Oct 7
~
Oct 9

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

7:00am – 8:00pm
Free
Festival

This vibrant celebration of Nagasaki’s multicultural history is the event in the area’s autumn calendar. Dating back nearly 400 years, the Kunchi Festival is three days long and draws in pretty much the whole city. Over 59 Nagasaki neighborhood dance groups are involved, with five or six performing dashimono dances each year. Floats—jaodori dragons, shishi lions, takara-bune, and Chinese and Dutch ships—are paraded around the city by the odoricho groups. The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival has been made an Intangible Folk Cultural Property.

Be prepared for an early start: the Nagasaki Kunchi’s popularity makes it difficult to get a good spot for viewing the dances, which begin as early as 7am. Admission is technically free, but the four main venues have paid seating for the dance performances. These tickets are sold out months in advance (making it difficult for tourists to get hold of them) but there are free viewing spots, including Chuo Park and the plaza at Nagasaki Station. It’s also possible to catch the odoricho parades throughout Nagasaki, and you can groove on the carnival atmosphere almost anywhere.

The main Kunchi Festival venue is Suwa Shrine, a short walk from the Suwa Jinja-mae streetcar stop; other venues are the Otabijo stage in central Nagasaki (where you will also find street stalls), Yasaka Shrine, and the Kokaidomae Plaza. To make the most of the parades and get a good dose of the atmosphere, try to travel around between them all! The weather is usually mild, but it’s always a good idea to take a hat and sunglasses, and something warm for the evenings. Note that drones and parasols/umbrellas are not allowed in.

Ask our local experts about Japan

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox

Related Events
  • Dec 6
    ~
    Dec 15

    Kobe Luminarie 2019

    Kobe Luminarie is an annual winter light-up held in memory of the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Now running for over 20 years, the event takes place in the vicinity of Motomachi Station on the JR Kobe […]

    Free
    Illumination
  • Dec 15
    ~
    Dec 18

    Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

    This festival in Nara prefecture traces its origin back to the 12th century. The name comes from the Wakamiya Shrine – a shrine within the ground of the larger Kasuga Taisha Shrine. This event is really a combination of different […]

    Free
    Matsuri
  • Kyoto illuminations hanatouro arashiyama
    Dec 13
    ~
    Dec 22

    Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro - Illuminations

    The quiet streets of Arashiyama and Sagano will be beautifully lit each evening, allowing you to explore the traditional town after dark. Temples and shrines will be open during the evenings and this will be an amazing chance to see […]

    5:00pm – 8:30pm
    Free
    Illumination
  • Nov 22
    ~
    Dec 25

    Sapporo White Illumination

    This winter light-up takes place at five different locations including Odori Park, Sapporo Eki-mae Dori and Minami 1-Jo Dori. All locations switch on the lights on November 22nd, but while Odori Park finishes on Christmas day, Sapporo Station continues until […]

    Free
    Illumination

Recommended hotels located nearby

We do our best to make sure event info is correct. However, all event details are subject to change.