Tagajo Iris Festival

June 17-July 1st 10AM-4PM

The Iris Festival (Ayame matsuri) takes place in Tagajo City in the Iris Garden which features 3,000,000 Irises of 650 varieties. Tagajo is halfway between Sendai and Matsushima and is known for its excellent Tohoku History Museum map.

Cost: Festival entry is free.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/vF7QFsrGTqn

Access: 5 minute walk from JR Kokufutagajo Station (North exit) or take the Sanriku Expressway to the Tagajo exit.
Onsite parking at
多賀城跡あやめ園

 

Shiogama Horseback Archery Festival

Sunday 7/9 from 2PM

In this Shinto event which dates back 600 years, three archers on horseback take aim at three targets. It is said that hitting the targets brings good fortune and helps avoid natural disasters.

Where: Shiogama Shrine map
Access: Shiogama Shrine (20 min. walk from JR Hon-Shiogama Station, JR Senseki Line or 16 min. walk from Shiogama Station, JR Tohoku Line)

Imoni Walk in “Deep Matsushima”

Sunday July 16th 9am to 4pm
Register by July 9th

The Imoni Walk is a “stamp rally” event in which you walk or cycle around Deep Matsushima (Oku-Matsushima, Higashi-Matsushima City and collect stamps at designated check points. Eat delicious imoni potato stew and explore the natural beauty of the area while seeing the recovery from the 2011 tsunami.


Where: Meet Nobiru Station (JR Senseki Line)
When: Check in at Nobiru Station from 9-10am to collect your map and stamp card.
Event ends at Matsushima Shizen no Ie map on Miyato Island by 4pm.

Route maphttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1thYYjRhluu_nejLLuGD-aX-QQG4&usp=sharing
There will be no guides to accompany you so you can explore at your own pace.

How to join
Pre-register by July 9thEmail imoniwalk@gmail.com with “2017 entry” in the subject. Include:

(1)    Your name

(2)    Address (name of city/town only)

(3)    Phone No.

(4)    Names of other participants

 

This event is organized by HOPE (Higashi-Matsushima Organization for Progress and Economy, Education, Energy www.hm-hope.org)

Shiogama Minato Matsuri

Sunday 7/16 and Monday 7/17

Shiogama City on Matsushima Bay hosts one of Japan’s three most important sea-themed festivals.


Sunday: Fireworks Show
Shiogama fireworks kick off the summer festival season. Enjoy about 8000 bursts in interesting patterns light up the sky over Matsushima Bay.

When: Sunday 7/16 8-8:50PM
* Note, rescheduled for 7/22 (Sat.) in the case of rain

Where: The best place to watch is from near Marine Gate Shiogama map.
You can also watch the fireworks from out on the bay from a sightseeing boat!
Marubun Kisen has boats departing from Shiogama Marine Gate at 6:30pm and returning at 9pm. Adult tickets are 2500 yen, children 1250 yen. Purchase tickets at Marine Gate. Details (Japanese): https://www.marubun-kisen.com/wakuwaku/minato.php

Access: on-site parking limited, so recommended to come by train. Marine Gate Shiogama map is a 7 minute walk from Hon-Shiogama Station on the JR Senseki Line.



Monday: Shinto Festival

On Monday 7/17 (Sea Day, a national holiday) is the main event. Watch men dressed in white carry two one-ton portable shrines down the steep steps of Shiogama Shrine, through the city streets and then out on the water! They will take the portable shrines around the bay on elaborately decorated dragon and phoenix ships followed by 100 smaller boats with large decorative flags. Finally they will return to shore and carry them once again up the stairs to the shrine. This is a lively and truly unique event.

When: July 17th (Holiday Monday) 10:30-6:30 (boat procession from 12-4:20)

Where: Event starts 10:30AM at Shiogama Shrine map. Passes through downtown Shiogama City. Continues by boat from Marine Gate Shiogama map at 12PM before returning to land and back through Shiogama to the shrine.

Access: Shiogama Shrine (20 min. walk from JR Hon-Shiogama Station, JR Senseki Line or 16 min. walk from Shiogama Station, JR Tohoku Line)
Marine Gate Shiogama map is a 7 minute walk from Hon-Shiogama Station on the JR Senseki Line.

Cost: Free to watch!

Where to watch: Follow the procession through the city streets. View the boats from Shiogama’s Marine Gate boat terminal.
Or, for for the best view, buy a ticket for a sightseeing boat and watch the boat parade from the water! Boats depart from Shiogama Marine Gate at 12 noon. Purchase tickets at Marine Gate for 1500 yen (one-way to Matsushima) or 2000 yen (round-trip to Shiogama). First-come first-served up to 200 people. Details.

  

Seven Beaches Festival in Shichigahama

8/13 10AM-8PM

Hit the beach in Shichigahama for a real summer party. It features live music, surfing, art workshops, and other activities.
Shobuta is a large beach with toilets, food, showers, and more.

WhereShobuta Swimming Beach, Shichigahama Town map

Access: Free and paid parking lots available on site. Address 七ヶ浜町菖蒲田浜字長砂
             
 Miyagi Kotsu bus available from Hon-Shiogama Sta. and Tagajo Station (JR Senseki Line). Look for buses bound for 菖蒲田浜 (Shobutahama)
            Community bus available ぐるりんこ "Gururinko" and take to 菖蒲田浜 (Shobutahama) 

Details: Seven Beach Festival Facebook Page (Japanese) link and webpage (not yet updated) link

 

Matsushima Umi no Bon

8/15, afternoon to 9PM

Spend a summer evening enjoying local traditions with Matsushima residents. Started after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the Umi no Bon festival revives local traditions of bon dancing, taiko drum performances and the floating of paper lanterns in Matsushima Bay. It also features a fireworks show and many vendors and food stands.

Where: Central Park map

Access: Roads are very crowded during the Obon period, so public transportation is highly recommended. Nearest train station Matsushimakaigan (JR Senseki Line)- 7 min. walk. From Sendai, be sure to board a train bound for Takagimachi or Ishinomaki.

 

Osegakie Buddhist Ceremony
On August 16th after sundown is a centuries-old procession from Zuiganji Temple to Central Park and chanting of sutras by Buddhist priests in honor of the obon period, where one's ancestors are said to return to earth.

Where: Central Park map

Access: Roads are very crowded during the Obon period, so public transportation is highly recommended. Nearest train station Matsushimakaigan (JR Senseki Line)- 7 min. walk. From Sendai, be sure to board a train bound for Takagimachi or Ishinomaki.

Higashi-Matsushima Summer Festival

8/26 from 10:30AM

This event starts at 10:30am includes a parade, Shinto procession with a portable shrine, stage shows, a fly-over by the Blue Impulse jets and more! The finale will feature a fireworks show launched from the Matsushima Air Field map.
(Cancelled in inclement weather)

Where: Higashi-Matsushima City Chamber of Commerce map to Yubuto area map and Kurashikku Park map area.

Access: Nearest train station is Yamoto on the JR Senseki Line
  

Details coming soon: http://www.higamatu.miyagi-fsci.or.jp/nm2017/