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May 2018

Mantō Mitama Matsurii

May 26 - May 27
Gokoku-jinja Shrine, 2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0011 Japan
Free
Manto-mitama matsuri at Hiroshima Gokoku-jinja Shrine

Two days of events and commemorations at Hiroshima's shrine to the war dead, Gokuku-jinja, which is decorated with lanterns. Saturday, May 27 18:00 Manto-mitama ceremony in the main Shrine Hall 19:00 Around 100 women dressed as shrine maidens perform Enmusubi-no-miko-odori dances in the forecourt Followed by Miko-mai dance by full time shrine maidens Possibly other performances Lantern lit dances by the maidens for the day finale before things finish at 9pm For more on the Saturday night festivities, photos and…

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June 2018

Mibu-no-Hanadaue Traditional Rice Planting Ritual

June 3 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Mibu, Kitahiroshima-cho
Yamagata-gun, Hiroshima-ken 731-1515 Japan
Free

Mibu-no-hanadaue is a revived rice planting ritual said to have roots in the middle ages that is renacted on the first Sunday of June every year. The event was designated as a UNESCO Intangible Heritage in 2003 and many people now make the trip to Chiyoda in Kita-hiroshima to view it. Bulls are led through the streets to Mibu Shrine where they are dressed with elaborately decorated saddles and colorful necklaces. They are then led to a field, and after…

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Rice planting ritual and tea ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden

June 10 @ 10:00 am
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
¥250 - ¥700

Re-enactment of a traditional rice planting ritual to wish for a bountiful harvest and tea ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden. The rice planting ritual and related dances performed by the Shinjo Provincial Art Preservation Committee are between 13:00 and 14:45 and the tea ceremonies run from 10:00-15:00. 13:00-13:30  Hayashida music, song and dance performance in the yuunenjyou (有年場) rice field located in the far right corner of the garden as you stand with your back to the entrance. 13:35-13:55 Hayashida music, song and dance performance on…

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Onomichi Gion Festival

June 30 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Onomichi Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken Japan
Free

One of Onomichi's three major festivals. Three groups of men dressed in happi coats carrying mikoshi portable shrines make their way, chanting and banging as they go, from Kubo Yasaka Shrine through the narrow city streets to the gathering point at the watabashi ferry landing on Onomichi's waterfront. The three groups them race as fast as they can around a large banner infront of large crowds. Finally all three groups repeat the circling of the banner, but at the same…

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July 2018

Tanabata Tea Ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden

July 8 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
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¥700

Tea ceremony in Shukkei-en Garden's Seifukan tea house.

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September 2018

Respect for the aged tea ceremony

September 16 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan

Abbual keiro-chakai to commemorate Respect for the Aged Day at Shukkei-en Garden in Hiroshima City Center. You're kind of supposed to be a bit on the "experienced" side of things to participate.

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Kangetsu Moon Viewing Tea Ceremony

September 24 @ 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
¥800
moon viewing tea ceremony at shukkei-en garden © Shukkei-en Garden

The end of September is the time for "moon viewing" or kangetsu in Japan and a moon viewing tea ceremony is held in Shukkei-en Garden annually at this time. ¥800 for the (more formal) tea ceremony in a tea house (honseki) ¥600 to take tea in the gardens (nodate) The garden admission fee is also required (adults ¥260) and the garden is open to until 9pm. The neighboring Prefectural Art Museum where the Da Vinci exhibition is currently showing also has…

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November 2018

Onomichi Betcha Festival

November 1 - November 3
Onomichi Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken Japan
Free

When, in 1808, plague was sweeping through the porttown of Onomichi, the lord in control at the time ordered local shrines to perform purification rights in an attempt to ward of the disease. The rights were to be performed over 3 days and two nights and, in addition, an omokoshi portable shrine was carried through the streets with young men dressed a lion and three demons named beta, shouki and soba at the head of the procession.   Today, a…

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Chrysanthemum Tea Ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden

November 3 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
¥600 - ¥800

As the annual chrysanthemum viewing tea ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden is held on the November 3 Bunka-no-hi or "Culture Day" holiday, entrance to the garden is free. You can experience a tea ceremony in the beautiful Seifukan tea house or opt for the more relaxed outdoor setting. There is also large ornamental chrysanthemum display. Photo: © Shukkei-en Garden

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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
Free
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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Momiji Maple Viewing Tea Ceremony

November 11 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
¥1500
momiji tea ceremony shukkei-en garden in hiroshima japan

Momiji maple viewing tea ceremony at Shukkei-en Garden. ¥260 garden entrance fee also required. Photo: ©Shukkei-en Garden  

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Fire walking ritual at Daishoin Temple

November 15 @ 11:00 am
Daisho-in Temple, 210 Miyajima-cho
Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 739-0592 Japan
Free

Photo: Lance Cpl. Benjamin Pryer "Hi-watari-shiki" Fire walking ritual takea place at Daishoin Temple on Miyajima twice a year on April 15 and November 15. Readings from the 8000 verse Perfection of Wisdom Sutra begin at 11am and extravagant Saito-goma rituals begin around 1pm in the temple forecourt with a purification offering to the alter and the chanting of sutras. This is followed by two Buddhist monks circling the area with swords and then shooting 7 arrows into the air…

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Ebisuko Festival

November 18 - November 20
Ebisu Shrine, 5-14 Ebisu-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima, Hiroshima 730-0021 Japan
Free
Ebsuko Festival

Ebisu Shrine's autumn festival marks the arrival of winter in Hiroshima. Known among locals as Ebessan after the god of commerce, surrounding stores hold sales and buy komazadare bamboo rakes adorned with gold coins and atreasure ship. You might here business owners complain that the whole thing is a racket, but you won't see a shop, restaurant or bar in the area without one. A huge barrel with mouth wide open is placed in front of the shrine to receive offerings. Learn more…

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December 2018

New Year at Gokoku Shrine

December 31, 2018 - January 3, 2019
Gokoku-jinja Shrine, 2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0011 Japan
Free
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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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
Free

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 2019

Firewalking ritual at Saikoku-ji Temple, Onomichi

January 8, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saikoku-ji Temple, 29-27 Nishi-kubo-cho
Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 722-0044 Japan
Free

Goma Ritual burning of cedar sticks followed by fire walking. Members of the public set themselves up for a fortuitous year by taking part in the fire walking for a charge of ¥1500 which includes a headband and gohei staff with pleated streamers.  

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