Here are the main events in Matsue during Summer. Please find the other events in Event Calendar.
- Tamatsukuri Onsen Summer Festival – 玉造温泉夏まつり
From mid-July to the end of September.
Held in Tamatsukuri Onsen hot springs area, this annual summer festival consists of daily stage events and food stands. The stages are outside surrounding the Tamayu River, and performances range from music concerts to traditional dances, like Yasugibushi. At night, the area around the river is illuminated with decorative lanterns.
- Matsue Suigosai Fireworks Festival – 松江水郷際
Final weekend of July or first weekend of August
One of the biggest events in the City of Water, Matsue Suigosai is held over two days in the city centre by Lake Shinji’s shore. Many people wearing yukata and jinbei will enjoy the surface of the lake lit up by thousands of fireworks, while dance events and other performances are held on stage by Matsue City Hall. There are also many food stalls. Fireworks are usually from 20:00 to 20:30 on Saturday, and from 20:00 until 21:00 on Sunday, with a total of around 90,000 fireworks.
- Obon Floating Lantern Festival (Toro-nagashi) – 灯篭流し
Every year on August 16th
Paper lanterns are sent floating down Ohashi River, Matsue’s main river. Symbolizing the ancestral spirits’ return to the world of the dead. This Buddhist ceremony marks the end of Obon, when the spirits of ancestors are said to revisit household altars. Many people come and watch the ceremony from Matsue Ohashi Bridge and surrounding riverbanks.
- Oyukake Jizo Festival – お湯かけ地蔵まつり
Every year on August 24th
This festival, dedicated to the local hot spring deity named Oyukake Jizo, takes place in the hot springs area of Matsue Shinjiko Onsen. Come by and pour hot water over the Jizo statue before watching the fireworks over Lake Shinji. Fireworks are usually between 20:00 and 20:30. There is also a lot of food stalls. URL : Oyukake Jizo Festival (jp).
- Iya Shrine’s Ho-kake Matsuri – 揖屋神社穂掛祭
Every year on August 28th
Iya Shrine is located in eastern Matsue, by Lake Nakaumi (easy access from Higashi Matsue Station). An important ritual is held there, both on sea and land, to pray for generous harvests and safety at sea. The god worshipped is first brought in a Mikoshi (portable shrine) on a boat to reach a sacred place before returning to the shrine. The land procession starts at 19:00. The celebrations includes awesome Kagura dances on a stage next to the shrine, Mochi-maki (distribution of pounded steam rice cakes), Japanese drums and fireworks. Also, the crowd is given super yummy sake in bamboo cups. So many reasons not to miss that really nice matsuri!
- Sada Shrine Gozakae Ritual – 御座替神事
Every year on September 24th and 25th
This ritual is undertaken to purify the new rush mats upon which the tutelary deities of Sada Shrine are to sit. Another round of dances follows on the second day, including Sada Shin Noh, which was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2011. Created in the early 15th century, these dances have been handed down from generation to generation and are thought to have given its contemporary structure and content to the Kagura dances that today thrive in Shimane culture.