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Shimabara Castle Takigi Noh (Bonfire Noh) There is an extensive history and culture of Noh theatre in Shimabara City. In order to protect and nurture this tradition, Shimabara Castle Bonfire Noh was revived in 1983, allowing the colorful culture of the Genroku period (late 17th – early 18th century) to be experienced once again.
Yosakoi Sasebo FestivalThis is the largest Yosakoi dance festival in Kyushu, and has the stated aim of ‘making spectators and participants want to return to Sasebo to watch and dance again’. Teams gather from all over Japan and perform their high-energy dances at locations around the city.
Maruyama Hana Festival (Maruyama Women's Festival)Location: Umezono Migawari Tenmangu and surrounding area
This event brings to life the bygone days of Maruyama, formerly one of the three largest geisha districts (hanamachi) in Japan, with traditional dances and a procession of courtesans through the streets. The festival also features an onnamikoshi, a portable shrine carried strictly by women only.
Doya Tanada (Rice Terrace) FestivalA magical scene emerges from Doya Tanada's rice terraces, as some 2,600 lanterns, set on the ridges between the rice fields, are lit up. It is so magical that time seems to stop for a moment; the sun sets on the ocean just beyond the terraces, creating a beam of reflection and painting the entire field of vision into a world of nothing but gold and orange.
Kujukushima Oyster Festival - Fall Edition - 400 grills with seating for 1600 are set up on the open grassy area at the Saikai Pearl Sea Resort. What makes the oysters in this region so delicious is the area's deeply-indented ria coastline, which affords them plenty of nutrients. The scent from the grills mixes with the salty sea breeze, creating a perfect atmosphere to enjoy this classic seasonal delicacy in the great outdoors.
Nagasaki Kunchi / OkunchiNagasaki Kunchi is a vibrant, energetic festival, celebrating the local deity worshipped at Suwa Shrine, with a history stretching back some 370 years.
The performances at this event, which have been designated as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan, include not only Japanese folk dances but also vivid evidence of the longstanding intercultural exchange that Nagasaki is famous for, in the form of Chinese-influenced dragon dances, Western elements like the Dutch Ship and the Dutch Comedies, and many more. This Nagasaki festival is truly unique!
Dream & Handcraft Festival in KazusaThe Food Exhibition and the tasting and sale of local agricultural and fishery products are the main features of this event that attracts many visitors each year. Stage events include performances from kindergarten pupils, a lottery offering attractive prizes and a mascot show which all add to the festive atmosphere. The local council also organizes a tug of war competition.
Breweries Tour Festival in ArieThe town of Arie in Minami-Shimabara has flourished since the old times whilst being known as the “place of the village headman”. Arie’s sake & miso breweries, somen noodle factories and brick factories are part of the town’s industrial heritage. Many shrines, temples and Christian tombstones found in this area prove its historical heritage. All in all, this town preserves an old and nostalgic atmosphere where you can experience a time slip.
The aim of the “Breweries Tour Festival in Arie” is to hand down this heritage to future generations whilst revitalizing the local economy. This event features fresh made sake tasting, a display of the girl’s festival doll decorations in spring and a classical concert in autumn, a tour of the breweries and their gardens, treasure hunting, a lottery and more.
Sea Bream Fishing Competition in KazusaEvery year in October a traditional fishing event is held in Kazusa, with a history that dates back decades. The participants compete in pole-and-line fishing as an act of showing one’s arm strength. The event is held offshore between the Tachibana Bay and Hayasaki channel area using live shrimp as bait to catch sea bream. Participants have the chance to win delicious fish and other prizes. One of the most attractive things about this competition is that the organizers provide the bait and fishing tools, so anyone can easily participate.
Industrial Festival in FukaeThis festival features a rokubei (local specialty of noodles made with sweet potatoes) eating competition, street performances, and other fun activities especially for families.
Food stalls sell local specialties and produce at discounted prices. There is also a free tasting corner for kuruma ebi (Japanese tiger prawn), Nagasaki Beef and rokube. On stage, there are scheduled performances throughout the day. Don't forget to pick up bingo sheets for the bingo competition and stand a chance to win great prizes!
Misogoro Festival in Nishi ArieIn each region of the Shimabara Peninsula many legends about giants have been told. The story about the kind and friendly giant Misogoro is one of them. A statue of Misogoro, made following the descriptions of this old tale passed down through the centuries, is the main feature of this festival. The statue is carried on a truck and is displayed in a parade that goes down the old shopping street of Nishi Arie. Other features include: stalls selling local fresh vegetables and fish, food, somen noodle tasting, somen noodle sculptures exhibitions, rice skimming competitions, mochi (rice bun) throwing, a lottery, and karaoke competitions.
Konpira Park Festival in FutsuThe Konpira Shrine was constructed to pray for the safe voyage of boats, and the tranquility of the sea enroute. Before the Second World War, local annual events took place at Konpira Park. After the war these events got canceled, however in 1995 thanks to volunteers they have come back into being. In 1970 this area was nominated as a Prefectural Natural Park and selected as one of the top 10 views on the Shimabara Peninsula. During this festival you can enjoy taiko (traditional Japanese percussion) performances and participate in karaoke competitions. Stalls sell local fresh fish and vegetables, as well as konpira manju (a bun filled with a sweet bean paste). This festival takes place twice a year, in Spring and in Autumn.