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Festivals of Kumamoto

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Festivals of Kumamoto


Enjoy Kumamoto’s many festivals to interact with the local community and discover centuries-old traditions

Kumamoto City



There are all kinds of ways to get in touch with daily life at your destination and participating in a local festival is one of them. A region rich in culture and history, Kumamoto is home to many festivals, all of which have unique and interesting traditions.


Zuibyo Festival


Boasting a history of more than 1,000 years, the Zuibyo Festival is hosted by Fujisaki Hachimangu, a major shrine in Kumamoto City area. Travel back in time as you watch the procession of warriors, known as the Zuibyo, held by citizens dressed up in samurai armor and feel in touch with the traditions of Kumamoto as a castle town.


Hinokuni Festival


In summer, don’t miss the exciting Hinokuni Festival. Started about 40 years ago, it was launched to create an event in which all citizens can enjoy participating and is now the largest festival in Kumamoto. The festival’s highlight is the So Odori, during which more than 5,000 people dance together around the city.



There are also new festivals that have only emerged in recent years, such as the Mizu Akari Festival, during which the city is decorated with bamboo lanterns and is beautifully lit by over 54,000 candles. Only local resources are utilized for the setup and the lanterns are repurposed after the event, demonstrating how festivals are not simply held to maintain tradition, but can also contribute to creating a better future.


Whether old or new, festivals offer visitors the opportunity to interact with the local community, and to explore Kumamoto in greater depth.





How to get there


From Aso Kumamoto Airport, take the Airport Limousine Bus (about 1 hour) to central Kumamoto City.


Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken



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