The Event Guide: 10 best and popular events in Hokuriku area in Dec.2017

We can reach Tohoku area from Tokyo easier than we expected. There are hot spring and a lot of sightseeing spots in addition to Sake and local dishes. There are also mysterious festivals that you should attend if you want enjoy Japan a lot more.

Let’s check the various events held in various locations in Tohoku.

The Event For Traditional Culture and History.

1. <Aomori>Tsugaru Scoop Shamisen World Convention.


Source: APTINET Aomori Pref

The Tsugaru Scoop Shamisen is played with Scoop and bottle opener. During the session, the players will be pretending that they are playing the real Tsugaru Shamisen. But we and also players can experience the same atmosphere and sound as the real Tsugaru Shamisen by beating a scoop with bottle opener. Anyone can try this Scoop Shamisen because there is no need for special skill to playing, but you need skillful experience if you want show the same sound and atmosphere as the real Tsugaru shamisen. The world convention is held in every year. The candidates beat scoop and play Japanese traditional and famous Shamisen songs, such as Tsugaru Jongara-bushi and another popular one, while wearing Happi coat and each dresses. They shout with energy during the session and live up the convention. Enjoying fun performances, you could feel Japanese traditional instrument and it’s charms.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Dec. 3rd (Sun)  Open 10:00, Start 11:00, Close 16:30

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place : ELM Hall 2F, ELM town shopping center

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the hall

About 25 min walk from JR Gono line 「Goshogawara Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 70 min by Ou main line ・ Gono line rapid train from Aomori station

・Address : 517-1, Fujimaki, Oji, Karakasayanagi, Goshogawara-shi, Aomori

・Map

Price & Reservation

For Entry:

[Entry Qualifications]

Anyone can entry. But you need to use Scoop Shamisen.

[Entry Fee]

Individuals: 2,000 yen

Grope: 1,500 yen for each persons

[Application]

Please fill out the application form and send it with sound source to the address below.

〒037-0074

Scoop Shamisen World Convention Executive Committee, 20-1, Iwaki-cho, Goshonohara-shi, Aomori

TEL 0173-34-2339

FAX 0173-34-2339

Mobile 080-3193-2629(Takahashi)

Entrance Fee: Free

No need to reserve

Official Website

http://sukoppujyamisen.cloud-line.com/

Traditional Festival

2. <Iwate>Chusonji Joya-no-Kane in Dec. 31st 2017


Source: flickr

Chusonji is nationally famous for the national treasure building, Konjiki-Do. Chusonji is the first world heritage in Japan. Given a black coating and put the gold foil on in Hosangen Amida-Do, it is called Konjiki-Do. There is worth to visit to see the interior that consists of Nageshi (a horizontal piece of timber to connect pillars) and columns, and Shumidai (the platform to place and enshrine Buddha in Buddhist altar) is embellished by Golden Makie and Gokusaishiki (colorful paining). The main part of temple is embellished by metal fittings that have open-work of Hosogemon. In such great worthy temple Chusonji, the sound of temple bell rings out all over the temple in the last day of the year. The bell is rung the temple staff to sweep Bonno (earthly desires) away. The worshippers can also ring the temple bell from 0:30 am for a fee. Besides, Konjiki-Do is opened to everyone from 0:00 am to 6:00 am.

Schedule

・Date and Time

・Each Event’s Schedule

Des. 31st (Sun)

General worshippers can ring the temple bell from 0:30 am for a fee.

Access & Address

・Place

Chusonji in Hiraizumi-cho, Iwate

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the temple.

About 25 min walk from JR Tohoku main line 「Hiraizumi Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 40 min by Tohoku main line from Ichinoseki Station

・Address

202, Hiraizumi-Koromonoseki, Hiraizumi-cho, Iwate

・Map

Price & Reservation

Ringing the Bell / 500 yen

Entrance Free

No need to reserve

Official Website

http://www.chusonji.or.jp/

3. <Akita> Hatsu-ushi Festival in Dec. 16th 2017


Source: 産地直送ブログ

Associated with the sad story 「Eno Princess Legend」, 「Hatsu-ushi Festival」 will be held to quell the spirits of princess who had been kidnaped by the god of dragon. It will held on the early November, a day of the ox. It is the date when the princess planned to be a wife. When it is 18:30 pm, the brave Iwasaki area’s guys wearing headband and loincloth and Tabi (Japanese socks) will be carrying the straw bag and walking around the street. They will arrive at the temple around 19:30 and manage to dedicate the straw bag to the precinct. We can have sweet Sake and enjoy Mochi and orange throwing festival. Japanese local drum players 「Eno Hime Ryujin Taiko」 live up the festival.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des. 16th (Sat)

Dedication of Ebisu Straw Bag / from 19:30~(every 5 min)

Mochi and Orange Throwing Festival / from 20:20~

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place

Grounds of Iwasaki Hachiman Shrine, Iwasaki, Yuzawa-shi, Akita

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the shrine.

About 5 min by car from JR Ouu main line 「Shimoyuzawa Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 45 min by Ouu main line from Omagari Station

・Address

283, Chitose, Iwasaki, Yuzawa-shi

・Map

Price & Reservation

Free

No need to reserve

Official Website

None

4. <Yamagata> Haguro Mountain Shourei Festival – Dec. 31st 2017


Source: 旅館多聞館

「Haguro Mountain Shourei Festival」 has been designated National Important  Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 2014. Held overnight from New Year’s Eve to New Year ’s Day, it is also called 「Toshiya Festival」. It is festival of 「Fuyu-no-Mine」 that is one of the Haguro Shugen’s peak of four season. In this festival, 2 guys of mountain priests pray to expel the evil spirits after 100 days of seclude in the mountain. It is called 「Gen-Kurabe」. From Des.31st to before the daylight of Jan.1st, there are many events such as Toritobi and Kokubunshinji held in Kagami-Ike-mae plaza and shrine. Especially, you must see exciting tug-of-Otaimatsu by young people. The excitement scenery of men and fire clash would make us forget about cold winter. Let’s feel Japanese traditional event.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des.31st 2017(Sun) 15:00 pm ~ 1:00 am

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place

Dewasan Mountain Shrine, Haguro Mountain ・ Sanshin-Gassaiden

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the shrine.

To Haguro Mountain: about 50 min by Shonai Traffic Bus from JR Uetsu main line 「Tsuruoka Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 2 hours from Sendai Station by but bounce for Tsuruoka・Sakata・Honjo・Sakata Shoko Bus Terminal.

・Address

7, Touge, Haguro-cho, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata

・Map

Price & Reservation

Free

No need to reserve

Official Website

http://www.shoureisai-hozonkai.com/

Nature Event

5. <Iwate> Keibikei Funakudari Kotatsu-bune Service – Dec. 1st 2017~Feb. 28th 2018


Source: 猊鼻渓舟下り

Keibikei is about 2km-length of valley along with the Mother River in Iwate, Kitagami River’s tributary. The height of this valley is as tall as 50m. About 90 years ago, Keibikei has been designated as a first Historical landmark scenic spot Natural Monument in Japan. It is also known as one of the best scenery in Japan. This beautiful valley located in secret place in Iwate has been officially introduced by Geigan Sato. This valley is named after it’s peculiar form of quay wall.

The turning point of boat activity, it is deep side of Miyoshigaoka named Shokokyu. There are huge quay wall on the opposite side of this Shokoukyu and it looks like 「Nose of Lion」.

We can enjoy this great landscape from boat. From the winter season, Des.1st, we can also enjoy about 2km-depth of huge and beautiful precipitous cliffs while warming in Japanese Kotatsu on the boat. It is called 「Kotatsu boat」. We can also enjoy having local dishes like Nabe dishes and Kama-meshi.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des.1st 2017 ~ Feb.28th 2018

Regular time of Boat → 9:30、10:00、11:00、12:00、13:00、14:00、15:00

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place

Keibikei in Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the valley.

About 5 min walk from JR Ofunato Line 「Keibikei Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 50 min by Ofunato Line from Ichinoseki Station.

・Address

467, Nagasaka, Higashiyama-cho, Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate

・Map

Price & Reservation

Adult : 1,600 yen (for boat )

No need to reserve (※But if you were with over 15 persons, you need to reserve in advance)

Official Website

http://www.geibikei.co.jp/

6. <Miyagi> Miyagi Ice Rime Tour – Dec.16th 2017~Mar.18th 2018

Zaourenpo is located between Miyagi and Yamagata. It is one of the few Ice Rime spot in Japan. Though it is severe cold winter, the tour to this Ice Rime named 「Miyagi Zao Ice Rime Tour」 is very popular and has become a tradition. We can join this tour by getting on the fully air conditioned snow car named 「Wild Monster」. It will take about 50 min for one way, about 2 hour or less for round-trip. The tourist guide will give you the guide announce on the way and can experience 「The Mysterious World of Ice and Snow」. On the one-way trip called Cat Tour, we can come back by sky activity. We can sky from the top of Katsutadake as much as you like. This cat tour is for intermediate level sky player. Of course, it includes the tourist guide. Let’s walk around the Zao Ice Rime plain and see the Ice Monster nearby

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des. 16th 2017 ~ Mar. 18th 2018

Operation Time

<Round Trip>11:00・13:30・15:30(there might be Irregular time)

<One Way Trip>9:00、13:30

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place

Sumikawa Snow Park, Miyagi Zao Sky Ground, Zao-cho, Miyagi

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the ground.

About 40 min by Miyako bus from JR Hokuriku Main Line 「Shirakawa Station」

Just nearby the bus stop for free shuttle bus

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 1 and half hour from Tohoku Main Line Train from Fukushima Station.

・Address

Kokuyurin-nai, Kuraishidake, Togatta-Onsen, Zao-cho, Miyagi

・Map

Price & Reservation

Round Trip / Adult:5,300 yen、Children:4,400 yen(includes winter boots)

One Way Cat tour / Adult・Children: 5,300 yen

Reservation Required

Official Website

http://www.zao-sumikawa.jp/juhyo.html

7. <Yamagata> Ice Rime Light Up Show – Dec. 23rd, 24th , 29th 2017~ Jan. 7th, 13th, 14th 2018


Source: flickr

Ice Rime is created in some special and particular condition of climate and trees. It is like the beautiful art of nature which is famous worldwide. It’s beautiful and colorful figure emerges out of complete darkness is very the world of fantasy. This beautiful scenery is popular in all over the world and a lot of foreign tourists have visited here to see it. It is also interesting that there are different appearances between day time and night time. Especially, the Ice Rime that lightened up with colorful lighting around the terminal of Zao LOPEWAY, Zao Sancho Station, let us see quite beautiful and fantastic scenery. If you could, you should choose the day when it is sunny and clear air, then the Ice Rim would be more beautiful and shining brightly.

The recommended spot is Jizo-Sancho Station (altitude 1661 m) observation. The nature art of Ice Rime on the surface of Jizo Mountain can be seen from there. Besides, you can also have good hot drink the restaurant on the top of the Jizo Mountain.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des. 23rd (Sat), 24th (Sun), 29th (Fri) 2017 ~ Jan. 7th (Sun), 13th (Sat), 14th (Sun), 20th (Sat), 21st (Sun), 27th (Sat) ~ Mar.4th (Sun) 2018 ※For 53 days

17:00 pm ~ 21:00 pm

・Each Event’s Schedule

Access & Address

・Place

Sancho Line, Zao LOPEWAY Jizo Sancho Station

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the ground.

About 50 min by bus from Yamagata Station to Zao Onsen Bus Terminal, and about 10 min walk.

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 1 hour from Sendai Station by bus (bounce for Miyagi Zao Royal Hotel)

・Address

229-3, Zao Onsen, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata

・Map

Price & Reservation

Adult : 2,600 yen / Children : 1,300 yen

No need to Reserve

Official Website

http://zaoropeway.co.jp/zao/winter/lightup.html

Sports Event

8. <Miyagi> The 26th Iwanuma Airport Marathon – Dec. 3rd 2017


Source: 公益社団法人宮城県観光連盟

This marathon will be held in Iwanuma city, Athletics Stadium. It is the place that is flat and easy to run for everyone. There are some course such as 10km, 5km for high school students or older, 3km for junior high school students, 2km for elementary school students, 1.5km for family. It would be good for final event of the year. In this year, as a celebration of the 25th, the draw will be held for present. In addition, we can enjoy shopping for local specialties. There are some sightseeing spot such as the lazy Abukuma River and Baji Museum, Takekoma Shrine that has Bashoku Monument. We can purchase the Manju at the shop booth in Takekoma Shrine. It would be good for souvenir. Although there is a limit of capacity for this Marathon, we can cheer on side street of the course.

Schedule

・Date and Time

Des.3rd 2017

Start / 9:40 am

Access & Address

・Place

Around athletics stadium, Iwanuma-shi, Miyagi

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the stadium.

About 20 min walk from 「Iwanuma Station」 on JR Tohoku Main Line

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 20 min from Sendai Station by Tohoku Main Line Train.

・Map

Price & Reservation

Participant:General 3,000 yen、high school students 2,000 yen、junior high school students and younger 1,300 yen, family 3,000 yen

※Subscription period : Until Oct. 15th (will close when it reached the limit of capacity)

Entrance Free

No need to reserve

Official Website

https://www.city.iwanuma.miyagi.jp/kyoiku-sports/sports/airport_m.html

Modern Art Event

9.<Miyagi>2017 SENDAI Light Pageant – Des. 8th ~ 31st 2017


Source: flickr

When it comes to winter season in Sendai, it would be Light Pageant. Also in this year, it will emerge in the main street of Sendai. It will be 32nd year for this event  with the theme 「make a light in your heart together」 , there are 160 of Japanese Zelkova trees will be illuminated by as much as 160,000 of light bulbs. It would be like thousands of stars. The light bulbs that are called Star Light Wink will be lightened 3 times in a day. During the season, there will built some shop booths and ice rink in Kotodai Park and citizen plaza. In addition, there held the event named 「2017 SENDAI Light Pageant in Izumi Park Town」 from Nov. 3rd 2017 to Feb. 28th 2018, and the center area and main street of the park town will be illuminated with light pageant. Let’s enjoy the fantastic hour surrounding by the beautiful star-like lights.

Schedule

・Date and Time

・Each Event’s Schedule

Des. 8th ~ 31st 2017

17:30~22:00(Friday and Saturday. Until 23:00 pm on Des. 24th, until 00:00 am on Des. 31st

※「2017 SENDAI Light Pageant in Izumi Park Town 」 will be open from Nov. 3rd to Feb. 28th.

Santa Claus drives the funky pageant car around the city from on Des. 8th to 25th, 17:30~21:30.

Des. 23rd 2017: The story of forest of Santa Claus. (March by the people wearing Santa Claus costume)

Access & Address

・Place

Jozenji Street, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the stadium.

Just nearby the Subway Kotodai Park Station

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 9 min walk from Sendai Station.

・Address

Jozenjii, Aoba-ku, Senda-shi, Miyagi

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Free.

No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://www.sendaihikape.jp/

10.<Yamagata> Tsuruoka Winter Festival~The Western Architecture of Hakua with Illumination~ -Des. 23rd 2017 ~ Feb. 27th 2018


Source: ジョルダン

Tsuruoka City is located in Shonai district in Yamagata. Here are a lot of cute and good-looking western-style buildings. You should be there if you western-style lover. We can enjoy just by looking there many western buildings. The amount of buildings is as much as the number of Yokohama Iwate and Kobe Kitano Western Style Residences. The light-up season is in the winter when the snow falls. These two of the beautiful and elegant western style architectures, Taihokan and Historic Nisidagawagun government office will be illuminated. The impressive appearance of western building will be more fantastic by illumination. Especially in snowy day, it looks so romantic. The scenery is very photogenic so why don’t you visit and take some photo.

Schedule

・Date and Time

・Each Event’s Schedule

Des. 23rd ~ Feb. 27th 2018

Light up time / 16:30 pm ~ 22:00 pm(until 7 am on Des. 31st

Access and Address

・Place

Chido Museum (formerly Nisidagawagun government office), Taihokan (in the Tsuruoka Park), Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata

・Closest Station and time that takes to get the location.

10 min ride on the bus bounce for 「Yunohama Onsen」 from JR Uetsu main line 「Tsuruoka Station」. Just nearby 「Chido Museum Station」

・City’s terminal Station and the time that takes from the station.

About 2 hours from Yamagata Station by the train bounce for Tsuruoka・Sakata・Sakata Shoko Bus terminal.

・Address

Kachu Shinmachi, Baba-cho, Tsuruoka-shi

・Map

Price & Reservation

Free for sightseeing.

No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://www.tsuruokakanko.com/season/fuyu/light.html

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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.