• The festivals of Saga's photo

The festivals of Saga

Karatsu City, Kashima City, Imari City


Floats parade through town during the Karatsu Kunchi Festival.

Kunchi means “autumn festival” in the Kyushu dialect of Japanese. One such festival is the Karatsu Kunchi festival of the Karatsu Shrine, which is the largest in the Karatsu area. It is held from the 2nd to the 4th of November every year. Highlights include the floats known as hikiyama, modeled in shapes such as red or blue lions, sea bream, helmets, and dragon boats, which signify good luck in Japan. Drawn by groups of men, the hikiyama floats parade through the town streets. When they all shout Enya! Enya! in unison, the commotion whips the men into a frenzy. If you can only visit briefly, the third day of the event is probably best, since the town comes alive with the greatest energy on that day.

  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo

A mud-spattered Olympics held on tidal mudflats!

One early summer tradition of Saga Prefecture is the Kashima City festival known as the Kashima Gatalympics. This sports festival sees a variety of sporting events held on the mud-covered tidal flats. It’s just like a sports carnival, where adults and children can together enjoy events such as a treasure hunt, an obstacle course, and riding wooden boards along the tidal mudflats. Applications for participation are open until mid-April the same year. Anyone can enter, so if you have no problem getting covered with mud, you might like to join in when you travel to Saga.

  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo

The Toriou Festival, a men’s fire festival, is the pride of Saga.

Speaking of Saga’s odd festivals, one such is this famous men’s fire festival. One group of participants attacks the other group with fiercely burning torches, while the defenders brandish sacred sakaki branches to ward off the sparks. They fight this fierce battle to win rice balls made with new rice. This festival first came about when a warlord who had lost a battle started training with fire. The sparks dancing in the darkness and the shouts of men lend a strange air to the grounds of the Kaminohara Hachimangu Shrine. Once seen, this mystical fire festival will not be forgotten.

  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo
  • The festivals of Saga's photo

For reference

Karatsu Kunchi Festival

  • Address
    3-13 Minamijonai, Karatsu-shi, Saga-ken (Karatsu Shrine)

  • Telephone
    0955-72-4963 (Karatsu Tourist Association)

  • Date held
    November 2 to 4

  • URL


Kashima Gatalympics

  • Address
    4427-6 Otonari-ko, Kashima-shi, Saga-ken (Kashima Nanaura Seaside Sports Park)
  • Telephone
    0954-69-6115 (Kashima Gatalympics Executive Committee)
  • Dates held
    Held in early summer every year (date changes each year)
  • URL



Toriou Festival

  • Address
    Niricho Ozato-otsu, Imari-shi, Saga-ken (Kaminohara Hachimangu)
  • Telephone
    0955-23-3024 (Niri Community Center)
  • Dates held
    First “Day of the Hare” every December (according to the Chinese zodiac)

Access

Karatsu Kunchi Festival
  • Saga Airport is a 90-minute flight from Haneda Airport.
  • Saga Station is 30 minutes by limousine bus from Saga Airport.
  • Karatsu Station is 70 minutes via the JR Karatsu Line from Saga Station.
Kashima Gatalympics
  • Saga Airport is a 90-minute flight from Haneda Airport.
  • Saga Station is 30 minutes by limousine bus from Saga Airport.
  • Hizen-Nanaura Station is 45 minutes via the JR Nagasaki Main Line from Saga Station.
A shuttle bus service runs from Hizen-Nanaura Station to the venue
Toriou Festival
  • Saga Airport is a 90-minute flight from Haneda Airport.
  • Saga Station is 30 minutes by limousine bus from Saga Airport.
  • Arita Station is 40 minutes via the Limited Express Midori service from Saga Station.
Imari Station is 25 minutes via the Matsuura railway line from Arita Station.
The venue is about 10 minutes by taxi from Imari Station.

Map

Share this info

Related Destinations

  • Yobuko squid
    Yobuko squid

    Karatsu

  • Yoshinogari Ruins
    Yoshinogari Ruins

    Kanzaki-gun

  • Takeo City Library
    Takeo City Library

    Takeo City

  • Farmhouse stays
    Farmhouse stays

    Kanzaki-gun

  • Arita ware porcelain
    Arita ware porcelain

    Arita-cho

  • Okawachiyama (Nabeshima ware & Imari ware)
    Okawachiyama (Nabeshima ware & Imari ware)

    Imari City

  • Saga International Balloon Fiesta
    Saga International Balloon Fiesta

    Saga City

  • Saga Airport
    Saga Airport

    Saga City