Festivals & Events
Hyuga Hyottoko 日向ひょっとこ夏祭り
Enjoy the outlandish dances at this massive summer festival
If you're in the Hyuga area of north Miyazaki on the first Saturday night of August, you're in for a treat. The Hyuga Hyottoko Summer Festival is one of Japan's biggest Hyottoko dance festivals and attracts over 2,000 dancers and 70,000 visitors.
- The individual Hyuga Hyottoko competition on the eve of the festival
- The main parade and festival on Saturday night
- Free Hyottoko dance instruction classes for festivalgoers
How to Get There
The event is held in the city of Hyuga , which is located in northern Miyazaki Prefecture and can be accessed by train or car.
By train, take the JR Nippo Main Line from Miyazaki Station and head for Nobeoka. Get off at Hyugashi Station, which is 45 minutes away. The festival is held in the area around the station.
By car, take Route 10 out of the city heading for Nobeoka. Look for signs to Hyugashi Station on the left. The journey is about an hour and 30 minutes depending on traffic.
Although the comical Hyottoko dance with masks are the main attraction, Okame (flat-faced smiling woman) and fox dances are also featured in the festival
The dancers' uniforms consist of a polka dot head towel, red kimono, white obi belt, and fundoshi, a traditional loincloth
The vast majority of dances are comical, but occasionally, the movements are passionate and dynamic in front of an audience
Hyottoko refers to the unique, smiling character that you can often see in Japanese folk dances and performances.
People believe that the Hyottoko, the dance that's the centerpiece of this festival, can bring abundant harvest and prosperity to the descendants of those who perform it.
If at first you don't succeed...
On the eve of the festival, individual performance competitions are held. Saturday night is where the fun really begins, with the Hyottoko parade.
Dressed in red and white, the dancers move to the rhythmic beats of drums and the light fluttering of flutes, all while making comical hand, feet, and head movements.
Make the most out of the event
While festivalgoers can't actually participate in the dances, you can learn how to do them, and you can also buy good omen Hyottoko souvenirs as reminders of this great summer event.
Festival information is subject to change, so please check the official website.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.