Kinosaki Onsen, Japan’s best hot spring resort town, is set to treat visitors to a month of exciting festivals and activities this summer, proving that the town’s appeal goes way beyond its world-famous onsens.
From colourful shrine festivals, dazzling fireworks and impressive dance performances, Kinosaki Onsen will be bursting with vibrant colours, vivid rhythms and tasty flavours over the summer months.
“Kinosaki Onsen is where culture meets indulgence and summer gives visitors the unique opportunity to experience the perfect combination of both” said Alison Roberts-Brown, former long-term Japan resident and Director of Tourism Garden, representative of Visit Kinosaki in Australia.
“Kinosaki’s festivals are more than just celebrations. They are a reflection of the destination’s incredible cultural depth from its local food to its unique traditions and customs” she added.
According to Visit Kinosaki, the best festival experiences to be had this summer include:
Be impressed by Firework Displays: Your unique chance to see Kinosaki and surrounds light up. Every weekday evening between 27 July and 26 August there are spectacular firework displays (hanabi) from 9pm along the Otani River that runs through Kinosaki town. Kicking off the festival season with a great fireworks show over the sea is Takeno, a lively beachside town just 10 minutes by train from Kinosaki Onsen.
Sample Street Food: The annual Kinosaki Hometown Festival on 6 August has ‘yatai’ (street food) or booths lined up selling festival foods. Some of the most popular and common foods are tako-yaki (a ball-shaped Japanese snack typically filled with diced octopus), yaki-soba (a popular noodle stir-fry dish), kaki-gori (shaved, syrup-flavored ice dessert) and more.
Visit Shrines by Night: Kinosaki’s shrines provide the perfect setting for festival activities and almost every night presents an opportunity to witness a shrine festival and enjoy games in the most beautiful night time setting.
Feel Kinosaki’s Rhythms: Enjoy the many musical performances such as Taiko (Japanese drum) or the ‘Obon dance’, a style of dancing performed to honour the spirits of one’s ancestors.
Make a Wish: A lantern festival will be held on the last day of festivities this year where you can write your wishes on a paper lantern, put a candle inside and watch it float down the river.