Traditional Events

◆Cormorant Fishing on the Kiso River 木曽川うかい

Photo courtesy of Inuyama Tourist Association
Photo courtesy of Inuyama Tourist Association

Ukai (鵜飼) is fishing using specially-trained cormorants (U) to catch, swallow, and regurgitate the fish.

A unique technique passed down through the generations, the first written record of ukai on the Kiso River dates back to 702. Since 1909 it has been one of the area’s premier tourist attractions. Weather and river conditions pending, there are daily ukai tours in Inuyama until the early autumn. Tours last between 1 hr 15 min. (without meal) and 2 hrs 30 min. (with meal) and visitors are taken out on special viewing boats to within close proximity of the fishing boats. There are ukai tours in other parts of Japan, but Inuyama is unique in that ukai fishing is done in the day time as well as at night.

Daytime Ukai

Until 15 Oct. 11:30 – 14:00 on Tue., Thu., Sat. (except 9 Aug. – 12 Aug.)

Cost: Adults 4,500 (4,800) Yen, Children (age 4-12) 3,300 (3,450) Yen; Includes meal. Prices in ( ) are for peak dates.

Evening Ukai

– Dinner tours: until 31 Aug. 17:45 – 20:10; 1 Sep. – 15 Oct. 17:15 – 19:45. (No tours 10 Aug.)

Cost: Adults 2,600 (2,900) Yen, Children (age 4-12) 1,300 (1,450) Yen. Meal not included. Meals can be ordered when making a reservation. (Meal selection & prices available on website) A 350 Yen charge per person applies
for bringing your own food & drink. Prices in ( ) are for peak dates.

– Sightseeing tours: until 31 Aug. 19:00 – 20:10; 1 Sep. – 15 Oct. 18:30 – 19:45. (No tours 10 Aug.)

Cost: see Dinner tours above.

Reservations: Kisogawa Kanko, phone: 0568-61-2727 (9:30-18:00). Cancelation charges apply. Reservations required for all tours, at least 3 days in advance for tours with meals.

Where: Kiso River (木曽川), Inuyama City (犬山市)

Access: The Ukai Boat Boarding Area is a 5-minute walk north from Inuyama Yuen Station (犬山遊園駅) East Exit (東口) on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line (名鉄犬山線).

Website: www.kisogawa-ukai.jp (Japanese)


Festivals and fireworks in July

◆Toyohashi Gion Matsuri 豊橋祇園祭

Photo courtesy of Toyohashi Gion Matsuri Committee
Photo courtesy of Toyohashi Gion Matsuri Committee

Although the procession accompanying the deity is the central ritual, the festival is famous for the fireworks events held in the preceding days.

Fireworks: Friday, 17 Jul. (18:40 – 22:00) – traditional hand-held and cascading firework display. Sat. 18 Jul. (18:00 – 21:00) – aerial firework display – around 12,000 fireworks! Sun. 19 Jul. (from 17:00) – procession.

When: From Fri. 17 to Sun. 19 Jul.

Where: Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) on 17 Jul. On the banks of the Toyogawa River (豊川) behind Yoshida Shrine on 18 Jul. The procession departs from Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) on 19 Jul.

Access: A 20-minute walk from Toyohashi Station (豊橋駅) on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line (名鉄名古屋本線). Take the Toyohashi City Line Tram (豊橋市内線) to Fudagi (札木) Stop for Yoshida Shrine, and Toyohashi Kōenmae (豊橋公園前) Stop for the free fireworks viewing area.


The 7th Centrair Bon-Odori 第7回セントレア盆踊り

Why not try the traditional summer evening ritual of Bon-Odori (Bon dancing) in a not-so-traditional setting – on the airport observation deck!

When: Sun. 19 Jul. (18:30 – 20:00); In the event of rain, the event will be postponed to Mon. 20 Jul.

Where: Centrair (Chubu International Airport) Passenger Terminal 4F Sky Deck

Access: Central Japan International Airport Station (中部国際空港駅) on the Meitetsu Airport Line (名鉄空港線)


The 69th Ocean Day Nagoya Port Festival Fireworks

Photo courtesy of the Port of Nagoya
Photo courtesy of the Port of Nagoya

The fireworks show synonymous with summer at Nagoya Port held on the Umi no Hi (Ocean Day) national holiday, the last day of the Nagoya Port Festival. Some 370,000 spectators gathered last year to be thrilled by around 3,000 fireworks, including the richly artistic ‘star mine’. The ‘melody fireworks’ presented as the show’s finale are synchronised to music which can be heard via the multitude of speakers installed around the venue.

When: Mon. 20 Jul. (19:30 – 20:20). Fireworks will still be held in rain, but cancelled in the event of stormy weather.

Where: Nagoya Port (名古屋港), around the Garden Pier (ガーデンふ頭) area.

Access: A short walk from Nagoya Port Station (名古屋港駅) on the Meiko Subway Line (地下鉄名港線). Recommended viewing spots are wharf 2 and 3 in front of the Port Building (ポートビル) or on the green space south of the Port of Nagoya Aquarium (名古屋港水族館). Find a spot where you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the fireworks.

Website: http://www.nagoya-port-festival.com/ (Japanese)


◆The 60th Textile Thanksgiving Ichinomiya Tanabata Star Festival

Photo courtesy of Ichinomiya City
Photo courtesy of Ichinomiya City

The 60th Textile Thanksgiving Ichinomiya Tanabata Star Festival 第60回おりもの感謝祭一宮七夕まつり
The extravagant decorations make this one of Japan’s big three Tanabata festivals (Sendai and Hiratsuka host the other two), visited by over a million people each year. Highlights include a 500-meter long procession to dedicate an offering of locally-produced woolen textiles, a Jinrikisha (rickshaw) procession and a Bon dance.
Ichinomiya’s main line location (JR Tokaido and Meitetsu) make it easily accessible from across the region.

When: From Thu. 23 to Sun. 26 Jul.

Where: Around JR Owari-Ichinomiya Station (JR尾張一宮駅) and Meitetsu Ichinomiya Station (名鉄一宮駅)

Access: Using JR, go to Owari-Ichinomiya Station (尾張一宮駅) on the JR Tokaido Main Line (JR東海道本線). Using Meitetsu, go to Meitetsu Ichinomiya Station (名鉄一宮駅) on the Meitetsu Main Line (名鉄本線).


◆Gamagori Festival 蒲郡まつり

Photo courtesy of Gamagori City
Photo courtesy of Gamagori City

Saturday’s attractions will include a tug-of-war tournament, Yosakoi dancing, and lots of stalls. On Sunday there’ll be such features as a yukata fashion show, a karaoke contest, and a musical, as well as the festival highlight, the Summer Evening Fireworks featuring three Shosanjakudama (正三尺玉花火) fireworks. Reaching a whopping 650m in diameter when exploded, these breathtaking fireworks are the biggest to be launched on the Pacific coast.

When: Sat. 25 and Sun. 26 Jul. (Fireworks on 26 Jul. [19:30 – 21:00]).

Where: Gamagori Citizens Hall (蒲郡市民会館), Takeshima Pier (竹島埠頭), Gamagori Pier (蒲郡埠頭), and other locations around the sea-front in Gamagori City (蒲郡市) Aichi

Access: A 5- to 10-minute walk from JR or Meitetsu Gamagori Stations (JR・名鉄蒲郡駅)


◆Toyota Oiden Matsuri 豊田おいでんまつりファイナル・花火大会

Photo courtesy of Toyota Oiden Matsuri Executive Committee
Photo courtesy of Toyota Oiden Matsuri Executive Committee

The Saturday night Oiden Final will see around 150 lively teams dancing energetically through the streets of central Toyota. Sunday’s Grand Fireworks will feature around 13,000 fireworks including a ‘wide star mine’ (5 star mines set off simultaneously) and a 30-metre high ‘Huge Niagara Falls.’

When: The Oiden Final (おいでんファイナル) on Sat. 25 Jul. (17:00 – 20:30). Grand Fireworks on Sun. 26 Jul. (19:10 – 21:00)

Where: On the streets around the east side of Meitetsu Toyota-Shi Station, and at Shirahama Park (白浜公園) on the banks of the Yahagi River (矢作川), Toyota City (豊田市)

Access: A 10-minute walk to Shirahama Park from Toyotashi Station (豊田市駅) on the Meitetsu Toyota Line (名鉄豊田線); accessible from the Tsurumai Subway Line (地下鉄鶴舞線).


◆Kariya Mando Matsuri 刈谷万燈祭

Photo courtesy of Kariya City
Photo courtesy of Kariya City

An Intangible Folk Cultural Asset of Aichi Prefecture, this traditional festival has a history of more than 230 years. Each warrior-shaped Mando (lit. “ten thousand lanterns”) lantern, measuring 5m tall and weighing around
60kg, is carried by one young man, who dances heroically to the accompanying o-hayashi flute and drum music. The first day’s event is known as Shingaku (新楽), in which the Mando wind through the streets. In the second day’s event, the Hongaku (本楽), dancing is presented as an offering within the grounds of Akiba Shrine.

When: Sat. 25 Jul. (16:30 – 22:00) and Sun. 26 Jul. (16:50 – 22:00)

Where: Akiba Shrine (秋葉社) and surrounds, central Kariya City (刈谷市), Ginza (銀座) 2-101

Access: A 5-minute walk north from Kariya-shi Station (刈谷市駅) on the Meitetsu Mikawa Line (名鉄三河線).


◆27th Komaki Heisei Summer Festival 第27回小牧平成夏まつり

Photo courtesy of Komaki City

An innovative variation on the illuminated float festival, the Komaki Heisei Summer Festival was inspired by a festival held in Komaki’s friendship city – Yakumo Town in Hokkaido. This year, as Komaki City commemorates its 60th anniversary, the 27th festival will feature 21 illuminated floats along with dancing and taiko drum performances turning up the heat higher than ever. Sunday’s finale includes a collaborative performance consisting of traditional Japanese hand-held fireworks, American fireworks, and Japanese taiko drums. A fun and exciting festival for everyone to enjoy.

When: Sat. 25 Jul. (17:15 – 21:00) and Sun. 26 Jul. (17:20 – 21:30)

Where: 25 Jul. (19:00 – 21:00): from Komaki-shi Shimin Kaikan (小牧市市民会館) to Komaki Station East Melody Park (小牧駅東メロディーパーク); 26 Jul. (19:00 – 20:50): from Melody Park to Komaki-shi Shimin Kaikan

Access: From Heiandori Station (平安通駅) on the Kamiiida Subway Line (地下鉄上飯田線), transfer to an Inuyama (犬山) OR Komaki (小牧) bound train and get off at Komaki Station (小牧駅). Approximately 5 minutes’ walk from the station. Free parking for 100 cars available at Komaki City Hall (小牧市役所).

Inquiries: Komaki Heisei Summer Festival Executive Committee Administration Office, Phone: 0568-76-1173 (Japanese)


◆Kakuozan Summer Festival 覚王山夏祭

Features an art & craft and retro & antique flea market, and exciting performances including Balinese dance with gamelan and samba on the stage. There’s also a nostalgic game corner and workshop, and international food and beverage stalls at the Beer Matsuri. A specially-designed fan will be distributed to the first 100 visitors in yukata (summer kimono) on each day.

When: Sat. 25 and Sun. 26 Jul. (14:00 – 21:00)

Where: In front of Nittaiji Temple (日泰寺), Chikusa Ward (千種区)

Access: A 1-minute walk up the hill from Kakuozan Station (覚王山駅) Exit 1 (1番出口) on the Higashiyama Subway Line (地下鉄東山線).


◆The 65th Osu Summer Festival 第65回大須夏まつり

A very popular street festival held in the streets in and around the Osu shopping arcade. Highlights include samba dancing, a taiko drum performance, and World Cosplay Summit events.

When: Sat. 1 and Sun. 2 Aug. (12:00 – 22:00)

Where: Osu Arcade (大須商店街), Naka-ku (中区)

Access: A 3-minute walk from Osu Kannon Station (大須観音駅), Exit 1, on the Subway Tsurumai Line (地下鉄鶴舞線)


Cross-Cultural Events

◆Summer Party – an International Exchange Event

Japanese and non-Japanese can meet and mingle in a casual party setting, with recreational games, prizes, and a chance to learn about Japanese culture, with a traditional Bon festival dance, and a Japanese drum performance (which you can also try). All this, and a buffet-style light meal!

When: Sun. 26 Jul. (18:30 – 20:30)

Where: Nagoya International Center Annex Hall (Kokusai Center Subway Station, Exit 2)

Admission: 1000 Yen for foreign residents, 2000 Yen for Japanese nationals; reservations are required.

Reservations / inquiries: NPO International Cross Culture Promotion Center,
E-mail: international0317_npo@yahoo.co.jp; Phone: 080-1559-9744


Please be aware that all aforementioned event times, locations, and prices
are subject to change without notice.


( NIC Events Information )

henri daros

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