Festivals not to be missed in Shikoku 四国の祭

Where to go to see the most beautiful Matsuri on the island of Shikoku?

Shikoku is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. Located in the southwest of the island of Honshu, it is bathed by the waters of the Seto Isand Sea (Seto Naikai) and the Pacific Ocean. It includes the prefectures of Tokushima, Ehime, Kagawa and Kochi. Each prefecture has its own traditions and is enlivened by major festivals. Here is our selection from the most spectacular or unusual Shikoku matsuri (festivals), by prefecture.

These drums and their sockets are real works of art. There are more than 50, measuring 5.50 meters high, each paraded by 150 men, the kakifu, through six districts of the city of Niihama. When lifting the floats, their wheels are removed and it is then a great demonstration of power and resistance on the part of the kakifu. They come from all over Japan to show off their muscles and their strength! The atmosphere is electric.

This approximately 800-year-old festival takes place every year in mid-October and attracts up to 350,000 visitors (for a city of around 150,000 inhabitants) over three days. It is the third-largest matsuri in Shikoku with the Awa Odori of Tokushima and the Yosakoi matsuri of Kochi. It takes place at the same time as that of Saijo (described below) and it is possible for visitors to plan to be able to attend both festivals.

 Niihama taiko festival

Niihama taiko festival

WEB_OYAJI Flickr

Kagawa Prefecture

  • The Sanuki festival of Takamatsu

More recent than the festivals (it has existed since the early 60s) presented above, this event which takes place each year from 12th - 14th of August in the city of Takamatsu. This festival brings together all the festivities that decorate the Japanese summer: traditional dances, fireworks (more than 8,000 the last festival), concerts, food stalls, and various competitions. Not to be missed if you want to get a glimpse of a typical Japanese summer festival.

JRShikoku-Yosan-line-Tsushimanomiya-station-platform

JRShikoku-Yosan-line-Tsushimanomiya-station-platform

LERK, Wikimedia

Tsushima_Shrine, Kagawa

Tsushima_Shrine, Kagawa

RadishSlice, Wikimedia

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