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International Culture Comes Alive at the Kunchi Festival


Nagasaki’s biggest annual event showcases its cross-cultural ties


If Japan threw a party and invited China, the Netherlands, and Portugal, the result would very much look like Nagasaki's Kunchi Festival. Colorful costumes and dances from various cultures can be seen in this annual celebration, held every autumn since 1634. It is the major autumn festival of the patron deity of Suwa Shrine, and is a city-wide event involving other shrines as well. Feel the power of the Chinese-influenced Dragon Dance, featuring a large dragon puppet controlled by a team of dancers who breathe life into it with their lively performance. 

The Kunchi Festival is held annually over a three-day period from October 7 to 9, during which time you can also enjoy performances at the Nagasaki Station plaza and other locations throughout the city. It's the perfect time to enjoy the cultural melting pot that is Nagasaki.




Seating is available for a fee, or you can catch a glimpse of the proceedings at Nagasaki city center for free. The procession is visible from Chuo Park, Suwa Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, and Otabisho. 


Access: From Hakata Station, take the Relay Kamome Line limited express from Hakata Station to Takeo Onsen Station (about one hour), then transfer to the Nishi-Kyushu Shinkansen to Nagasaki Station (about 30 minutes).




Contribution to Sustainability

Nagasaki’s Kunchi Festival, which was listed as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in Japan, is a tradition with more 380 years of history. See a unique mix of cultural traditions handed down over generations.


Nagasaki Kunchi


Suwa Shrine, 18-15 Kaminishiyama-cho, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken




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