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This month's folk festivals

Obon/Obon Vacation

"Obon" is a Japanese traditional summer event held every year. If Oshogatsu/New Year's is the winter festival, the summer festival would be Obon.  People believe that their ancestors' spirits come back to their homes to be reunited with their family during Obon.  For this reason, Obon is an important family gathering time, and many people return to their hometowns.  Many people take a long break from work during Obon, but this year's Obon is exceptional due to the Tohoku Earthquake.  The traditional obon period is around the 14th of August, but people take vacations at different times.  Some might take vacation at the beginning of August or others at the end of August.  So, we have put together events information that covers the entire month of August.  For the early Obon vacationers, we recommend these summer festivals below.

Kiryu Yagibusi Festival (PDF/164KB)

Kiryu Yagibusi Festival

For Kiryu residents, the Yagibushi Festival is one of the biggest events in summer. The festival features yagibushi dancing (see the youtube movie below), Mikoshi/portable altars, and parades. People not only from Kiryu but also from other cities enjoy this festival. On August 6th Saturday, there is a "yukata dressing event" at the Kiryu textile memorial building (For reservation and fees → 0277-43-2244 Kiryu Orimono Club)

Yagibushi Dance on you tube

Date August 5th (Friday) - August 7th (Sunday)
Venue down town Kiryu
Contact 0277-46-1111

Ojima Neputa Festival

Neputa, lanterns featuring a large picture of Samurai, will be held high in the starry sky accompanied by the powerful sound of Japanese drums. The festival takes place along the street of Ojima 1 cho-me to the Kameoka shrine. The street will be blocked just for this event.

Date August 14th -15th, 2011
Opening ceremony 18:40-
Neputa Parade 19:00-
Venue Ojima Main Shopping Street (Route 354) MAP(PDF/1.38MB)
Contact 0276-47-1833

2011 August Gunma Summer Events in PDF file

Other Events

Ikaho Flower Stage

Ikaho's stone steps will be decorated beautifully with flowers.  As part of the Gunma Destination Campaign, Ikaho is ready to welcome their guests.  Also, if you spend a night at a "ryokan" in Ikaho,  admission to Ikaho Green Bokujo or farm will be free until December 31st, 2011.  Please ask for more information at the reception counter of the ryokan.

Date - September 4th Sunday
Venue Flower Stage MAP
Contact 0279-22-2111

Yukemuri Japanese Drum Show

This event will be held in front of the Yubatake, the source of the hot springs and the symbol of Kusatsu. People enjoy listening to the Japanese drums and why not try playing them as well.

Date - September 30th (Friday) 14:15 -14:45
Venue Kusatsu Onsen (in front of Yubatake)
Fees 500 Yen for Adults, 300 Yen for Children
Contact 090-8878-5748 (Japanese only)

Access to Major Sightseeing Spots in Gunma in PDF file

Snow in the middle of summer in Kezoji Park

Snow in the middle of summer in Kezoji Park

People love the idea of having snow in the middle of the scorching hot summer. Using a generator, it will snow 2 times a day during weekdays and 4 times a day on the weekends (Gunma DC Special).

Date August 3rd (Saturday) -21st (Sunday)
Venue Kezoji Park (Isesaki-shi Kezoji-machi 1 banchi)
Contact 0270-25-4478

"Family Fun" - the Last Summer Tour

"Family Fun" - the Last Summer Tour

This is a special plan offered at the end of summer vacations featuring treasure hunting, outdoor activities and Goemon style bathing. There will be a tour guide and an outdoor instructor who will help you enjoy this tour to the fullest. After the fun activities, there will be a Japanese style BBQ for lunch.

Date August 25th (Thursday)
Venue Onishi Youth Outdoor Education Center MAP
Tour Guide Only in Japanese
Contact Canoeing
BBQ for lunch
Cycling in the forest
Treasure Hunting
Goemon style bathing experience
Contact 027-243-7271

Please see the file below for more information. (PDF/225KB)