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Hirado Flounder FestivalHirado is known as one of the nation's top producers of natural flounder. During the festival, this local favorite can be enjoyed at selected restaurants and hotels at a specially reduced price. The largest flounder hauled in and delivered to the nearby market often measure around the size of a floor cushion. Get a bite of this meaty Hirado seafood during its most delicious season!
Nomozaki Daffodil FestivalThe Nomozaki Narcissus Festival is held annually in Suisen-no-Sato Park, in the Nomozaki district at the tip of the Nagasaki Peninsula. The slightly elevated park offers a great view of the beautiful ocean surrounding Nomozaki and the island of Hashima (also known as Gunkanjima, or 'Battleship Island'), amid the splendor of around 10 million daffodils in full bloom. The scent of the daffodils, which is carried on the salty sea breeze, has been chosen as one of the "100 Scents of Japan" by the Ministry of the Environment. The festival is a feast for the eyes and the nose!
Shimabara Castle Town HinameguriEvery year on March 3rd, Japanese people decorate their homes with traditional dolls to celebrate Girl's Day, also known as "Hinamatsuri" (the Dolls Festival) or "Momo-no-Sekku" (Peach Festival). Peaches symbolise perpetual youth and longevity, and in Nagasaki during this season you can find peach-shaped versions of the popular Nagasaki cake, 'Castella'. Residents and shops in Shimabara City mark the festival by setting out their treasured ornaments dressed in Heian-court outfits. So, come and get a glimpse of them while you stroll around the castle town of Shimbara, also known for its delicious food, hot springs and an abundance of fascinating historical sites.
Unzen Hikari-no-Hanabouro Illuminations (Light displays and fireworks)The Unzen Hikari-no-Hanabouro is an event themed around the hanabouro, flower-like hoarfrost that forms on the trees and plants. The streets and the sidewalk trees of this onsen town are decorated with dazzling lights.
During the event season, firework displays are held on Saturday evenings from 9:30pm. Enter a magical world of hot-spring steam mixed with the illuminations below and the fireworks above in the peaceful night sky.
Kujuku Islands Oyster Festival - Winter Edition -500 grills with seating for 2000 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 winter delicacy in the great outdoors.
Goto Camellia FestivalGoto is well-known as a natural habitat for camellias, and the people of the islands have a long history of integrating this flower into their lives. The Goto Camellia Festival allows visitors to experience winter on the islands with the camellia in full bloom. Food vendors and souvenir shops will be available at the Goto Umakamon-Ichi Market during the opening of the festival. Viewing tours venturing into the natural camellia forests will be held as well.
Burning of the fields of Kawachi-tôge Pass Every year, Hirado heralds the coming of spring by burning the grass fields of the Kawachi- tôge pass, and area of around 30 hectares. Locals flock to the pass to witness the unique spectacular of the flaming fields. The Kawachi-tôge Pass also offers a panoramic view of the Ninety-nine Islands, the beginning of the Genkai Sea and Iki and Tsushima Islands.
Festivitas Natalis (Christmas Festival) in Kita ArimaAbout 400 years ago in Kita Arima for the first time in Japan, a secondary education school called “Seminario of Arima” was instituted by the Jesuit missionaries. The main theme of Festivitas Natalis is the celebration of the relationship between Japan and Europe based on the Christian history that flourished in Kita Arima in the 16th century. Japan’s tallest Christmas trees (two trees, each 30 meters high) are placed at the venue to create a warm Christmas atmosphere through their colorful lights and decorations.
This event proudly celebrates the memory of the cultural exchange between Japan and Europe, where Christianity spread even before it reached Nagasaki City’s Dejima Port.
Unzen Steam KotatsusTreat your feet to a steam kotatsu
During February, if you feel cold while you are exploring Unzen, you can heat yourself back up with a special steam "kotatsu" in the heart of the Unzen hells.
A kotatsu is a heated table with a thick blanket under which you can warm your legs. They can be found in homes across Japan throughout the cold winters! In Unzen, the boundless natural steam provides the heat from below a wooden deck.
Come and enjoy this traditional Japanese winter comfort with a twist!
Huis Ten Bosch - Kingdom of LightIlluminated installations made from over 13 million lightbulbs, the world's largest such display, with added entertainment.
Huis Ten Bosch welcomes you to the Kingdom of Light - crowned as one of the three major illumination sites of Japan and No.1 in the National Illumination Ranking General Entertainmet Category for four consecutive years since 2013.
"Church Week in Kamigoto" Church ConcertsTwo hundred and fifty years of persecution could not douse the flames of devotion as shown by the twenty-nine churches that now stand on the islands that comprise Shinkamigoto Town today. In December, the churches light up with colourful illuminations at dusk in celebration of the festive season. Shinkamigoto also plays host to Church Week - a week of evening concert performances hosted at a few selected churches every year before Christmas. Professional performers are invited to the island and grace the audience with Christian classics. No matter your religion, this celebration is bound to move listeners as they bask in the music that fill the halls of these churches that are living testament to the suffering and strength of the Christian faith in Nagasaki. This period is also an opportune time to visit a World Heritage Site contender - Kashiraga Island Church - one of the twenty-nine churches on the island.
New Year's Eve along Temple Street in Nagasaki CityJoya no Kane is the traditional Japanese Buddhist practice of ringing temple bells beginning on the eve of New Year's Day. Bells are rung 108 times through to the early hours of New Year's Day. Along Nagasaki City's Teramachi-dori, a street filled with temples, the sounds of bells ringing and the festive mood fill the air on the last day of the year. Temples offer a variety of foods like soba noodles, mochi rice cakes, zenzai, matcha, and even sake.* Check the schedule to find out what each temple offers! We have attached a handy English map with details for the Nakashimagawa and Teramachi Area.
*Seating is limited so be sure to go early. Each temple offers different services.