The Half Year Purification Ritual

The Half Year Purification Ritual

The Half Year Purification Ritual (夏越しの祓, Nagoshi no Harae) is held throughout Japan in many Shinto shrines, on the last day of June or on the last day of July. Worshipers pass through the ring as an act of purification from misdeeds, impurities, or bad luck. The large sacred ring is made of miscanthus reeds and is called Chinowa (茅輪).

Here are some pictures of these curious and sacred rings.
Pictures taken on June 31, 2014.

  • Suetsugu Shrine

This shrine is located by the city hall, north of Lake Shinji.

Matsue City - Suetsugu Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae Suetsugu Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae

  • Tawara Shrine

The beautiful Tawara Shrine is located to the north of Matsue Castle.

Matsue City - Tawara Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae Tawara Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae - Matsue

  • Mefu Shrine

Mefu Shrine is located near Ohashi River, not too far from Matsue JR Station.

Matsue City - Mefu Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae

  • Metsuki Shrine

Located in Saika District, south of Matsue JR Station.

Metsuki Shrine - Half Year Purification Ritual - Nagoshi no Harae - MatsuePicture from Saika Community Center’s Facebook Page.

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Event information in Matsue – July/August/September 2014
Gessho-ji, The Hydrangea TempleJune 2014
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Event information in Matsue – July/August/September 2014

Event information in Matsue – July/August/September 2014

Here are the main events happening in Matsue for July/August/September 2014. You can also find them in the last issue of Matsue City Guide Newsletter. Stay tuned with Matsue City Guide on Facebook for more events and info.

/JULY/

  • Twilight Museumトワイライトミュージアム
    June 21 – September 15, at Shimane Art Museum

Shimane Art Museum - Twilight Museum - Lake Shinji - SunsetLocated along the shore of Lake Shinji, Shimane Art Museum is open until 30min after the sunset. This event gives visitor a chance to enjoy beautiful illuminations in the dimmed museum lobby in the twilight.

More info in Japanese here.

  • Tamatsukuri Onsen Summer Festival – 玉造温泉夏祭り
    Illumination: July 15 – Sept. 30. Live: July 19 – Aug. 31

Tamatsukuri Onsen Summer Festival - Matsue JapanThe hot spring area of Tamatsukuri Onsen will be illuminated with thousands of lanterns and candles, every night starting at 6:30pm. From July 19th to August 31, free concerts and traditional dances will be held from 8:15pm to 9:30pm.
Access: 25min walk south from Tamatsukuri Onsen Station. More info on about this event in Japanese: http://www.tama-onsen.jp/

  • Musket and Katana Performances 火縄銃と居合い切りEvery third Sunday, 11:00 and 14:00

Matsue Castle Rifle Troop (Matsue-jô Teppôtai 松江城鉄砲隊) performs rifle shooting at Matsue History Museum on a regular basis and this enthralling display is completely free of charge. You can watch it from inside Matsue History Museum, in Kiharu Cafe, while enjoying Matcha green tea and freshly made Wagashi Japanese confectionery.

Time : July 20 | August 17 | September 21

  • Tenjin-san Summer Festival 天神さん夏祭り
    July 24 (Thurs.), from 17:00 – July 25 (Fri.), from 18:30

Tenjin-san Summer Festival - Shirakata Tenmangu Shrine - Matsue JapanAlso called Tenjin-san, Shirakata Tenmangu Shrine holds this annual festival in which the ‘mikoshi’ (portable shrine) is carried in a lively fashion from Matsue Castle to the main shrine on Thursday.

The festival continues the next day all around the shrine area, with drum processions that children participate in.

/AUGUST/

  • Swim-Walking to Yomegashima歩いて渡る嫁ヵ島
    August 9 (Sat.), 8:30 to 12:00 (Y500, booking needed)

Swim-walking to Yomegashima island, Lake Shinji, Matsue, JapanPopular among children, this annual event attracts more than 200 participants who swim-walk to the sanctuary island of Yomegashima. Lake Shinji is only 160cm deep at the most in this area.

Please register by phone (0852-24-6521) or by e-mail (mspace@lime.ocn.ne.jp). More info on http://mizu-miyako.com/

  • Matsue Dandan Summer Dance松江だんだん夏踊り
    August 9 (Sat.), 14:00 to 20:00

Matsue Dandan Summer Dance (Natsu Odori)Started in 2007 to celebrate the 400 years of the beginning of the founding of Matsue, this giant dance event gathers several amateur dancing groups. The parade will start around Ohashi Bridge.

In the Izumo dialect, “dandan” means “thanks”!

  • Matsue Suigosai (Fireworks) – 松江水郷祭・花火大会
    August 9 and 10 (weekend)

Matsue Suigosai Fireworks - Lake Shinji - Yomegashima Island - JapanOne of the biggest fireworks of western Japan, Matsue Suigosai is held for two days over Lake Shinji. Many people wear yukata and enjoy thousands of fireworks between 20:00-20:30 on Saturday and 20:00-21:00 on Sunday. Dance events and other performances will be held on stage.

  • Toro-nagashi Floating Lantern Ceremony – 灯篭流し
    August 16 (Sat.), in the evening

Toro-nagashi Floating Lantern Ceremony - Ohashi River - Matsue JapanPaper lanterns (toro) are illuminated and then floated down Ohashi River, Matsue’s main river.

This ceremony marks the end of Obon, when the spirits of ancestors are said to revisit the household altars, so this event symbolizes the ancestral spirits’ return to the world of the dead.

  • Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Festival– お湯かけ地蔵まつり
    August 24 (Sun.), 18:00 – 22:00. Fireworks from 20:00

Matsue Shinjiko Onsen - Oyukake Jizo Matsuri - Matsue City JapanDedicated to Oyukake Jizo, the local hot spring deity of Matsue Shinjiko Onsen (northeast banks of Lake Shinji), this annual event consists of night illuminations, food stalls, free sake tasting and many other events. Fireworks start at 20:00.

More info on the Japanese website : http://www.matsue-yado.com/jizoufesta/

  • Iya Shrine Festival (Hokake Matsuri) – 穂掛祭り・揖屋神社
    August 28 (Thur.), from 19:00 (near Iya Station)

Iya Shrine Hokake Matsuri - Matsue - Japanese festivalTo pray for generous harvest and safety at sea, the god worshipped in Iya Shrine is paraded both on sea and on land. The land procession starts at 19:00. The celebrations include drums, mochi-maki (distribution of rice cakes) and fireworks. The crowd is also given sake in bamboo cups.

More pictures of this festival in our Facebook Album.

/SEPTEMBER/

  • Sada Shrine’s Gozakae Ritual御座替え神事・佐太神社
    September 24 (Wed.) and 25 (Thur.), in the evening

Matsue - Sanctuaire Sada - Sada Shin NohThis serious ritual is undertaken to purify the new rush mats upon which the tutelary deities of Sada Shrine (Important Cultural Property) are to sit. It consists of purification dances (first day) and celebration dances (second day) which include the famous UNESCO-registered Sada Shin Noh dances.

 

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More events and info on
Matsue City Guide Facebook Page
&
Visit-Matsue.com

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Gessho-ji, The Hydrangea Temple

Gessho-ji, The Hydrangea Temple

Here are some pictures of Gessho-ji Temple during the rainy season, when its 30,000 hydrangeas are in bloom. These pictures were taken on June 24th, 2014. Gessho-ji is one of the most beautiful and important temples of Matsue.

Learn more about Gessho-ji in our article:
Gessho-ji Temple, Hydrangea and Giant Tortoise

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Photographer by pond - June 2014 - Matsue

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Building - June 2014 - Matsue

 Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Forest - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Photographer - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Stairs - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - People - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Lanterns and hydrangea - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Photographers - June 2014 - Matsue

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Lord Fumai's Grave - June 2014 - Matsue

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Matsue Castle - June 2014 - Matsue

Matsue Castle, as seen from the grave of Lord Fumai (previous picture).

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Garden Contemplation - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Japanese Garden - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Zoom on Hydrangea - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Grave and Torii - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Lanterns - June 2014 - MatsueGessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Giant Turtoise - Matsue

Gessho-ji Hydrangea Temple - Naomasa Matsudaira - Matsue

Learn more about Gessho-ji in our article:
Gessho-ji Temple, Hydrangea and Giant Tortoise

* * *
All our articles about Matsue

Welcome to Matsue (homepage)

Have you ever heard of Matsue ?
Discounts for International Visitors

・What’s Hot? Ongoing and Upcoming Events・
Event information in Matsue – April/May/June 2014
Matsue City Guide Newsletter
Event Calendar

Matsue Castle

Cruising the Castle Town

Shiomi Nawate Street

Lafcadio Hearn, aka Koizumi Yakumo

Matsue History Museum

Gessho-ji Temple, Hydrangea and Giant Tortoise

Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum

Event information in Matsue – April/May/June 2014

Here are the main events happening in Matsue between April~June 2014.
You can also find them in the last issue of Matsue City Guide Newsletter.
Stay tuned with Matsue City Guide on Facebook for more events and info: http://www.facebook.com/visitmatsue

/APRIL/

  • Matsue Castle Festival – お城まつり
    From March 29th to April 15th

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.
>The castle tower will be open until later than usual (8:30~18:30) and nighttime illuminations will go until 21:00, making the entire castle grounds an enchanting place.
>A tea house will open for flower viewers, providing Matcha green tea and Sakura-mochi for 350 yen.
>Free samurai dress-up will be available on weekends (10:00~16:00).
>There will also be free stage performances, including guest vocalists (April 6th, 10:00~16:00), a Yasugibushi folk dance contest (April 12th, 11:00~16:00), and youth festival performances (April 13th, 10:00~16:00).
More info in Japanese here.

Matsue Castle Festival 2013Matsue Castle by night, Cherry Blossoms Festival

Matsue has many spots to enjoy flower viewing (花見 hanami, in Japanese).
Check out our FB photo album for more info.

  • Matsue Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade – 武者行列
    April 5th, 12:30~15:30

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, in Shimane Citizen Hall (Shimane Kenmin Kaikan).

Matsue Warrior Parade (Musha Gyoretsu)

  • Aofushigaki Ritual – 青柴垣神事
    April 7th (Monday), in Mihonoseki Harbour

Held in the early afternoon in Mihonoseki Harbour, this ritual re-enacts a famous episode of the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), written in 713. This solemn Shinto ritual is based on the “Transfer of the Land” myth (Kuniyuzuri Shinwa), that tells of Kotoshironushi disappearing from the visible world by going into the sea after he agreed to concede the lands.

  • Matsue Castle Rifle Troop Performances
    Every third Sunday, 11:00 and 14:00

Matsue Castle Rifle Troop (Matsue-jô Teppôtai 松江城鉄砲隊) performs rifle shooting at Matsue History Museum on a regular basis and this enthralling display is completely free of charge. You can watch it from inside the History Museum, in Kiharu Cafe, while enjoying Matcha green tea and freshly made Wagashi Japanese confectionary.

Tir a l'arquebuse devant le musée d'Histoire de Matsue.

Matsue Castle Rifle Troop in action.

Time : April 13th / May 18th / June 15th

  • Daikonshima Island Peony Festival – 大根島ぼたん祭り
    April 19th – May 6th

Peonies were first planted on Daikonshima roughly 300 years ago, and today, there are more than 350 varieties. There are varieties in bloom all year round at Yuushien Japanese Garden, but most are in bloom during this festival, and the whole island becomes of sea of color.

Peony Festival, Daikonshima Island, Matsue
Also, the pond at the garden will be filled with 30,000 peony blossoms from April 29th to May 6th. More info on Yuushien Japanese Garden
.

Yuushien Japanese Garden Peony Pond, Matsue/MAY/

  • Sada Shin Noh (Special exhibition) – 佐陀神能特別公演
    May 10th (Sat.) 20:00~21:00, ¥1,200

Sada Shin Noh is a collective term for the three kinds of dance performances done as part of the Gozakae Ritual of Sada Shrine. This ritual is September, but this special performance will display the dances of purification, theatrical dances borrowed from Noh theatre, and mythology based dances. This dance was added to the UNESCO List in 2011.

More info on Visit-Matsue.com

Matsue - Sanctuaire Sada - Sada Shin Noh

  • International Speech Contest in Japanese – 外国人による日本語弁論大会
    May 24th (Sat.), Plover Hall, Matsue City general culture center

The contest will commemorate the 110th anniversary of the death of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), a Greek-Irish writer and open-minded world-traveler. Having settled in Matsue as an English teacher in 1890, Hearn was one of the earliest and most prolific writers to reveal Japan to the western world in books such as ‘Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan’ or ‘Kwaidan’. He was one of the first westerners to attain Japanese citizenship and he is still known in Japan as Koizumi Yakumo.
Applications must be sent before April 10th.
Click on the following links for more info:
>http://www.jpf.go.jp/e/japanese/event/benron/
>http://www.iec-nichibei.or.jp/iec04_2.html

International Speech Contest in Japanese - Matsue, May 24th 2014

  • Arcadia on the Shore (Shimane Art Museum Special Exhibition)
    March 20th – June 16th

French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) is best known as a leading mural painter whose masterpieces are displayed on many monumental buildings in France. This exhibition, held at Shimane Art Museum, will be the first retrospective exhibition in Japan to offer a comprehensive introduction to the work of this artist.

More info on Shimane Art Museum English Website

Arcadia on the Shore (Shimane Art Museum Special Exhibition)  Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

/JUNE/

  • Yomegashima Island Lantern Illumination –六月の嫁ヶ島 万灯会
    June 14th (Sat)

Yomegashima Island Lantern Illumination - Lake Shinji - Matsue, Japan

/FLOWER CALENDAR – 花暦/

Matsue City Summer Flower Calendar

In June, don’t miss to visit Gessho-ji « Hydrangea » Temple!

More pictures in our photo album :
Matsue City Guide Facebook Page

***

More events and info on
Matsue City Guide Facebook Page
Visit-Matsue.com Official Sightseeing Website

🙂

Event information in Matsue – January/February/March 2014

Event information in Matsue – January/February/March 2014

Here are the main events happening in Matsue between January~March 2014.
You can also find them in the last issue of Matsue City Guide Newsletter:
http://www.city.matsue.shimane.jp/micc/important/en.html#event

Matsue City Guide Newsletter is an English guide that aims at helping visitors of Matsue City with how to spend their time in town and make sure that they don’t miss out on events. You can also find a paper version in town. Stay tuned with Matsue City Guide on Facebook for more events and info: http://www.facebook.com/visitmatsue

Matsue City Guide Newsletter - 5th Issue (Winter 2014) - English Cover

Matsue City Guide Newsletter – Cover of Issue N5 – Winter 2014

/JANUARY/

  • Yuushien Garden – World Class Collaboration
    From January 18th (Sat.) to March 31st (Sun.)

This winter, the Japanese garden of Yuushien (由志園) welcomes two renowned masters of Garden Design, Nico Wissing (Netherlands) and Kazuyuki Ishihara (Japan), to offer you a world class collaboration event.

Yuushien Japanese Garden

Picture of the event held inside the Peony House of Yuushien

At this time of year, Yuushien is also blessed with beautiful winter peonies (寒牡丹 kan-botan), gracefully protected from snow by a small, delicate thatched roof.

Yuushien Winter Peony

Winter Peony of Yuushien Gadern

Finally, note that Yuushien recently opened a museum dedicated to ginseng (雲州人参 Unshu Ninjin), the medicinal grade root of which the island of Daikonshima has been famous for for centuries.

>Admission Fee (Access to garden & special event): ¥500 for international visitors. >Hours: Open daily, 10:00 to 17:30.
>Access by bus from JR Matsue Station: City bus bound to Yatsuka-cho, or Ichibata bus bound to Sakaiminato. Map: http://goo.gl/maps/xvdZT
>Official HP: http://www.yuushien.com/yuushien/

  • Matsue Castle Rifle Troop Performances
    Every third Sunday, 11:00 and 14:00

Matsue Castle Rifle Troop (Matsue-jô Teppôtai 松江城鉄砲隊) performs rifle shooting at Matsue History Museum on a regular basis and this enthralling display is completely free of charge. You can watch it from inside the History Museum, in Kiharu Cafe, while enjoying Matcha green tea and freshly made Wagashi Japanese confectionary.

Tir a l'arquebuse devant le musée d'Histoire de Matsue.

Matsue Castle Rifle Troop in action.

Time : January 19th, February 16th, March 16th

  • Iwami Kagura Dance
    January 26th (Sun.), from 14:00

Lively dances originally dedicated to Shinto gods, now also practiced as folk entertainment, Kagura dances (神楽) boast magnificent costumes and stirring music. Kagura from the Iwami area is certainly one of the most impressive Kagura nationwide. Don’t miss this event on stage!

Iwami Kagura in Matsue

Iwami Kagura in Matsue – Poster

>Place: Plover Hall (south of Matsue Station). Map: http://goo.gl/maps/13XH2
>Fee: Reserved seat ¥4,000 (presale ¥3,500). Free seat ¥3,000 (presale ¥2,500)

/FEBRUARY/

  • Matsue Dandan Food Festival (Dandan Shoku Festa)
    February 1st (Sat.) – 28th (Fri.)

Matsue’s main winter event, the annual Dandan Food Festival (だんだん食フェスタ) gives you the opportunity to savour a variety of delicacies made from local ingredients at various locations throughout the city. The biggest events are the three Sunday markets occuring during the festival. Many other events will also take place in several locations. Get a ¥1,000 sheet of tickets worth ¥1,100, which you can use during festival events to try a variety of vendors’ hot cuisine.

Matsue Dandan Shoku Festa

Matsue Dandan Shoku Festa 2014 – Poster

Sunday markets are as follows:
-Feb. 2nd (10:30-15:00), JR Matsue Station, north side
-Feb. 9th (11:00-15:00), Kyomise shopping district area
-Feb. 16th (11:00-15:00), Shirakata Shrine area

Don’t miss the crab themed event (Kanigoya 蟹小屋) held daily in East of Matsue Central Post Office by Ohashi River. 11:00 to 22:00  (closes between 14:00 and 17:00 except weekends)

/MARCH/

  • Irish Festival in Matsue
    March 9th (Sun.), street parade from 12:00

As the first Japanese home of Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn, Matsue has close ties with Ireland and celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with an annual parade and an Irish pub in Karakoro Art Studio, where live music can be enjoyed. An exhibition on Lafcadio Hearn and New Orleans – Matsue’s frienship city since 1994 – is also held at Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum.

Irish Parade in Matsue - Parade de la St Patrick

Irish Festival in Matsue

  • Izumo Bunraku – Nihon Furisode Hajime
    March 9th (Sun.), from 14:00

Ranking with Noh and Kabuki as one of Japan’s foremost stage arts, Bunraku – or Ningyo Johruri – is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre that blends narrative song, instrumental accompaniment and puppet drama. Bunraku is registered on the Representative List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Bunraku in Matsue

Bunraku – Puppet theater in Matsue

>Fee: ¥3,000
>Place: Shimane Civic Center (Kenmin Kaikan)
>Map: http://goo.gl/maps/0jtN9

/Coming soon – Spring 2014 Events/

Tamatsukuri Onsen - Hanami

Cherry Blossoms (hanami) – March/April

Matsue Castle Festival

Matsue Castle Festival – March/April

Matsue Warrior Parade (Musha Gyoretsu)

Matsue Warrior Parade « Musha Gyoretsu » – April 5th (Sun.)

Peony Festival (Daikonshima Island)

Peony Festival(Daikonshima Island)

More events and info in our Facebook Page: Matsue City Guide

And in Matsue City Official Sightseeing Website: Visit-matsue.com

🙂