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October 2017
Free

Takehara Shokei-no-michi Candle Festival

October 28 - October 29
Takehara Historical Preservation District,
3 chome, Honmachi
Takehara-shi, Hiroshima-ken 725-0022 Japan

The streets of Takehara's beautiful Edo period historic preservation district are illuminated by bamboo candles for two nights. Photos from a previous event and a write up of the event from 2009 here.   The Takehara Historic Preservation District is 15 minutes walk from Takehara JR Station The candles are lit 17:00-21:00

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November 2017
Free

Ritual Fire-walking at Daigan-ji Temple, Miyajima

November 3 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Daigan-ji Temple,
3 Miyajima-cho
Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 739-0535 Japan
Daigan-ji Temple firewaalking ritual Miayjima Hiroshima

Impressive and elaborate ritual that culminates in priests and members of the public rushing across hot coals in front of Daigan-ji Temple, located at the exit from Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. For more about and photos and video of this fire-walking ritual click here.

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December 2017
Free

New Year at Gokoku Shrine

December 31, 2017 - January 3, 2018
Gokoku-jinja Shrine,
2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0011 Japan
Gokoku-jinja Shrine in Hiroshima at New Year

December 31 From 17:00 Ooharae-shiki (purification ceremony) & Joya-sai (seeing out the old year festival) From just after 11pm the bell in the main shrine building opens for clanging and the ceremonial sake starts to be served to the first of the over half a million people who will visit over the next few days. 24:00 Shrine maidens dance to welcome the new year. January 1 10:00 Saitansai is a Shinto ritual to mark the beginning of New Year, followed…

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Free

Chinkasai Fire Festival

December 31 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mikasa-no-hama, Miyajima,
Mikasa-no-hama, Miyajima-cho
Hatsukaichi-shi, 739-0588 Japan

With most people living in the wooden houses, closely clustered together along narrow streets for centuries, fear of calamitous fires is deeply ingrained in the Japanese psyche. The Chinkasai on Miyajima is an impressive fire appeasing festival held on New Year's Eve. Read more about the Chinkasai Fire Festival here.  

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January 2018
¥150

Nanakusa-gayu at Tōshō-gū Shrine

January 7, 2018 @ 11:00 am
Tōshō-gū Shrine,
2-1-18 Futaba-no-sato, Higashi-ku
Hiroshima-shi, 732-0057 Japan

300 bowls of the healthy seven-herb rice porridge traditionally eaten on January 7. Available from 11am until they are all gone (¥150 a bowl). Read more about the Nankusa-no-sekku festival here.  

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Free

Mid-winter Swim in front of the A-bomb Dome

January 8, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
A-bomb Dome,
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken Japan

Every year on Seijin-no-hi (Coming Of Age Day), a group of swimmers between the ages of 7 and 70 brave the near freezing water of the Motoyasu River in front of the A-bomb Dome to demonstrate Edo era swimming techniques and welcome the new year. More details here.  

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August 2018
Free

Miyajima Fireworks Festival

August 25, 2018 @ 7:40 pm - 8:40 pm
Miyajima,
Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken Japan

Hiroshima's most well known fireworks festival. 5000 fireworks explode over the sea silhouetting Itsukushima Shrine's O-torii. Worth seeing, but expect huge crowds (300,000 people showed up last year) and you should get there early to avoid a fight for the prime viewing spots. For those relying on the train, a good tip for the return trip on the way back to Hiroshima is to take the first train heading in the opoosite direction (Iwakuni bound) one stop so you can…

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