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Overview of Oita City - Event Information

Oita City prospered as a castle town for 400 years throughout the Lord Otomo period. Surrounded by blue seas and green mountains, Oita holds numerous attractions in the form of food, tourism, and culture. There is also a wide variety of events and festivals, such as the original “Tsurusaki-bon dance” boasting a long history from the Lord Otomo period and the “Tanabata Festival” that local citizens participate in without fail every summer.


[January/Tsurusaki, Hoshinji Temple]

This is a religious event to pray for safe passage on land and sea. Priests in loincloths chant sutras while dousing themselves with freezing cold water.

Ken Hachiman Shrine Spring Festival

[April/Tsurusaki, Kunimune]

This festival is a display of bravery as participants attempt to destroy their opponents’ floats by colliding with one another. The tradition has continued for more than 310 years and is well-known among the people as a fighting festival.

Mankoji-no-Ichi Festival

[May/Sakanoichi, Mankoji Temple]

This barter trading market has a history of 1,420 years. People barter their harvests from the sea and mountains in the darkness of early dawn by calling out “Let’s exchange what we have”. The market is open each Saturday before dawn during the festival period.

Nagahama Shrine Summer Festival

[July/Nagahama Shrine]

This is the very first summer festival held in Oita prefecture every year. It is famous for omika-mochi (rice cakes on oleaceae branches) and mitate-zaiku (merchants put together their products to make dolls, pictures, and other unique works).

Nanase “Homura” Fire Flames Festival

[July/Nanasegawa River Natural Park]

The fire flames represent “flames of passion”. Nanasegawa River Natural Park is the stage for this fire festival, beautifully decorated by thousands of lanterns and column structures stretching along the river for 2km.

Tanabata Festival (Festival of the Weaver Star)

[August/Downtown shopping streets]

Local shopping streets compete to be the best in town by putting out gorgeous Tanabata decorations. During the festival period, various events such as the Funai-Pacchin float carnival and Chikirin-bayashi dance parade are held in the Festival Square.

Original “Tsurusaki-bon dance”

[August/Tsurusaki Park Ground]

This is a gorgeous dance event spanning more than 400 years of history, and several tens of thousands of spectators visit every year. It has been chosen as a national intangible folk cultural treasure.

Kaku-no-Ichi Festival

[September/Kaku Shrine]

This is a festival for the Zejinno-sama god, and is the very first autumn festival held in Oita prefecture every year. The feudal lord’s procession that is held once every six years (the year of the rabbit and of the rooster) is very famous.

Oita International Wheelchair Marathon

[October/Starts near the Prefectural Office and finishes at the Oita City Municipal Stadium]

This is the only officially endorsed international wheelchair marathon race in Japan and the best athletes in the world gather here for the race. The sight of participants overcoming their disability is a touching one.

Oita Fantasy (Illumination Festival)

[December/Chuo Street, Yuho Promenade Park]

This is a festival of gorgeous illumination and brilliant lights. The pageant of lights consists of trees decorated with thousands of electric lamps and standing objects of art such as the “Symbol Tower”.

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