is the setting of one of the Japanese myths, ‘Yamata-no-orochi’. There will also be many night stalls set up too.

 

   Yasugi Tsuki-no-wa Festival    

Tsukinowa

WHERE :   Main street in Yasugi [map] & Yasugi Port (Yasugi City) [map]

WHEN :   August 14th (tues) ~ 17th (fri)   2018
                 *8/14  fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~ 8:45 p.m.) 5000 count
*Japanese festival float parade every night starting at 7:30 p.m. ~ 2:00 a.m.

 

   Tsuwano Nichihara Ayu Summer Festival    

WHERE :   Takatsugawa River Fisheries Cooperative Nichihara Office (Tsuwano Town, Kanoashi-Gun) [map]

WHEN :       August 15th (wed)  2018  6:00 p.m. ~ *fireworks (8:00 p.m. ~ 9:00 p.m.) 2500 count

 

    Gonokawa River Festival    

Go-nokawa River Fireworks Festival

WHERE :    Around JR Gotsu Station, Gonokawa River (Gotsu City) [map]

WHEN :     August 16th (thurs) 2018   10:00 a.m. ~
                    *fireworks (8:10 p.m. ~) 6000 count + 4000 lanterns on the river

 

    Kin Nya Monya Festival     

WHERE :    Hishiura Port (Ama Town, Oki-Gun) [map]

WHEN :      August 25th (sat) 2018  1:20 p.m. ~
*parade (6:00 p.m. ~); fireworks (7:30 p.m. ~) 2400 count

 

 

Check this amazing video, “Izumo, Japan 4K (Ultra HD) – 出雲” on Youtube!

IZUMO 出雲 – Sunset in the Sacred Land of Izumo

Izumo – the land of the gods and their meeting place every 10th month of the lunar calendar.
Popularly known for Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine where the god of “en” (the ties that bind us together) is enshrined. A local delicacy which also happens to be one of the three major varieties of soba is Izumo soba, which is traditionally eaten in a three-tier lunch box style. Climb to the top of the oldest stone masonry lighthouse in Japan which sits overlooking the Sea of Japan.

Check this amazing video on Izumo (4K ULTRA HD) !!

Learn more about Izumo : http://www.izumo-kankou.gr.jp/english/

 

 

 

SL Yamaguchi Train Schedule for 2018

Experience a Steam Locomotive Journey

SL Yamaguchi

SL Yamaguchi-go Steam Train, is an engine model C571 steam locomotive train which runs through the unspoiled countryside between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station (Yamaguchi) and Tsuwano Station.  Its beautiful black solid iron body impresses all the SL fans. And even if you are not a SL fan, your heart will beat just as fast when you hear it blowing its whistle as it comes by leaving a trail of steam and smoke. 

SL YamaguchiSL Yamaguchi, also known by its nickname “The Lady”,  is a retro five coach train with three different car style types.

Shin-yamaguchi Station, easily reachable by bullet train, is where your 2 hour journey on the SL Yamaguchi will start . It is recommended to reserve in the observation coach or open the windows to enjoy the lovely scenery, however, please be careful when you go through tunnels. Hurry back inside and close the windows, or you will find yourself sooty by the time you get out.

 At the last stop, the old castle town of Tsuwano will be waiting for you. At this time you can watch the SL train turn around on the turntable at the Tsuwano Station to make its return trip back to Shin-yamaguchi Station. 

 

SL yamaguchi

History of SL Yamaguchi

 In Japan, steam locomotive trains were put out of service at the end of 1960s, and steam locomotives on the Yamaguchi Line also disappeared in 1973. However, a lot of SL fans were eager to see restored SLs run again and it was then decided that the traction engine Model C571 would run again on the Yamaguchi Line.

During the summer of 2013, heavy rain hit Shimane several times, leaving damages across the western Shimane. JR Railway’s lines were seriously damaged and some sections were put out of service. SL Yamaguchi was also put out of service for a year and its absence was lamented by not only train fans, but also many locals and sightseers. 

The beloved SL Yamaguchi made its come back the next summer, running proudly through the unspoiled nature again and was welcomed by a lot of people.  

 

Operation schedule 2018
     *The operating schedule may be subject to change.

March – 24, 25, 31
April – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30
May – 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
June – 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
July – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29
August – 1, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 25, 26
September – 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
October – 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
November – 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
December
– 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24
※ SL Yamaguchi doesn’t run during winter, except Christmas holidays and New Year holidays.

Time Table
[Outbound : Shin-Yamaguchi 10:50 ⇒ Yamaguchi 11:13 ⇒ Tsuwano 12:59 ]
[Inbound : Tsuwano 15:45 ⇒ Yamaguchi 17:09 ⇒ Shin-Yamaguchi 17:30 ]

SL YamaguchiTicket Information
*SL Yamaguchi is a reserved -seat train. You need a railway ticket (You don’t need it if you are a Japan Rail Pass holder) and also need to reserve your seat in advance (Rail Pass holders also need to pay the fee for the reserved seat ticket). You can purchase and/or reserve your seats at ticket reservation office Midori-no Madoguchi at JR stations or major travel agencies . Tickets can be purchased from a month in advance.
The fare and the vacant seat conditions are available on the official website (Japanese) or by phone.
Customer support center : +81(0)570-00-2486 /JR WEST JAPAN Hiroshima Branch :+81(0)82-264-7420