Here are the main events in Matsue during Spring. Please find the other events in Event Calendar.
- Matsue Castle Festival – お城まつり
From the end of March to mid-April
Matsue Castle is one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Matsue, and while they are in bloom there is a festival held on the castle grounds. You can enjoy stage performances, like impressive Kagura dances or drum concerts, for free on weekends. The castle tower is also open until later than usual and night-time illuminations make the entire castle grounds an enchanting place.
- Matsue Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade – 松江武者行列
First Saturday of April
This annual event celebrates the founding of Matsue by re-enacting the symbolic entrance of Lord Horio Yoshiharu and his troops to his newly built castle town. Participants parade through Matsue in warrior armour, elegant kimono, and other outfits reminiscent of the early Edo period. In case of rain, the event may be held indoors (STIC Building by the temple area of Teramachi, central Matsue). URL: Matsue Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade (jp)
- Aofushigaki Ritual – 青柴垣神事
Every year on April 7th
Held in the early afternoon at Mihonoseki Harbour, the Aofushigaki Ritual re-enacts a famous episode of the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), written in 713 and regarded as one of the most important records of the early history of Japan. This solemn Shinto ritual is based on the “Transfer of the Land Myth” (Kuni-yuzuri Shinwa), that tells of Kotoshironushi disappearing from the visible world by going into the sea after he agreed to concede the lands to the sun goddess, Amaterasu. Kotoshironushi, also known as Ebisu, is the son of Okuninushi, worshipped at Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine on the other side of the Shimane Peninsula.
- Horan-enya Ritual – ホーランエンヤ
May, once every 10 years (May 2019)
One of the top three boat festivals of Japan, Horan-enya has been celebrated since the Edo era. A procession of boats protects the boat carrying the deity from Jozan Inari Shrine all the way down the Ohashi River to Adakaya shrine, the most flamboyant of which are five “Kaidenma-sen.” The crews decorate these boats in unique and traditional styles, and the rowers chant while dancers in bright Kabuki makeup and costumes dance with batons and oars on either end of the boat. The festival lasts nine days both on land and on the water takes a year to prepare. You can visit the Horan-enya Memorial Hall located next to Matsue History Museum to experience a small taste of this festival at any other time.