Jul 10, 2018 Attraction Hiroshima City

What To See At Sumiyoshi Festival, One of the Top 3 Festivals in Hiroshima!

#Attraction ,#Event ,#Event2019 ,#Local Festival ,#Photogenic ,#Summer ,#Temple&Shrine

Sumiyoshi Festival is one of Hiroshima’s three biggest festivals. With stalls lining the streets, it has all of the traditional elements of a shrine festival.

Sumiyoshi Festival is a Festival to Cleanse Mind and Body

Sumiyoshi Festival, held every year with 20,000 participants, is one of Hiroshima’s three biggest festivals, along with Ebisu Festival and Tokasan Festival. It is held on the 14th and 15th of June on the old calendar every year. In 2018, it is held on July 26 and 27, and is a ritual to cleanse the sins, impurities, and misfortunes that have built up over the year.

The main events are the “Chinowa Kuguri” (walking around/through a grass hoop) and the doll floating. There are other traditional festival attractions like stalls and kagura (Shinto dance) performances. This festival is for everybody, and the warm atmosphere is beloved by photographers.

History of the Festival

In 1798, a large fire broke out in the present-day location of Kakomachi, and the following year in 1799, on the day the shrine was relocated to its current location (June 14), they held a summer festival. The festival continued to be held in the shrine even during WWII, and in the 1980s and 1990s, a total of 200,000 people visited. Around the shrine, the streets were lined by 200 stalls, and at night they would launch fireworks.

Doll Floating: A Mystical Event You Have to Experience Once

The best things to see at Sumiyoshi Festival are the Chinowa Kuguri and the Doll Floating. Chinowa Kuguri is a purification ritual where a 3 meter wide grass ring is placed at the shrine entrance, and participants go through it three times, from left, to right, to left. By going through the ring, it is said that your blood flow will improve, making you feel better, and your spirit will be cleansed, protecting you from harm.

Doll Floating is a ritual to cleanse soul and body by using a doll as a representation of yourself.
First, you write your name and age on the doll, and rub it all over. Then, you blow on it, putting all of your sins and impurities into the doll. You then place it on a lantern, and float it down the river.
At Sumiyoshi Shrine, they use rare water-soluble dolls, so it’s not harmful to the environment.


For people who want to visit the shrine before it gets crowded, I recommend coming at around 7 pm, before the sun goes down, as not many people have arrived by then. On the day of the festival, roads will be congested, so taking the train may be better.

Sumiyoshi san
Venue 8-12 Mikawacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima (map)
Date  Every Jun 14&15 on lunar calendar
July 16 -17  in 2019
Time 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

Access to Sumiyoshi Festival 

Roads will be congested, so taking the train may be better.

Street Car From Hiroshima Station

Price:¥180 Time: Approx.30mins- Changes: None

Hiroshima Sta.

Shiyakusho-Mae Sta.
Takanobashi Sta.
Hiroshima Electric Railway
Bound for: Ujina or Hiroden Honsha-mae

Sumiyoshi Shrine


Price:¥180 Time: Approx.35mins- Changes: None


Hiroshima Sta.

Funairihon-machi Sta.
Hiroshima Electric Railway
Bound for: Eba

Sumiyoshi Shrine


Price:¥180 Time: 25mins- Changes: None

Hiroshima Sta.

Hiroden Bus Route3
Bound for: Hiroshima Nishi-Hikojyo

Sumiyoshi Shrine


Price:¥180 Time: 20mins- Changes: None

Hiroshima Sta.

Hiroden Bus Route24
Bound for: Yoshijima Eigyosho

Sumiyoshi Shrine


The Heartwarming Festival

In this article, I’ve covered the appeal of Sumiyoshi Festival, but I also recommend getting the Shiawase Kin-un Omikuij (Happy Golden Luck Mikuji) which is a golden omikuji with a small charm inside. The festival attracts people from all around the region, and creates a relaxing atmosphere.
Crowded with people wearing yukatas and children enjoying the stalls, it’s the highlight of summer in Hiroshima. Why not come check it out?


Read More: Sumiyoshi Festival 2018, One of Hiroshima’s 3 Biggest Festivals!