Iizaka Fighting Festival (Iizaka Kenka Matsuri)
Date: Friday October 2nd – Sunday October 4th
Area: Fukushima City
Time: From 11am on Friday; 8:30am on Saturday; 11am on Sunday
Address: 1, Aza-hachiman, Iizakamachi, Fukushima-city, Fukushima Pref.
Details: This is one of the three major Fighting Festivals in Japan. As the name suggests, the main event of this festival is a fight in which parade floats are slammed into each other in a race to try to get to the main temple first. While it is a three day festival, the main event starts from around 8:30pm on Saturday.
English Blog about this year’s event: http://tadaimajp.com/2015/09/iizaka-kenka-matsuri-3/
Japanese Website: http://hachimanjinja.info/
Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival
Date: Sunday, October 4th – Tuesday, October 6th
Time: Sunday: 5:50pm – late; Monday: 8:30am – late; Tuesday: 5:40pm – late
Address: Get off at Nihonmatsu station and you will find yourself in the middle of the festival!
Details: Watch one of Japan’s three best lantern festivals, located in our great prefecture of Fukushima! These beautiful lanterns are made by stretching paper over split bamboo. The sheer amount of these lanterns at the festival is not something to miss! This is one of the best festivals in Fukushima, so if you live in the area, I recommend checking it out (Unfortunately it falls on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday this year). The second day is the main part of the festival.
Japanese Website: http://www.nihonmatsu-kanko.jp/matsuri.html
Japanese Flyer: http://www.city.nihonmatsu.lg.jp/uploaded/attachment/20059.pdf
Annual Furudono Hachiman Shrine Festival (古殿八幡神社)
Date: Saturday, October 10th – Sunday, October 11th
Time: Not posted. Sometime in the afternoon.
Address: Furudono-38 Yamakami, Furudono, Ishikawa District, Fukushima Prefecture 963-8302
Furudono Hachiman Shrine – The closest station is Iwakiishikawa Station, BUT you must take a 40-minute bus from there. It is mostly accessible by car.
Details: Watch a traditional festival where riders shoot arrows at targets from galloping horses! This is a two day event, but the main event is held on the second day. It is an event dedicated to the shrine deity that has been practiced for hundreds of years.
Yanaizu Akabeko Festival
Date: Saturday, October 10th
Area: Aizu Area
Time: 10am – 8pm
Address: Suwamachi Yanaizu, Yanaizu-machi, Kawanuma-gun, Fukushima-ken 969-7201
Details: Visit the birthplace of the akabeko in Yanaizu by painting akabekos, participating in a log pulling competition, food and crafts. There are shuttle buses available from the station to the venue.
Fukushima Inari Shrine Harvest Festival
Date: Saturday, October 10th – Monday, October 12th
Area: Fukushima City
Time: the main festival starts at 10am on Saturday
Address: Exit Fukushima station, east exit. Hard to miss. It is about a 15 minute walk to the temple itself.
Details: Haunted houses. Shooting range games. 250 booths. This big festival in Fukushima is a great way to welcome fall. The highlight of this festival is the parade that starts as dusk settles around 6pm and floats, decked with lanterns, is marched from Fukushima station to the temple in the mountains.
Japanese website: http://www.f-kankou.jp/akimatsuri.htm
Tanagura Fall Festival
Date: Saturday, October 11th – Sunday, October 12th
Time: Saturday: 3pm – 9pm; Sunday: 10am – 9pm
Address: Around Kanagura Station
Details: More floats and taiko drums! And judging from pictures I have seen online, the floats are spilling over with young men standing and dangling off the sides.
Annual Fall Festival at Tensho Shinmei Shrine
Date: Saturday, October 17th – Sunday, October 18th
Area: Date City (Just Northeast of Fukushima City)
Time: Unknown, but it is a safe bet it is in the afternoon and the evening
Address: Near Hobara Station
Details: There aren’t many details about this festival, but the photos online of the festival are pretty amazing. There will be taiko performances and floats being displayed around the main street.
Japanese Website: Check out the pictures to see what it is like! http://www.date-shi.jp/cat47/hobara/23.html
Goshikinuma Hike hosted by Aizu JETs
Date: Saturday, October 24th
Time: 10am ~ however long it takes! (A few hours)
Details: Every year the Aizu ASL hosts a Goshikinuma hike, just in time for what the Japanese call “Kouyou,” which refers to the changing color of the leaves in fall. The trees look spectacular during this time, so why not enjoy a lovely hike through several brightly colored lakes? There is also a bus that runs from Inawashiro station to Goshikinuma, as well. If you need a ride, post in the event page – someone can probably assist you!
Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1639869782958076/
Motomiya Fall Festival
Date: Friday, October 23rd – Sunday, October 25th
Area: Fukushima City
Time: Friday: 12pm – 9:30pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 9:30pm
Address: Around Motomiya Station
Details: Name: 150 outdoor food and game stalls, children’s performances, a women only dance performance and much, much more! Come check out this three day event (or two. Or one!)
Japanese Website: http://www.nihon-kankou.or.jp/fukushima/detail/07214ba2212051452
English Website: http://www.goldenjipangu.com/141025motomiya.html
61st Annual Chrysanthemum Doll Exhibition
Date: Saturday, October 10th – Monday, November 23rd
Time: 9am – 4pm
Price: 700 yen for adults
Address: On the castle grounds of Kasumigajo
4 Chome Kakunai Nihonmatsu-shi, Fukushima-ken 964-0904
Details: View dolls, decorations and displays made from Chrysanthemums. If you haven’t had the chance to visit this beautiful city, this is a great chance!
Japanese Website: http://www.nihonmatsu-kanko.jp/kikuningyo.html
Halloween Party at Club #9
Date: Saturday, October 31st
Address: Club #9 Ekimae 2-7-15, Koriyama, Fukushima 963-8002
Details: Every year ALTs flock to Club #9 for Halloween. This year, Halloween falls on a weekend! Dress up and enjoy 80’s dance music on the second floor and Club music on the 1st floor!