Toukasan Yukata Festival

Held every year for three days starting on the first Friday of June, Toukasan [とうかさん] is the most festive of Hiroshima’s downtown festivals and has a history that goes back 400 years. Signalling the start of summer, locals mark the occasion by giving traditional lightweight summer kimono, called yukata, their first outing of the year. Everyone, from young punks to pensioners, loves Toukasan and the streets in the city center are packed and ablaze with color.

Enryji Temple, otherwise known as Toukasan

Details about special events over the 3-day festival, including where to get some help fixing your yukata and obi.

Most will line up at Enryu-ji Temple at the end of Chuo-dori – recognizable by the many many read lanterns that hand over the forecourt (not to mention the long line that spills out and down the street during the festival) – to pray to Touka Daimyoujin for good fortune, but Toukasan is as much about showing off your yukata, sampling the street food and playing festival games as it is about religious ritual.

Everyone Loves Toukasan

Toukasan Festival treatsjpg

Toukasan knowledge


Touka is an alternative reading for the characters of the Shinto god Inari [稲荷]- the kami of rice, prosperity, fertility as well as other good stuff like tea and sake. Inari shrines are distinguished by multiple torii gates and statues of foxes – the most famous being Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto – and you’ll often find them within the grounds of a Buddhist temple, as at Enryu-ji Temple here in Hiroshima.

The festival was originally held on the day on which Boys’ Day fell on the old lunar calendar. As that could be anywhere from early May to late June in the Gregorian calendar it was decided that it would be held around the 10th of June (the 10th of the month also being referred to as touka in Japanese). Pressure from traders saw the festival extended to two, and then three days. Inari is the god of prosperity after all. Since 1999, the festival has started on the first Friday of June, ensuring a full weekend of enlightened cash flow.

After paying your respects, make a ¥300 or ¥1000 offering and get a yakuyoke uchiwa fan. According to the temple website these fans are the embodiment of Touka Daimyoujin herself, and the most effective talisman for warding off misfortune in all of Japan. Guaranteed to be effective aid to health, wealth and longevity. Quite a bargain.

After paying your respects, make a ¥300 offering and get a yakuyoke uchiwa fan. According to the temple website these fans are the embodiment of Touka Daimyoujin herself, and the most effective talisman for warding off misfortune in all of Japan. Guaranteed to be effective aid to health, wealth and longevity. Quite a bargain.

yakuyoke uchiwa


How to Toukasan

Toukasan starts around noon each day and runs until about 11pm. It’s after dark that it gets really lively. The main Chuo-dori street is closed to traffic from 7:30pm on the first two nights (Friday and Saturday), though much of the street is taken up by dance and drum performances, fashion shows and other events. It is pretty cool to be on Chuo-dori just before they closed the street, just to see the crowds flood in from the packed sidewalks and enjoy a few minutes of unimpeded “pedestrian paradise”. Once the events in the middle of the street get going pedestrian traffic moves painfully slow so leave plenty of time to get from one end of the street to the other.

Chuo-dori during the Toukasan Yukata Festival

Dance performance on Chuo-dori during the Toukasan Yukata Festival

Yukata Fashion Show on Chuo-dori at Toukasan

Although the atmosphere on the main street is fun and the dance performances are very enthusiastic, for our money, the best place during Toukasan is Shintenchi “Park” just off Chuo-dori and on the edge of the entertainment district.

Shintenchi Park during the Toukasan-Yukata-Festival

Bon dance in Shintenchi at the Toukasan Yukata Festival

The local residents” association holds a old-style bon odori dance festival in which everyone is welcome to join. It’s an event that evokes 1960s and 1970s Japan. Kids love the retro cotton candy, snacks and ramune drinks, which are sold at prices that parents love. There are beer stalls and a conveniently placed convenience store which can save you a good amount of cash. There are two bon odori sessions each night, at 19:00 and 21:00 and there are always a good mix of old ladies, families and international travellers dancing their way around the platform. Just follow the moves of those around you, or just improvise! A local favorite is enka singer, Minami Issei, who makes several appearances during the festival to sing Hiroshima Tengoku (Hiroshima Paradise) and the Carp song.

Our annual event listing usually gets updated around the end of May with the latest event information.

Toukasan Yukata Festival

Hiroshima really comes alive over the three nights of Tōkasan – a festival that really does feel “festive”.  Join the 300,000 people who will be donning their yukata for the first time this year who take over Chuo-dori and environs to promenade, play festival games like fish scooping, buy strange inflatable novelties and stuff their faces with equally strange stuff on sticks.

As well as parades and summer bon dancing, there will be taiko drumming and other performances on stages dotted around the center of town. See below for the schedule of main events. Our favorite place is Yukata de Bon Dance in Shintenchi Park where people of all ages dance to classic Japanese songs crackling out of the PA on the central tower and street stalls sell festival treats at fantastic prices.

Read more about and see more photos from Tōkasan here.

Chuo-dori is closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday 19:00-21:30.

2019 Yukata de Kinsai events around the city center (2020 info will be added when we get it)

Hondori Shopping Arcade

  • Yukata Parade featuring a giant bulbous lantern Friday 18:00-19:00


  • Closed to traffic 19:00-21:30 Friday and Saturday
  • The main street is split into 4 areas devoted to (or blocked by) dance and taiko drum performances
  • Live show by Showa retro pop unit RIT on Saturday, June 8
  • Yukata fashion shows Friday and Saturday
  • Yukata and pets fashion show Friday
  • Mihara Yassa Dance performance Saturday

Shintenchi Park (every night of the festival)

Photos and video from Shintenchi Park during Tōkasanhere.

The highlight of Tōkasan as far as we are concerned. Old school vibe, cheap snacks and drinks and bon dancing at 19:00 and 21:00 which everyone is very welcome to join in with. Annual appearances by local singer Minami Issei singing classics such as Hiroshima Tengoku and the Carp song.

Shareo Central Plaza (Friday and Saturday)

  • Opening ceremony, Friday 17:00-17:30
  • Yukata market Friday & Saturday 13:00-20:00. Get a free fitting if you buy one.
  • Get your yukata and obi sorted out for ¥500 Friday & Saturday 13:00-20:00
  • Everyone welcome (not hardcore) tea ceremony (¥400) and free chance to whip up your own maccha tea (¥100) on Saturday 13:00-17:00
  • Cafe space selling delicious Japanese sweets on  Friday & Saturday 13:00-18:00

Fukuromachi Park

    • Suntory Highball Garden
      • Friday 16:00-21:00
      • Saturday 12:00-21:00
      • Sunday 12:00-18:00
    • Get your yukata and obi sorted out for ¥500
      • Friday & Saturday 13:00-20:00
    • Pets dressed in yukata photo exhibition
      • Friday 13:00-20:00
      • Saturday 13:00-20:00
      • Sunday 13:00-17:00
    • Family support service Saturday 11:00-17:00
      • Breastfeeding and changing area
      • Picnic space for families with pre-schoolers
    • Kids Sports Challenge
      • Mini parkour course for little ones
      • Friday 15:00-16:00
      • Saturday 17:00-18:00

Hiroshima Kokusai Hotel

Get your yukata and obi sorted out for ¥500

  • Friday 13:00-20:00
  • Saturday 13:00-20:00
  • Sunday 13:00-18:00


3 thoughts on “Toukasan Yukata Festival

  • June 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Je vous souhaite une bonne fête du YUKATA. J’aimerai être avec vous, mais je suis très loin, en France.
    Vive Hiroshima shi.

  • June 2, 2015 at 7:40 am

    wonderful article on Toukasan festival in hiroshima, how would you get to the location via train? which stop and directions to the area would be appreciated … thank you

    • June 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Hi paul

      You can take a streetcar from Hiroshima Station to Hatchobori and walk south (towards Peace Boulevard) down Chuo-dori where all the main action is. Toukasan the temple is at the end of Chuo-dori at the junction with Peace Boulevard.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you still have any more questions.



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