Seasonal Events

4月
Early April
Beppu City

Beppu Hatto Hot Spring Festival

This event featuring festive floats and a parade celebrates the region's richness in onsen springs. The city's communal baths will be open for free of charge during the festival period. The Ogiyama Fire Festival is held simultaneously and features a spectacular display of flames on a mountain foothill rising up into the night sky.

Early April
Taketa City

Oka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival

This festival features a daimyo procession reenactment based on historical accounts. The march takes place from Oka Castle Ruins, selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites, all the way to Taketa's old castle town. With all the armed warriors marching and a performance put on by the matchlock artillery battery, it is as if you have traveled back in time to the Sengoku era in Japanese history.

5月
Early May
Kusu Town

Japan Fairy Tale Festival

This event has taken place for over half a century in Kusu, the birthplace of Kurushima Takehiko, also known as "the Japanese Hans Christian Andersen," It is specifically designed for children, and it features jumbo koinobori carp streamers for their entertainment.

Early May
Kitsuki City

Kitsuki Castle Festival

The largest event of Kitsuki City is the Kitsuki Castle Festival, which features a reenactment of a daimyo procession and an oiran dochu courtesan procession. It is as if you have traveled back in time to the Edo period.

Late May
Hita City

Hita Kawabiraki Tourism Festival

The largest event in Hita City, the Hita Kawabiraki Tourism Festival, occurs just before the summer. The festivity features over 10,000 rounds of fireworks for over two consecutive days to celebrate the beginning of sweetfish fishing season. The sound of rockets flaring throughout the entire basin is both touching and moving.

7月
Mid July
Usuki City

Usuki Gion Festival

Held since 1643, the historic Usuki Gion Festival features owatari and okaeri processions enshrining three Shinto deities and two parade floats among others. This event of magnificence and tradition is quite fitting of Usuki, as it was once a castle town in years past.

Mid July
Tsukumi City

Tsukumi Minato Festival

The Tsukumi Minato Festival is an iconic event in this particular region. It features Soiya Tsukumi, a citywide dance session, and the staple of the event, nighttime fireworks in the summer sky with 4,000 rounds of rockets. This festivity is not something to be missed - especially during the launching of last 100 rounds, including one of the largest fireworks in all of Kyushu.

Late July
Beppu City

Beppu Early Summer Festival

One of the most iconic summer events in Beppu, Beppu Early Summer Festival features a bon dance session in the evening and a colorful display of fireworks in the night sky. Yatai street vendors will be out at the Yatai Mura on the premises to provide you with food to go alongside the entertainment as well.

Late July
Nakatsu City

Nakatsu Gion

With 580 years of history, the historic Nakatsu Gion features 12 Gion carts with dancers onboard and 2 festive floats that parade through the old castle town of Nakatsu. Witnessing men maneuver dazzlingly decorated carts measuring about 5 meters in height is an impressive sight.

Late July
Hita City

Hita Gion Festival

The Hita Gion Festival is one of the region's summer traditions that has 300 years of history. In an effort to invoke health and safety from natural disasters, ornamental festival floats parade through the streets of Mameda Town to the rhythm of traditional Gion music. A night hour procession follows with another set of floats beautifully lit with toro lanterns as well.

Late July
Kitsuki City

Tenjin Festival

This summer festivity with over 300 years of tradition is one of the largest in the city. Numerous ornamental floats parade boldly through the city streets. On the night of the final day, the floats clash with one another and battle it out as the event comes to a fierce and dramatic climax.

Late July
Usa City

Usa Summer Festival

This is the largest festival hosted by Usa Jingu Shrine. A procession takes place as ornamental floats enshrining three Shinto deities are joined by total of 250 followers. The march begins on the first day departing from the highest ranking main sanctum headed to a lower ranking sanctum some distance down the road. On the final day, the procession returns from there to the main sanctuary. Accompanied by fireworks, the festivity is quite majestic and splendid.

8月
Early August
Oita City

Oita Tanabata Festival

The city's shopping/restaurant district gets a lavish make-over and it is as if each establishment is competing for a Tanabata décor beauty crown. The Festival features many events at the Festival Square: Funai Pacchin, Chikirin Bayashi dance, taiko drum competition, and more. Fireworks are the finale of this summer festivity.

Mid August
Himeshima Village

Himeshima Bon Odori

Children from Himeshima entertain the crowd with their humorous costumes and act in Kitsune Odori. Aya Odori, on the other hand, displays an interesting contrast between a rough style of dancing by men and a much more gracious style of dancing by women. There are many traditional dance performances to see here, from those traditional ones mentioned above to a new dance style created and performed here at the event every year.

Late August
Tsukumi City

Tsukumi Traditional Fan Dance

The Tsukumi Traditional Fan Dance has 450 years of history. It is characterized by the nice contrast between the gracious movement of traditional sensu fans and the courageous depiction of a war going on simultaneously.

10月
Early October
Kitsuki City

Kitsuki Moon-Viewing Festival

Spectators at this event are sure to be ushered into an ethereal dimension as the moonlight mixes together with the lights from the paper lanterns reflect off of old samurai residences and stone-paved slopes. Tea ceremonies are also held at the samurai residences as traditional music from koto and shakuhachi softly play in the background.

Mid October
Kunisaki City

Kebesu Festival

Kebesu is one of the most bizarre and unusual ritual festivities in the country. A fire battle takes place between a strange creature in a mask called Kebesu and another called Touba wrapped in a white shroud. As Kebesu tries to charge into the flames, Touba will try to keep it from happening. The local belief is that it brings good health when a spectator is hit by sparks from the fire.

Mid October
Hita City

Onta Folk Pottery Festival

Established 300 years ago, Onta ware is a traditional pottery making method only achieved by the bare hands of skilled craftsmen. This method has been closely guarded in this family from generation to generation. Their new lines of ceramics are only available at the 10 shop locations of each kiln.

Late October
Oita City

Oita International Wheelchair Marathon

Commemorating the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981, The Oita International Wheelchair Marathon began as the world's first-ever independent international wheelchair competition. Now an official event of the International Paralympic Committee, it has become one of the largest wheelchair marathons in the world.

11月
Early November
Usuki City

Usuki Takeyoi

Some 20,000 bamboo lanterns along the side of stone pavements marvelously light up the historic townscape of Usuki.

Mid November
Hita City

Hita Tenryo Festival

Hita Tenryo Festival re-creates the Hita region from the Edo period, when it flourished under the direct control by the Shogunate. The event features various folk art performances, a reenactment of the Gundai representative procession arriving with over a hundred attendees, and much more.

Mid November
Hita City

Hita Sennen Akari

Some 30,000 bamboo lanterns light up Mamedamachi and the Kagetsu River region during this festive season. Enjoy the mystic scene at night here during this event.
The Mamedamachi shopping and restaurant district hosts concerts and various other events during this time as well.

Mid November
Oita City

Oonogawa Battle Festival

Based on Battle of Hetsugigawa of 1586 between the Shimazu Army led by Sengoku daimyo Otomo Sorin and the Toyotomi Army, the festival features Samurai processions, a cavalry unit, an artillery unit, an archery unit, the hand scroll of the battle, as well as horse archers.
This battle took place when Iehisa Shimazu led the Shimazu troops and Motochika Choushokabe and Nobuchika Chousokabe (Motochika’s eldest son), Hidehisa Sengoku, Yoshimune Otomo, and Sogo Masayu led the the Toyotomi troops.

Mid November
Taketa City

Taketa Bamboo Lantern Chikuraku

Some 20,000 bamboo lanterns light up at dusk here in the old castle town of Taketa and create an ethereal ambience in the region. The event features light live music in the background and various food stalls at the Yatai Village that offer country cuisine and delicious foods.

Late November
Bungotakada City

Wakamiya Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival)

One of the three largest semi-nude festivities in Japan in the Shinto tradition. Young men in fundoshi loin cloths will carry a lavish festive float across the frigid river as the 16 meter, 5 ton torch, the largest in the country, is set ablaze.

12月
Late December
Beppu City

Beppu Christmas Hanabi Fantasia

Features 10,000 rounds of colorful fireworks in the wintery sky and a 1,000 member choir singing Christmas carols. Pyrotechnicians from all over Kyushu present stunningly creative and plentiful visual works of art in the night sky.

1月
Mid January
Bungotakada City

Horan Enya

Local fishermen on their vessels travel upstream toward Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine in this traditional New Year's event where they try to invoke safety and a productive season at sea. When presented with a ceremonial gift by a spectator, younger men dive into the frigid river to retrieve it. It is truly impressive, to say the least.

2月
Early February to
late March
All throughout Oita Prefecture

Doll Festival

Hita City is known as the origin of hinamatsuri doll festivals in Kyushu. Different varieties of this girls' day celebration are held according to the tradition of each respective region: Usuki City has paper dolls made of traditional Japanese papers, Kitsuki City has Edo-period townscape, and all throughout the prefecture there are many other unique styles.

Early February
Usuki City

Usuki Hina Doll Tour

The policies of austerity imposed under the Usuki Domain during the Tempo Reforms (1830-1843) required the residents of Usuki to display only modest, paper-made hina dolls. With this background in mind today, the city of Usuki gets lavishly embellished with Japanese paper-made dolls during the festive early spring season.

Early February
Hiji Town

Castle Town Hiji, Hina Doll Tour

Exhibited throughout Hiji during this celebratory season are long-lived, historic hina dolls of this region. Events such as tea ceremonies and so-called "stamp rally" will also be going on during said period.

Mid February
Kitsuki City

Kitsuki Castle Town Walk and Doll Tour

Among the hina dolls displayed here in Kitsuki, there are quite a few that once belonged to the former Kitsuki Domain lords and those that belonged to the Sano clan, the domain-designated family of doctors. It is also very characteristic of this area that a wide variety of hina dolls are commonly seen - like ones handcrafted by local children, etc.

Mid February
Hita City

Tenryo Hita Doll Festival

Under the direct control of the Shogunate, Tenryo Hita flourished as Kyushu's political, economical, and cultural hub during the Edo period. Carefully handed down here in the region are lavish and extravagant hina dolls that even wealthy merchants of Kyoto and Osaka back then highly sought after.

Mid February
Taketa City

Oka Castle Town Doll Festival

Countless hina dolls handed down from the Edo to Showa periods will be on the display of over 40 unique locations set up throughout this old castle town. Look out for bamboo-made original dolls, handcrafted and creative dolls, and bamboo-made art pieces as well.

Late February
Nakatsu City

Castle Town Nakatsu Doll Festival

Traditional hina dolls passed down through generations of historic families here in this old castle town are on display here during this festive season. Exhibits are set up in and around JR Nakatsu Station, the shopping/restaurant district, and the old castle town area still lined with streets from the past. It also features various galleries, tea ceremonies, kiosks, and other places to entertain visitors.

Mid February
Bungotakada City Kunisaki City

Shujo Onie

The traditional festival of Shujo Onie aims to invoke a bountiful harvest and sound health. It originates from a unique belief in the region of welcoming an ancestral spirit appearing in a form of an oni ogre.

3月