Within Mie Prefecture remain longstanding traditions and customs,
and glamorous dancing that highlight each season.
Festivals that borrow heavily from local traditions are held in all parts of Mie Prefecture, throughout the year.
Shirongo Festival (Toba City) Middle of July
Fish-catching by women divers, called ama, is an ancient Japanese fishing method. The women divers compete to find abalones. People pray for bumper catches and safety in the sea, and dedicate the first abalone of the competition to the gods.
■ 15-minute walk from Sugashima Port after an 18-minute ride on a ship from Sadahama Port, which is located in front of Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines
Geita Festival (Toba City) January 1st
This brisk festival is a ritual of the Yashiro Shrine held at Kami Island at dawn on New Year’s Day. All men on the island use bamboo poles to hold up a large ring two meters wide which represents the sun, and then they drop it.
■ 50-minute ride on a ship from Sadahama Port, which is in front of Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines
Spring / Autumn Kagura Festivals (Ise City) Spring: beginning of April; autumn: middle of September
These festivals are held twice a year in spring and autumn to express thanks to the gods and pray for the peace of citizens. Jingu-Kagura, a Shinto dance, is performed for the public on a special stage in the Naiku of Ise Jingu.
■ A short walk from the Naiku-mae bus stop from Ise-shi Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines
Ise-ebi Lobster Festival (Shima City) Beginning of June
Expressing gratitude to the sea, mainly for Ise-ebi lobsters, and with hopes for a bumper harvest, people hold a huge imitation Ise-ebi lobster 6.5 meters long and parade along the coast.
■ 20-minute ride to the Hamajima bus stop from Ugata Station on the Kintetsu Line
Ise Jingu National Fireworks Festival (Ise City) End of July
Fifty groups of pyrotechnic experts from all over Japan are dedicated in their efforts to launch approximately 9,000 magnificent fireworks, creating a great symphony of fire, sound, and light as they compete in the night sky over the clear waters of the pristine Miya River.
■ Special shuttle buses operated from Ise-shi Station and Ujiyamada Station
Waraji Festival (Shima City) End of September
This amazing festival is based on “Dandarabocchi,” a character in a folktale, and has been designated as an intangible cultural asset of Mie Prefecture.
■ Ride to the Nakiri-gyoko Uoichiba-mae bus stop or Nakiri-shogakko-mae bus stop from Ugata Station on the Kintetsu Line
Ise Festival (Ise City) Middle of October
A 112-year-old festival, in which a miniature shrine, traditional dancing, and floats decorated with lanterns parade through Ise City and highlight the Ise Road in autumn.
■ A short walk from Ise-shi Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines