Takasu Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance that is dedicated to the god of Takasu Shrine twice a year in hopes of having an abundant crops. Although the origins of this tradition are not known, legend has it that when Harada Chikuzen no Kami Tanechika (lord of Takasu Castle) was ordered by his leader, Ouchi Masahiro (lord of Yamaguchi Catsle in Suonokuni), to undertake the important role of Governor of Kyoto in 1467, he learned Kyoto’s Nokagura (classical Japanese musical drama) between battles and later introduced it in his hometown.
Takasu Kagura was designated a Folk Cultural Asset by Marebaru Town in 1971, and an Intangible Folk Cultural Asset by Fukuoka Prefecture in 1981. It is known as a magnificent folk performing art.
There are two types of dances in Takasu Kagura: “Mai (Dancing) Kagura”, in which unmasked performers dance peacefully and raise sacred instruments (bells, swords, and balls) while chanting the Kagura song in response to the music; and “Men (Masked) Kagura”, in which some performers wearing masks take the stage and play out a myth.
A Spring Festival takes place at Kotohira Shrine (one of the 10 most famous cherry blossoms spots on Mt. Kora), which lies on Mt. Yoshimidake, a mountain known for being the place where feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi once pitched a camp.
The Naritasan Flower Festival takes place on Buddha’s birthday, April 8. The festivities (including free samples of natural sweet tea) begin at 11am.
A Spring Festival takes place at Daigaku Inari Shrine, which is one of the places on Mt. Kora famous for its cherry blossoms.
Every year at around the time when azaleas are in bloom, the Kurume Azalea Festival takes place at Kurume Hyakunen Park. This festival is said to be one of Japan’s Three Major Plant Fairs along with those in Kumamoto City (Kumamoto Prefecture) and Kanuma City (Tochigi Prefecture).
Visitors will find 300 thousand azaleas of 150 different varieties on display! In addition, there are bonsai tree, potted plant and various other displays, and many tourists from all over Kyushu visit the festival by tour bus.
The marathon follows the course of the former National Railway Soeda Line abandoned in 1985 (Showa 60). The course is flat and straight making it an enjoyable run! In addition to this, the course is lined on both sides with cherry blossom trees which are in full bloom! The exhilaration of running under the trees is very popular with the participants! Also held during the marathon is a flower festival! Make sure that you arrive early! Presents such as flower seeds and clam soup are given to the early birds!
There are 3 courses to choose from. A 2km course, a 5km course and a 10 km course.
For those wishing to participate, application forms are available at Oto Town Hall and Rainbow Hall (applications can also be mailed)
Applications can also be made in person at the Planning and Financial Affairs Section counter located in the town hall
*For high school students and general applications: please apply at a local post office. Get a money order and then send it along with the application form.
*For junior high school students and younger: get a money order. Along with the money order, please put it and an application form in an envelope and then send it directly to Oto Town Hall
After complete applications are received, a claim tag will be sent. Use the claim tag to receive your number bib at the event.
Applcations must arrive by February 28th
The Omura Flower Festival is held in Omura Park, a park known and built to display a wide range of beautiful flowers. In the park is featured the Japanese national treasure; the Omura Sakura Tree of which approximately 2,000 can be observed. The park is lit up in the evenings and many come to visit.
Shiokaze-go is a wonderful old-style train that travels through the the calm sea breezes found in the old Taisho era town, Mojiko. The trip on the train is approximately ten minutes, and is a great memory for kids and adults alike. The train starts from the Kyushu Railway History Museum.
Running dates 2017: 18th March ~ 26th September on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. 35th March ~ 6th April (Spring Holiday), 29th April ~ 7th May (Golden Week), 21st of June ~31st August (Summer Holiday)
With its cityscape of white mortar walls constructed in the “dozo dzukuri”style, Yoshii Town in Ukiha City has a retro feel to it. Features of the tour of dolls held in this traditional town include the “hakobina” (dolls in display cases) and “okiage” (dolls made by covering thick paper cut into the shape of people with cotton and wrapping it all in beautiful fabric). In addition, visitors can see doll-making tools and other rare items inherited by the family of local historian and collector Kaneko Fumio at the newly construsted Kaneko Fumio Exhibition Museum. While in the area, pop into one of the many antique shops or take a tour of the city in a rickshaw (Sundays only; 500 Yen per passenger)!
In Yanagawa is the tradition where families decorate the rooms of their daughters with good luck charms called ”Sagemon” to celebrate their first doll festival. ”Sagemon” are objects such rabits, cranes and treasure bags which are hung from the ceiling. The Doll Water Parade is another highlight of this festival.