Jul 26
Jul 29

Naoetsu Gion Festival


In July each year, there are a number of Gion festivals that happen throughout Japan (the most famous of which happens in Kyoto). This one happens in Joetsu City in Niigata.

What happens?

The highlight of the Naoetsu Gion Matsuri is the fireworks display scheduled for July 26 from 8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. But there are also mikoshi (portable shrine) processions each day (minus July 29), food stalls, and dancing. Another impressive sight is on July 29 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. when floats take to the streets and young men carry barrels of rice as offerings to Yasaka Shrine.

How to get there

The venue for the fireworks is the mouth of the Seki River in Joetsu City. But other events are taking place all over. The closest station to the festivities is JR Naoetsu Station. Head to Jōetsumyōkō Station on the Shinkansen (2 hours from Tokyo Station) and change to the Myoko-Haneuma Line for 15 minutes.

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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