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.
Grab your yukata, jinbei, or whatever summer attire you might have and join in on one of the summer festivals in Shimane!
East Area Central Area West Area Island Area
WHERE: Tamatsukuri Onsen Area (Tamayu-cho, Matsue City) [map]
WHEN: July 20th (sat)~ August 31st (sat) 2019 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 the Japanese summer night festival!
WHEN : July 20th (sat) 2019 13:00 ~ 18:00
ABOUT : A 200-year-old traditional dance to send bugs away from the rice fields! [link]
WHERE : Yasaka Shrine and other spots around central Tsuwano
(Tsuwano Town, Kanoashi-Gun) [map]
WHEN : July 20th (sat) 2019 3:00 p.m. ~ 5:10 p.m.
July 27th (sat) 2019 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.
WHERE : Matsue Castle ~ Shirakata Tenmangu Shrine area (Matsue City) [map]
WHEN : July 24th (wed) 17:00 ~ , 25th (thurs) 2019
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!
WHERE : Mitoya Shopping Street (Mitoya-cho, Unnan City) [map]
WHEN : July 25th (thurs) 2019
WHERE : [STAGE] Youme Town Hikawa (Hikawa-cho, Izumo City) [map]
[PARADE] Shobara Green Town
[CONTEST STAGE] Izumo Irisuno-Oka [map]
WHEN : July 27th (sat) 2019 12:00 ~ 21:30
WHERE : Hirata-cho Main Street (Hirata-cho, Izumo City)
WHEN : July 27th (sat) 2019
Hirata Festival Stage Event 13:00 ~ 18:00
Hirata Tanabata Decorated Boat Parade 19:00 ~ 20:30
WHERE : Saigo Port (Okinoshima Town) [map]
WHEN : August 3rd (sat) 2019 17:00 ~ 21:00
ABOUT : Walk down rows of food stalls while watching special performances of Oki folk songs on stage.
WHERE : Yakami Elementary School (Ohnan Town) [map]
WHEN : August 14th (wed) 2019 18:30 ~ 22:00
ABOUT : Parade floats built by the 5 village councils that make up the Yakami district is a sight to see. The “Yamanba Odori” dance is something everyone can enjoy participating in. The shops and bazaars are also popular every year.
WHERE : Takase River (Izumo City) [map]
WHEN : August 15th (thurs) 2019 20:00 ~
WHERE : River bed near Tsuwano Ohashi Bridge (Tsuwano Town) [map]
WHEN : August 15th (thurs) 2019 19:00 ~
ABOUT : An old end of summer tradition of the “Little Kyoto” Tsuwano town. The multicolored lanterns, that carry the spirits of the ancestors, slowly float down the clear stream creating a spirited away world.
WHERE : Tsuwano Tonomachi Street (Tsuwano Town) [map]
WHEN : August 15th (thurs) 2019 20:30 ~ 22:00 *times may change without notice
ABOUT : Designated as an Intagible Cultural Assest by the prefecture. This Tsuwano dance is one type of Buddhist invocation dance. In 2017, the festival has reached its 400th anniversary.
WHERE : near Matsue Ohashi Bridge (Matsue City) [map]
WHEN : August 16th (fri) 2019 19:00 ish ~ 21:00
ABOUT : The current layout of lantern floating fesival in the “city of water” dubbed Matsue hasn’t changed much since 1955. The lanterns float under many bridges as they make their way down the Ohashi River and the scenery it creates resembles a home town atmosphere you would expect in a fairytale.
WHERE : Takeuchi Shrine (Higashiizumo-cho, Matsue City) [map]
WHEN : August 31st (sat) 2019
ABOUT : Festival celebrated at the end of the summer. A little more than 300 stalls lighting up the night for the 100,000 visitors. From 4 o’clock in the morning on the following day, a mysterious Shinto ritual also begins to take place.