Traditional & Historical Festivals

◆Oh-Agata Shrine Honensai

Held at Oh-Agata Shrine to pray for a plentiful harvest and peace throughout the land, this is one of the famous festivals welcoming spring to the Owari district.
The main events are the dedication of a huge kagami-mochi (pounded rice cake); and a procession of some 250 people accompanying the deity Sarutahiko from Morokuwa Shrine to Oh-Agata Shrine. There is also a dedication of taiko drums and other musical performances, culminating in mochi-maki (rice cake throwing) at 16:00.

When: Sun. 13 Mar. (11:00 – 16:00)

Where: Oh-Agata Jinja (大縣神社) in Inuyama City (犬山市). Parade begins at Morokuwa Shrine (諸钁神社).

Access: About a 20-minute walk east of Gakuden Station (楽田駅) on the Meitetsu Komaki Line (名鉄小牧線)


◆Tagata Shrine Honen Matsuri

Photo courtesy of Tagata Jinja
Photo courtesy of Tagata Jinja

A well-known unique festival where villagers carry on their shoulders a portable shrine which bears a 2m-long
phallus-shaped wooden sculpture. They offer this huge carving at the shrine praying for a plentiful harvest, the growth of all things, and the perpetuation of one’s descendants. If you are only in Japan for a short time, this is a festival you should not miss. In addition, the Komaki Volunteer Interpreters offer a guide service for free; reservations required.

When: Tue. 15 Mar. (10:00 – 16:00; parade 14:00 – 15:30)

Where: Tagata Jinja (田縣神社), Komaki City (小牧市)

Access: A 5-minute walk from Tagata-jinja-mae Station (田県神社前駅), on the Meitetsu Komaki Line (名鉄小牧線); from Heian-dori Subway Station (地下鉄平安通駅) take the Kami-iida Subway Line (地下鉄上飯田線) bound for Inuyama (犬山).

Guide reservations: Contact the Komaki Volunteer Interpreters (Phone: 090-8072-2817; E-mail: by 14 Mar.


◆Handa Spring Float Festival (Okkawa district)

Photo courtesy of Handa City
Photo courtesy of Handa City

In the Okkawa Matsuri, the kami, or deity, is transported upon a portable shrine from Okkawa Hachiman Shrine to its resting point at Wakamiya Shrine, before returning the following day. To protect the deity during the procession, the parishioners play drums and pull along four yama, or floats. The festival continues a long tradition, as the ritual was portrayed in a picture scroll dated from 1755. The main events are considered to be the pulling of the floats up and down the steep slope before the Okkawa Hachiman Shrine; the scale of the floats, which are some of the largest of the Handa-style floats; and the extravagant gold trimmings of the floats.

When: Sat. 19 Mar. (9:00 – 20:00) and Sun. 20 Mar. (9:00 – 18:00)

Where: Around Okkawa Hachiman Shrine (乙川八幡社) and Wakamiya Shrine (若宮社) in Handa City (半田市)

Access: A 5-minute walk north from Okkawa Station (乙川駅) on the JR Taketoyo Line (武豊線)


◆Inuyama Castle Spring Festival

Photo courtesy of Inuyama City Tourism Association
Photo courtesy of Inuyama City Tourism Association

Beginning in 1635, the annual festival of Haritsuna Shrine (針綱神社) features 13 traditional 3-tiered festival floats pulled through the town’s cherry blossom-lined streets; between 18:00 and 21:30 these floats are illuminated. Combine a visit to the festival with a visit to Japan’s oldest castle – Inuyama Castle – located on the small mountain overlooking the festival.

When: Sat. 2 Apr. and Sun. 3 Apr. (9:00 – 21:30)

Access: Located near Meitetsu Inuyama Station (名鉄犬山駅) which can be reached via the Tsurumai Subway Line (鶴舞線).

About the Castle: Open (9:00 to 17:00, last entry 16:30) and is a 15-minute walk west from Inuyama-yūen Station (犬山遊園駅). Admission is 550 Yen for adults and 110 Yen for Elementary and Junior HS students.


◆The Ieyasu Parade

Photo courtesy of Okazaki City Tourism Association
Photo courtesy of Okazaki City Tourism Association

The seasonal marker of spring in Okazaki has to be “The Ieyasu Parade”. Watch the valiant warriors of Mikawa make their way to battle. They are truly a piece of dazzling antiquity brought to life from the illustrated old scrolls of long ago.
Led by Japan’s most prominent historical figure, Tokugawa Ieyasu (played by a member of the public selected from among numerous applicants), this procession of some 800 warriors and noble ladies parades through central Okazaki. During the parade, watch the exciting mock martial arts battles consisting of gunmen and spearmen. The marching ends on the banks of Otogawa River.

When: Sun. 10 Apr. (13:00 – 16:30)

Route: Following a departure ceremony at Iga Hachiman-gu Shrine (伊賀八幡宮) at 13:00, the parade departs from the shrine (13:30), turns left at the Kosei-kita (康生北) intersection (14:10 – 14:40), takes a right at the Tenma intersection, passing through Shima-cho (島町) intersection (14:35 – 15:05) before crossing the river, and passes in front of Meitetsu Higashi Okazaki Station (14:45 – 15:15) before arriving at the Otogawa riverside (15:00 – 15:30).

Access: A 10-minute walk from Higashi Okazaki Station (東岡崎駅) on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line (名鉄名古屋本線).


Hina Matsuri (Dolls Festival) Events

◆Fukuyose-Hina Gathering ~ Fukuyose-Hina Project

Seeking to give unwanted hina dolls a ‘second life’ and promote tourism and vitality in Nagoya and the Chubu region, the Fukuyose-Hina Project began in 2011. This year’s event will take place at venues in and around Nagoya, Toyota Inabu, and Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture. While hina dolls are usually dressed and arranged in very formal, traditional settings, at the exhibition you can see hina dolls shopping, emperor dolls cradling babies, ladies-in-waiting competing in an athletic event, imperial court musicians enjoying a drinking session, and other entertaining situations.

The exhibition will be held at other venues in addition to those listed below. Check the website or Facebook page for details.

Where & when:

• Nagoya Castle Sat. 27 Feb. – Sun. 13 Mar.
• Chubu International Airport Centrair Fri. 5 Feb. – Mon. 21 Mar.
• Nakamura Police Station Wed. 24 Feb. – Thu. 31 Mar.
• E-Able Nagoya Tue. 16 Feb. – Mon. 14 Mar.
• Higashiyama Sky Tower Tue. 16 Feb. – Sun. 6 Mar.
• Toyota City Inabu Donguri Kobo Sat. 6 Feb. – Sun. 3 Apr.
• Gujo Hachiman Shitamachi Sat. 6 Feb. – Sun. 3 Apr.

Website: (Japanese)

Facebook: (Japanese)


◆Seto no O-Hina Meguri

Photo courtesy of Seto Marutto Museum / Tourism Association
Photo courtesy of Seto Marutto Museum / Tourism Association

Famed for its ceramics, Seto City is hosting its 15th annual hina doll-themed event. A four-meter tall “Hinamid” (hina pyramid), consisting of around 800 individual glass and ceramic hina dolls, is on display at the Seto-Gura, hina dolls adorn galleries in the surrounding area, and the town is colorfully decorated. Visitors can enjoy activities such as making a Seto ware hina doll, enjoy special o-hina lunches and sweets, and much more.

When: Sat. 30 Jan. to Sun. 6 Mar.

Where: Seto-Gura (瀬戸蔵) and surrounding areas in Seto City (瀬戸市)

Access: A 5-minute walk from Owari Seto Station (尾張瀬戸駅) on the Meitetsu Seto Line (名鉄瀬戸線)


Plum Blossoms

 The 10th Inazawa Plum Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of Inazawa City Tourism Association
Photo courtesy of Inazawa City Tourism Association

The Aichi Arbor Center has a diverse variety of plants, so visitors can appreciate flowers in any season. The
plum blossom garden features over 100 varieties and 200 individual trees, making it an important model plum
blossom garden, and a popular spot when the plum blossoms are in flower. Different varieties bloom at different times, so you can enjoy the beautiful sight of the blossoms over a longer period in the early spring, from late February into March.
During the festival, in addition to viewing the plum blossoms, visitors can try a variety of foods (including kishimen noodles with gingko nuts) at the food stalls, and matcha green tea. Inazawa mascot character Inappy will be on stage with some friends, and you’ll also be able to buy plants and seedlings.

When: Sat. 5 Mar. and Sun. 6 Mar. (9:30 – 16:00)

Where: Aichi Arbor Center (愛知県植木センター) in Inazawa City (稲沢市)

Access: From Konomiya Station (国府宮駅) on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line (名鉄名古屋本線), take the Meitetsu bus to Yawase-Kannon (矢合観音) bus stop, from which Aichi Arbor Center is a 15-minute walk, or 10 minutes by free shuttle bus. A free shuttle bus will run between Inazawa City Hall (稲沢市役所) and Aichi Arbor Center every 20 minutes (departing Inazawa City Hall 9:10-15:50).


Agricultural Center Weeping Plum Blossom Festival
農業センター しだれ梅まつり

The Agricultural Center is home to one of the largest weeping plum blossom gardens in Japan, with 12 varieties and around 700 individual trees. Check the state of the plum blossoms before you go, on the Agricultural Center’s Facebook page.

When: Thu. 25 Feb. to Mon. 21 Mar. (National holiday) (9:00 – 16:30) Dates may change depending on the state of the plum blossoms.

Where: Agricultural Center (農業センター), Tempaku Ward (天白区)

Access: A 20-minute walk from Hirabari (平針駅) or Akaike (赤池) Stations on the subway Tsurumai Line (地下鉄鶴舞線); By bus: From Hirabari take the City Bus for Chikatetsu Hara (地下鉄原) to Nogyo Senta Kita (農業センター北)
bus stop, walk for 5 minutes. From Akaike take the Meitetsu Bus for Yufukuji (祐福寺) or Zengo (前後) to Araike (荒池) bus stop, walk for 6 minutes.

Parking: 500 Yen for cars, 150 Yen for motorbikes and scooters.

Facebook: (Japanese)


Other Seasonal Events

◆Nagoya Castle Spring Festival

The spring festival at Nagoya Castle, famous for its cherry blossoms. A variety of events and performances will be held in the castle grounds and on the Nishinomaru Stage during the festival, until early May. From late March until early April you can see the beautiful cherry blossoms, and they will also be lit up at night. Make your visit a memorable one and enjoy the elegant beauty of the illuminated flowers and the castle tower during the grounds’ extended opening hours.
There will be traditional live music performances including the koto, shamisen and wadaiko (Japanese drum). Japanese tea ceremony held on 29 Mar. and 5 Apr. from 10:00 to 15:00. (Tickets will be available for purchase until 14:30.) Manju (Japanese sweets) and green tea will be served for 800 Yen.

When: 21 Mar. to 6 May (until 16:30. Last entry to the Main Castle Tower and Hommaru Palace 16:00.) The entrance area of Hommaru Palace will be lit up from sunset until 20:00 from 26 Mar. to 10 Apr. Performances at the Castle’s Nishinomaru Stage from 11:00 and 13:30: koto on 9 Apr., shamisen on 3 Apr. and wadaiko on 10 Apr.

Where: Nagoya Castle grounds (名古屋城内). Performances at Nishinomaru Stage (西之丸ステージ).

Access: A short walk from Shiyakusho (City Hall) Stn. (市役所駅) on the Meijo Subway Line (地下鉄名城線)

Castle Entrance Fee: General Admission 500 Yen (Wear a kimono for a 100 Yen discount); entry free for Junior HS Students and younger.


◆Komakiyama Sakura Matsuri and Castle Tours

A designated National Historic Site, Mount Komaki hosts a cherry blossom festival from April 1 to 10, with some 1,200 individual trees in bloom, illuminated by decorative paper lanterns at night.
The Komaki Volunteer Interpreters, who regularly guide foreigners around the sights and historical sites of Komaki City, conduct English tours of Komakiyama Castle in conjunction with the festival (reservations required).

English Tours of Komakiyama Castle:

When: Sun. 3 Apr. (① 11:00 and ② 13:00; Duration: 90 minutes.)

Where: Meet at the Komaki City Historical Museum (小牧市歴史館) entrance, in Komakiyama Shiseki Koen (小牧山史跡公園 / Komakiyama Historic Park) in Komaki City (小牧市) Horinouchi 1-1 (堀の内1-1)

Access: From Komaki Stn. (小牧駅) on the Meitetsu Komaki Line (名鉄小牧線), take the Meitetsu Bus (名鉄バス), Junkai Bus (巡回バス) or Peach Bus (ピーチバス) to Komaki Shiyakusho-mae (小牧市役所前); Komaki City Historical Museum is a 10-minute walk through Komakiyama Shiseki Kōen.

Reservations: Contact the Komaki Volunteer Interpreters by 2 Apr.
Phone: 090-8072-2817; E-mail:



◆Japanese Cooking Event – Onigiri
日本料理イベント 「おにぎり」

This event is to introduce Japanese dishes to foreigners. Japanese and non-Japanese will make onigiri (rice balls), dashimaki (Japanese-style rolled omelette) and miso soup together while getting to know and share each others’ lives and cultures at the same time. Places are limited to 20 people. To make a reservation, call or e-mail the NPO International Cross Culture Promotion Center at 080-1559-9744 or

Where: Will Aichi (Aichi Women’s Center) Second Floor Cooking Studio

When: Sun. 27 Mar. (18:30 – 20:30)

Access: (Closest Station: Shiyakusho subway station)

Cost: Japanese 2,000 Yen; Other nationalities 1,500 Yen


Other Events

 ◆Komaki Air Base Open Base

Photo courtesy of JASDF Komaki Air Base
Photo courtesy of JASDF Komaki Air Base

See up close a variety of aircraft, helicopters and other hardware used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force at this popular event. As well as demonstrations of aircraft in action and exhibits highlighting the rescue and disaster relief activities of the JASDF, there are also inflatable attractions for children. A number of stalls will be selling food, drinks, and other goods.

When: Sun. 13 Mar. (9:00 – 15:00; Gates open 8:30)

Where: JASDF Komaki Air Base (航空自衛隊小牧基地)

Access: A 5-minute walk from Ushiyama Station (牛山駅) on the Meitetsu Komaki Line (名鉄小牧線). (Please be aware that large crowds are expected.)

Admission: Free


The 28th Travel Festival Nagoya 2016
第28回旅まつり名古屋2016 ~旅と宿と人のふれあい~

Planning a holiday trip, but not sure where to go? At this travel and tourism event, you’re sure to find lots of great ideas. There will be stalls promoting travel destinations not only within Japan, but overseas as well. See local tourism ambassadors from cute Yuru-chara characters to samurai warriors, and dance performances on the stage. You can also try food from various locations.

When: Sat. 19 Mar. and Sun. 20 Mar. (10:00 – 17:00)

Where: Hisaya Plaza (久屋広場) and Angel Plaza (エンゼル広場) in Hisaya Odori Park (久屋大通公園), Sakae (栄)

Access: A short walk from Sakae Stn. (栄駅) on the Subway Higashiyama or Meijo Lines (地下鉄東山・名城線), and Yaba-cho Stn. (矢場町) on the Meijo Line.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade Nagoya

Photo courtesy of Irish Network Nagoya
Photo courtesy of Irish Network Nagoya

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in 11 Japanese cities, including Nagoya, where it began in conjunction with Expo 2005 Aichi to promote understanding, friendship, and goodwill between the peoples of Ireland and Japan. In Nagoya, the parade through the lively Osu commercial district (14:00 – 15:00) features traditional Irish music players and Irish wolfhounds, and Irish and Japanese residents clad in green. The opening ceremony at Maneki-Neko Hiroba (まねきねこ広場, 12:15 – 13:30) will also feature an Irish music performance.

When: Sat. 19 Mar. (12:00 – 16:00)

Where: Osu Kannon (大須観音) grounds, Osu commercial district (大須商店街) in Naka Ward (中区)

Access: A short walk from Osu-Kannon Station (大須観音駅) on the Subway Tsurumai Line (地下鉄鶴舞線), or Kamimaezu Station (上前津駅) on the Subway Tsurumai and Meijo (名城線) Lines



Dinosaur Park Juraguna

Photo courtesy of Laguna Ten Bosch
Photo courtesy of Laguna Ten Bosch

A special event at the Laguna Ten Bosch amusement park, Lagunasia, where dinosaur lovers of all ages can not only enjoy digging for fossils, studying Tyrannosauruses and eating dinosaur-shaped burgers, but also experience the thrill of encountering dinosaurs up close in the “Phantom of Dinosaur” dinosaur show!

When: Until Tue. 5 Apr. (Lagunasia opening hours: Weekdays 10:00 – 21:00; Weekends and national holidays 10:00 – 22:00 [varies depending on season]. Phantom of Dinosaur: Sat., Sun. and national holidays at 11:00, 12:30, 14:30 [around 20 min. per session]. Fossil Excavation Experience, Fossil Excavation Base, Tyrannosaurus Lab and Dinosaur Forest [Juraguna Passport required]: Weekdays 10:00 – 17:00; Weekends and national holidays 10:00 – 18:00; Last entry 30 min. before closing.)

Where: Lagunasia (ラグナシア) at Laguna Ten Bosch (ラグーナテンボス) in Gamagori City (蒲郡市)

Access: A 15-minute free shuttle bus ride from Gamagori Station (蒲郡駅) on the JR Tokaido Line (JR 東海道本線). Shuttle buses depart every half hour from 8:00 until 22:30 from Stop 7. (Times may be subject to change; Check website.)

Admission: Adults (Junior HS students upwards) 2,150 Yen; Elementary school students 1,200 Yen; Children (age 3 and up) 700 Yen. Juraguna Passport (600 Yen) required for certain Juraguna attractions. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Circle K and Sunkus stores. Shakashaka Excavation Plaza 600 Yen extra.

Lagunasia website:

Juraguna event website: (Japanese)


◆Centrair Sky Story by NAKED – Mapping Illumination –
セントレアスカイストーリーbyネイキッド ~マッピングイルミネーション~

Photo courtesy of Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd.
Photo courtesy of Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd.

Centrair’s annual illumination this year is a collaboration with Ryotaro Muramatsu, CEO of NAKED Inc., producers of numerous projection mapping spectacles around Japan, and their first sensory illumination event in the Tokai region.
A grand tale of the wind, projected by 3D projection mapping onto a 3.8m-high book, will draw you into the world of the story. See the unfolding story of the spirit born of the seasonal winds from Mount Ibuki traveling around the world and meeting the many varied expressions of the sky, taking off from the sky over Centrair and encountering the Milky Way, the aurora, meteors, snow and more.

When: Until Thu. 31 Mar. (17:30 – 22:30; 18:00 – 22:30 from mid-Feb. [to be confirmed])

Where: Chubu International Airport Centrair Passenger Terminal Building 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)

Admission: Free



March 2016 Exhibitions
A selection of exhibitions at galleries and other venues
in and around Nagoya in March.


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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