Yabusame Horseback archery festival

Shizuoka Spring Festivals Guide

Here’s our list of the best Festivals going on in Shizuoka Prefecture in Spring in the months of March, April and May.


Okichi Memorial Festival, Shimoda City (Shimoda-shi)


Festival Period: March 27

The geisha in Shimoda offers a mass on behalf of Tojin Okichi, who was appointed by the Japanese government to serve as the mistress of Townsend Harris, the first consul in Japan. Hofukuji Temple, a 4-min. walk from Shimoda Station, is a temple erected for the repose of the soul of Okichi, who served as the mistress of Townsend Harris, America’s first diplomatic representative to Japan.

Okichi Memorial festival in March, in which the geisha in Shimoda offers a mass for Tojin Okichi. Tojin Okichi was already married to her Japanese husband who she loved very much. But when Townsend Harris conveyed his liking to her, she was required to obey the command of this important political figure – she became mistress against her will.

The Country Opening Memorial Hall, established as an annex to the temple, has on display a life’s image of Tojin Okichi, along with various articles left behind by her, and memorial objects associated with the opening of Shimoda Port to world trade. This festival is held by local geisha groups and performing arts groups.
Address and Contact:
Okichi Memorial Festival at Hofukuji Temple
18-26 Itchome, Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture 415-0021, Japan
TEL: 0558-22-0960
Website: http://www.i-younet.ne.jp/~hofukuji/home.html

Yugano Onsen Odoriko Matsuri, Kawazu town (Kawazu-cho)


Festival Period: First Sunday of March

This is a long-lasting event of Yugano Onsen (hot spring) along Kawazu River featuring “Izu-no-Odorikoh” (the Izu Dancer, a novel of Nobel Prize laureate Yasunari Kawabata). This festival dedicated to the literal monument of the author features a floral tribute by a dancer girl and a young boy, played by Miss Odoriko and a youngster of the town, free service of Amazake (sweet sake), and many other events.

Address and Contact:
Yugano Spa (Fukudaya)
236 Yugano, Kawazu town (Kawazu-cho), Kamo District (Kamo-gun), Shizuoka Prefecture 413-0507, Japan
Contact – Kawazu Tourist Association
TEL: +81-558-32-0290
Email: i…@kawazu-onsen.com
Website: http://www.kawazu-onsen.sakura.ne.jp/eng/hotspring/

Ta-asobi Festival of Fujimori, Oi River (Oi-gawa) in Yaizu City (Yaizu-shi)


Festival Period: March 17

This festival is said to have originated as a dedication to good harvest by local farmers who prayed for calming the water of River Ooi, about one thousand years ago. No.25 of the dance symbolizing good harvest is dedicated to Ooi Hachiman Shrine in Fujimori.

The dance is designated as an important national intangible cultural heritage. The Fujimori no Ta-asobi festival is held on March 17 at the Oi-hachimangu shrine in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The shrine can be reached by bus from JR Fujieda Station on the Tokaido Line.

Address and Contact:
Ooi (Oi) Hachiman Shrine
Fujimori [Oi River (Oi-gawa)], Yaizu City (Yaizu-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0203, Japan
Contact – Yaizu Tourist Association
TEL: 054-626-6266
FAX: 054-626-6267
Website: http://www.yaizu.gr.jp/calendar/default.asp

Izu-kogen Cherry Blossom Festival, Ito City (Ito-shi)


Festival Period: Late March – Early April

A 3,000-meter-long arch of cherry trees is so beautiful and magnificent that it will be unforgettable to those who visit there. During the festival period, many attractions are presented at the plaza in front of Izu-kogen train station, where many street shops to sell foods and souvenirs also open.
Address and Contact:
Izu-kogen Cherry Blossom Festival at Izu-Kogen Station
1183 Yawatano (Higashi-Izu Rd), Ito City (Ito-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 413-0232, Japan
Contact – Izukogen Cherry Blossom Festival Executive Committee (within the Ministry of Railways Izukyu Corporation Co., Ltd.)
Tel: 0557-53-1116
Izukyu Railways Website: http://www.izukyu.jp/foreign_language/en/index.html
Contact – Ito Tourism Association
Tel: 0557-37-6105, 0557-36-0111
FAX: 0557-37-9006
Website: http://www.itospa.com/

Kawane-cho Cherry Blossom Festival, Kawane Town (Kawane-cho) in Shimada City (Shimada-shi)


Festival Period: Late March – Early April
The festival is held around the arch of cherry trees in Ieyama, which is one of the most well-known places for cherry blossoms in Shizuoka Prefecture, and various events are held at Lake of Nomori, Tennozan Park, Ieyama Fureai Plaza, Green Park, etc.

Address and Contact:
Kawane Cherry Blossom Festival
359 Kawane Town (Kawane-cho), Ieyama, Shimada City (Shimada-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 428-0104, Japan
Shimada City Tourism Association, Kawane Branch: Tel. 0547-53-2220
Shimada City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kawane Branch: 0547-53-2170
Website: http://www.shimada-ta.jp/event.php?m_num=3&p_num=1


Shizuoka Festival, Shizuoka City (Shizuoka-shi)

Festival Period: Early April
The high point, a flower-viewing procession, imitates the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu’s custom of taking daimyo (feudal lords) to Sengen Shrine to view the cherry blossoms. More Details: Shizuoka Festival (Shizuoka Matsuri)

Princess Parade in Hosoe, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi)

Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of April
The parade, which features a noblewoman accompanied by about a hundred retainers, provides a glimpse of what life was like in the Edo period. Princess Road Festival is held beneath the cherry blossoms along the Miyakoda River banks and the Kiga town area. In the Edo period, princesses enjoyed traveling this road which came to be known as himekaido, or “Princess Road.”

Address and Contact:

Princess Parade in Hosoe
Kiga Sekisho and the Surrounding area
595-1 Hosoe-cho, Kiga, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi), Kita Ward, Shizuoka Prefecture 431-1305, Japan
Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce, Lake Hamana, Hosoe branch office
Tel: 053-523-0713, 053-527-2600
Fax: 053-523-0988
Email: m…@hosoe.sakura.ne.jp
Website: http://okuhamanako-shokokai.com/himesama.html
Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi) Visitors and Convention Bureau Website: http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/lan/en/

Mikumano Shrine Big Festival, Kakegawa City (Kakegawa-shi)

Festival Period: First Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of April
Mikumano Shrine Big Festival is a symbol of spring in Shizuoka Prefecture. The most attractive feature of this festival is a parade of Mikoshi (portable shrine) and the accompanying thirteen gorgeously decorated floats, which attract visitors with delicate and dynamic movement.

Address and Contact: Mikumano Shrine Big Festival at Mikumano Shrine
5631-1 Nishiobuchi, Kakegawa City (Kakegawa-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 437-1304, Japan
Tel: 0537-48-2739
Website: http://www4.tokai.or.jp/mikuma/saiji.html
Kakegawa Sightseeing Association (Kakegawa Tourist Guide Co., Ltd) Website: http://www.wbs.ne.jp/bt/kakegawa/foreign/festival.htm

Himesama Parade, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi)

Festival Period: First Saturday and Sunday of April
This is the biggest event of Hosoe-cho, which restages the passage of Himekaido (street of women) by the princesses of local lords in Edo era. A princess in a palanquin accompanied by hundred-some samurais and waiting maids parades the street.
Address and Contact:
Himesama Parade in Hosoe
Hosoe-cho, Kiga, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi), Kita Ward, Shizuoka Prefecture 431-1305, Japan
Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce, Lake Hamana, Hosoe branch office
Tel: 053-523-0713, 053-527-2600
Fax: 053-523-0988
Email: m…@hosoe.sakura.ne.jp
Website: http://okuhamanako-shokokai.com/himesama.html
Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi) Visitors and Convention Bureau Website: http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/lan/en/

Okuni Shrine Annual Big Festival (Twelve Piece Court Dance), Mori Town (Mori-machi)

Festival Period: Mid April
This court dance consists of 12 tunes carried down from the era of Emperor Bunbu (AD701) continuously without being interrupted by so many wars. Presently the dance is played by the parishioners of Okuni Shrine. This is one of three court dances played in the township of Mori.
Address and Contact:
Okuni Shrine Annual Big Festival (Twelve Piece Court Dance)
Okuni Jinja Shrine (Okuni Shinto Shrine)
3956-1 Ichimiya, Mori Town (Mori-machi), Shuchi District (Shuchi-gun), Shizuoka Prefecture 437-0226, Japan
TEL: 0538-89-7302
FAX: 0538-89-7367
Website: http://www.okunijinja.or.jp/

Yaizu Port Festival, Yaizu City (Yaizu-shi)


Festival Period: Early April

This is an annual event in the spring of Yaizu, a city of fishery and seashore. Markets of fresh fish and shellfish as well as processed marine foods and events in the open area are holding a whole day long and the visitors can join a lottery to win a whole bonito. The Yaizu port is located in the center of Shizuoka Prefecture and is famous for tuna fishing. The stirring mikoshi, the portable shrine used in the port festivals, is also famous.

Address and Contact:
Old Fishing Harbor
3-1-6, Nakaminato, Yaizu City (Yaizu-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 425-0021, Japan
Contact – Shizuoka Prefecture Yaizu fishing port management office
5-19-1 Nakaminato, Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture 425-0021, Japan
Tel: 054-628-3126 (Harbor), 054-626-6266 (Yaizu Tourism)
Yaizu Tourism Association: http://www.yaizu.gr.jp/

Toko (Toko-ji) Temple – Hiyoshi Shrine Sarumai (monkey dance), Shimada City (Shimada-shi)

Festival Period: April 14
Two children wearing masks of male and female monkeys dance to the music of flute and drum. This is nationally unique folklore performance played at the festival of Hiyoshi Shrine, which houses the guardian god of Toko Temple, and is designated as an intangible folklore cultural heritage by Shizuoka Prefecture.
Address and Contact:
Toko (Toko-ji) Temple
557 Tokoji, Shimada City (Shimada-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 427-0003, Japan
Tel: 0547-37-5723 (Toko-ji Temple), 0547-46-2844 (Shimada City Tourism)
Website: http://www.shimada-ta.jp/event.php?m_num=4&p_num=1 or http://kawasuji-tokaido.com/ooi/1106.html

Appare Fuji (Fujisan Art Performance Festival), Fuji City (Fuji-shi)


Festival Period: Late April

More than 40 Yosakoi dance teams gather from all over the country. Active performances of Yosakoi dance are played at the bottom of the magnificent Mt. Fuji to tighten the ties of people without regard to the generations.

Address and Contact: Fuji City Central Park
2-112, Nagatacho, Fuji City (Fuji-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 417-0055, Japan
Access: Tokyo – JR Shin-Fuji Station ( Shinkansen ) – 10 minutes by bus Or 10 minutes by bus from JR Fuji Statio
Contact –
Appare Fuji Executive Committee
Fujisan Tourism & Communication Bureau
TEL: 0545-64-3776 (Fujisan Tourism), 0545-55-3553 (Central Park),
FAX: 0545-21-2161 (Appare Fuji Executive Committee), 0545-62-0464 (Fujisan Tourism), 0545-57-0180 (Central Park)
Email: yama…@poem.ocn.ne.jp [Appare Fuji]
Appare Fuji Executive Committee Website: http://mt-fuji-apf.com/
Fujisan Tourism Website: http://www.fujisan-kkb.jp/english/index.html
Fuji City Central Park Website: http://www.fcpark.net/

Nagafuji Matsuri Festival, Iwata City (Iwata-shi)


Festival Period: Late April – Early May

Beautiful wisteria trellises all around color purple, under which Noh performances in the day and under the bonfires, music played by Japanese harp, introduction of Fuji Musume (wisteria queen of the year) and outdoor tea ceremony are performed and the tea made of the leaves of the year and freshly made rice cake are served free. Nagafuji Matsuri Festival is held around Kumano Memorial Park, Gyokoji Temple and Ikeda Kumano line. Gyokoji Temple is estimated at 800 years old and is designated as a National Natural Treasure.

Address and Contact:
Nagafuji Matsuri Festival
Ikeda, Iwata City (Iwata-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 438-0805 Japan
Contact – Festival Executive Committee of Nagafuji Matsuri Festival
Iwata City Chamber of Commerce
Tel: 0538-34-4737 (Festival Committee), 0538-36-9600 (Chamber of Commerce), 0538-34-0344 (Gyokoji Temple), 0538-37-4806 (Kumano Memorial Park), 0538-33-1222 (Iwata Tourism)
Fax: 0538-35-4859
Website: http://www.sci-iwata.or.jp/kanko/nagafuji.html
Iwata City Tourist Association link: http://www.kanko-iwata.jp/matsuri/nagafuji.html

Ose Festival (Uchiura Fishery Harbor Festival), Numazu City (Numazu-shi)


Festival Period: April 4

Ose Festival is an annual festival of Ose Shrine, which is known as one of the strangest festivals in the country for “Isami Odorih” played by men dressed in women’s clothes. Uchiura Fishery Harbor Festival is held at the same time, where Japanese drums are played and fresh local food products are sold by the producers.

Address and Contact:

Ose Festival (Uchiura Fishery Harbor Festival)

88-34, Uchiura-mito, Numazu City (Numazu-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 410-0223 Japan
Tel: 055-943-2316 (Numazu City Govt. Tourism Division and Uchiura Fisheries), 055-964-1300 (Numazu Tourism), 055-942-2603 (Ose Jinja Shrine)
Fax: 055-941-3717 (Uchiura Fisheries)
Website Links:
Uchiura Fisheries Cooperative: http://www8.ocn.ne.jp/~utiura/index.htm
Numazu Mito Ryokan Association: http://www.numazu-yado.com/shiki/osematuri.html
Ose Jinja Shrine: http://www.osezaki.jp/oseshrine.html
Numazu City Govt. Tourism Division: http://www.city.numazu.shizuoka.jp/kankou/event/nenkan/04.htm#ose
Numazu Tourist Information Center: http://www.numazu-mirai.com/

Atami Odori (Geisha girls dance performance), Atami City (Atami-shi)

Festival Period: Late April
This is an all-out Japanese dance show performed once a year, where Geisha girls of Atami region show the performances they have trained hard day and night and the viewers can see the traditional beauty. Atami Odori is so popular that every year fans make a long waiting line before the theater opens. Enjoy after the concert and the Geisha girls crowd photo shoot.
Address and Contact:
Atami Odori Festival
17-13 Chuo-cho, Atami City (Atami-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 413-0015, Japan
Phone: 0557-81-3575 (Atami Odori Authority), 0557-85-2222 (Atami Tourism)
Website: http://atami-geigi.jp/
Atami City Tourism Association Link: http://www.ataminews.gr.jp/geigiren/hananomai/index.html

Shunki Kobo-ki Yukumi-shiki (Kobo Daishi Memorial Ceremony), Izu City (Izu-shi)

(spring time hot water dedicating ceremony in commemoration of the passing of Kobo Daishi (Saint Kobo), the founder of Shingon Buddhism)
Festival Period: April 21
The ceremony is conducted after the legendary story that Kobo Daishi [Shuzenji Buddist temple said to have been founded by Kobo Daishi (a great teacher of Buddhism)in the early Heian Era] found the hot spring “Tokko-no-Yuh”, from which Shuzenji Onsen hot spring resort developed, about 1,200 years ago. Young girls with wooden pail parade through the street of hot spring resort and dedicate hot water to the spirit of Kobo Daishi (Saint Kobo) at the main hall of Shuzenji Temple.
Address and Contact:
Shunki Kobo-ki Yukumi-shiki (Kobo Daishi Memorial Ceremony)
Fukuchizan Shuzenji Temple
964 Shuzenji, Izu City (Izu-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 410-2416, Japan
TEL: 0558-72-0053 (Shuzenji Temple), 0558-85-1883 (Izu City Tourism)
Website: http://shuzenji-temple.com/gyouji02.html
Izu City Tourist Association link: http://www.izushi.info/

Sagara Picnic Races, Sagara Town (Sagara-cho)

Festival Period: April 29
This is a nationally unique horse race held on the seashore. About 30 thoroughbreds from all over the prefecture as well as from other places contend severe races on white sands. Since the viewers can see the race from up close, the races are very popular not only to horse race fans but also to grown-ups and minors.
Address and Contact:
Sagara Horse Races at Sagara Sun Beach
Sagara Town (Sagara-cho), Makinohara City (Makinohara-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0522, Japan

Sagara Sun Beach Website: http://sagara-sunbeach.com/


The Hottest Day in Hamamatsu: The Hamamatsu Festival, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi)

Festival Period: May 3-5
One of Japan’s best-known kite-flying festivals, it includes a float procession. For three days, May 3, 4, & 5, the blue skies over the Nakatajima coast are dyed by colorful kites. It is the well-known Hamamatsu Kite Festival. You can enjoy viewing traditional events such as giant kite flying and flamboyant portable shrines, and floats and the kites and shrines can also be seen year-round at the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion.
hamamatsu_festival_pavilion hamamatsu_festival_floats hamamatsu_festival_kite-flying-1
One highlight of this Festival is when people fill the field and with unrivaled excitement try to sever their opponent’s kite string in the “Battle to Cut the Kite String.” At night colorful floats take the stage in the center of town. The intensity is evident by the way the spectacular Goten Yatai float parade are pushed and pulled, weaving through the streets. Hamamatsu’s best use up all their energy while working day and night in all the activities. At the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion one can experience the excitement of the Festival throughout the year. The whole city comes to life, as everyone enjoys the festive atmosphere.
Address and Contact:
Hamamatsu City Center, Nakatajima Sand Dunes
1313 Nakatajimacho, Hamamatsu City (Hamamatsu-shi), Minami Ward, Shizuoka Prefecture 430-0845, Japan
Contact –
Hamamatsu Festival Authority of Hamamatsu Tourism (Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion)
Tel: 053-441-6211, 053-457-2295
Email: mats…@cy.tnc.ne.jp
Website: http://www.hamamatsu-navi.jp/matsuri/
Hamamatsu Visitor and Convention Bureau
Tel: 053-458-0011, 053-452-1634 (Tourist Information Center)
Fax: 053-458-0013
Website: http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/matsuri/

Yabusame (Horseback Mounted Archery), Fujinomiya City (Fujinomiya-shi)

Festival Period: May 4-6
Yabusame Matsuri Festival (Horseback Mounted Archery) is a traditional ceremony is said to have started when General Minamoto no Yoritomo was hunting around Fuji and made an offering to the Gods. A ceremony of the heroic Ogasawara style of yabusame is held in the riding ground of Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. A warriors’ procession starts from the Shrine at 12 noon, marching on Kanda-dori (street) and Honcho-dori (street), and returns to the Shrine at around 2 pm on the 5th.
Address and Contact:
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha
1-1 Miyacho, Fujinomiya City (Fujinomiya-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 418-0067, Japan
Tel: 0544-27-2002
Fax: 0544-26-3762
Website; http://fuji-hongu.or.jp/sengen/festivals/05_09.html
Fujinomiya Tourist Association
Website: http://www.fujinomiya.gr.jp/xspot/modules/weblinks/viewcat.php?cid=1

Black-Ship Festival, Shimoda City (Shimoda-shi)

Festival Period: May 16-18
Lively parades and events commemorate the arrival of Commodore Perry. More Details: Black Ship Festival (Kurofune Matsuri)

Enshu Daimyo Gyoretsu (Feudal lord’s procession) Maiguruma, Iwata City (Iwata-shi)

Festival Period: Late April to May
This Daimyo Gyoretsu (procession of local lord) is restaged at Mitsuke-juku, which was about the middle of 53 stations existed on Tokaido main street between Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) in Edo era. At the same time, Maiguruma Odori, which is a mass dance event performed on the street, and Maiguruma, danced under the bonfire by a pair of man and woman, are staged.
Address and Contact:
Enshu Daimyo Gyoretsu Maiguruma
2385-10 Mitsuke, Iwata City (Iwata-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 438-0086, Japan
Website: http://iwata-oomatsuri.org/
Iwata City Tourist Association link: http://www.kanko-iwata.jp/matsuri/daimyou.html

Horaibashi (Hirai Bridge) Paper Lantern Festival, Shimada City (Shimada-shi)

Festival Period: Late May
Horaibashi (Hirai Bridge) is the world longest wooden footbridge, accredited in Guinness Book of World Records. This festival features a parade of Bonbori (paper lanterns) over the bridge in the midnight and many other events.
Address and Contact:
Horaibashi (Hirai Bridge)
2-22-14 Minami, Shimada City (Shimada-shi), Shizuoka Prefecture 427-0017, Japan
(About 20 minutes walk from JR Shimada Station)
Contact – Horai Bridge Paper Lantern Festival Executive Committee, Shimada City Tourism Association
Tel: 0547-46-2844 (Shimada City Tourism), 0547-37-1241 (Shimada Station Tourist Information Office), 0547-36-7163 (Shimada City Tourism Exchange Division)
Fax: 0547-46-2861
Website: http://www.shimada-ta.jp/event.php?m_num=5&p_num=1
Shimada City Hall, Tourism Exchange Division Link: http://www.city.shimada.shizuoka.jp/kankobunka/kannkouibennto/kankoueven…