Aug 07, 2018 Culture Onomichi

Innoshima Suigun Festival -Time Traveling to the Sengoku Period!

#Culture ,#Event ,#Event2018 ,#Island ,#Kids ,#Local Festival ,#Summer ,#Tradition

Innoshima is an island that’s part of Onomichi City in Hiroshima, and there are samurai culture event based around the Murakami Suigun. In July, August, and September, they hold the 3-part Innoshima Suigun Festival. Let’s find out the appeal of this traditional Japanese event, the Innoshima Suigun Festival!

What is Innoshima Suigun Festival!

Innoshima Suigun Festival is a festival comprised of 3 parts, Island Festival/Sea Festival/Fire Festival, which are all unique. It is a recreation of the Murakami Suigun, who were active during the Nanboku-cho, Muromachi, and Sengoku periods. The best things to see are the boat races, with helmet-wearing samurai riding wooden boats (Kohaya), and the huge fireworks is magnificent! This is a great event for international tourists to experience traditional Japan, so you should definitely check it out when you go on a trip here.

The Island Festival

The Island Festival is the first event of Innoshima Suigun Festival, and is held to express gratitude to our ancestors, and to the success of the festival. After the opening ceremony, the helmet-wearing samurai head to the festival venue, Innoshima Amenity Park. Here, there will be events like the Taiko drum performance by the Innoshima Murakami Suigun, the opening of the beach and prayer for safety, and the Chouraku Mai dancing.
The main stars are about 50 samurai, and this event is the closest you’ll get to the real Sengoku Period at the Innoshima Suigun Festival.

The Sea Festival

The highlight of the Sea Festival is the 1km race using wooden boats called Kohaya. 16 people are on each boat, 14 rowers, 1 coxswain, and 1 drummer, and they compete to see which team is the fastest in a thrilling contest. You can also ride on and row the Kohaya boats in the Kohaya Experience, usually held from 12 pm to 1 pm. The festival will feature a variety of stalls, and there will be Innoshima Suigun Festival merchandise available, so be sure to check them out!

The Fire Festival

At the Fire Festival, the samurai grab huge torches and meet by the seaside at night, where the flames are the only light source. They set up camp by the light of the torches, and the Kohaya teams land their boats on the shore. At 8:45 pm, they start the fireworks display, and the Chouraku Mai dance “Yorokobi no Sou-Odori” concludes the festival. At this event, it feels like you’ve just won a battle, and are enjoying the victory celebration.

Event Information

Innoshima Suigun Festival
Address Innoshima Amenity Park, Shimanami Beach
57 Ohamacho, Innoshima, Onomichi (map)
Closest Station 25mins from JR Onomichi Station by bus
Website Japanese Website
Cost Free

Date&Time in 2018

Island Festival July 8 (Sun) 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sea Festival Aug 26 (Sun) 8:30am – 4:30pm
Fire Festival Sep 1 (Sat) 5:00pm – 9:40pm

Access from Hiroshima CIty

Bullet Train+JR Train

Price:¥5,310 Time: 1h-1.5 Changes: 2times

Hiroshima Sta.

Fukuyama Sta.
JR Shinkansen
(24mins)
¥4,750

Onomichi Sta.
JR Sanyo Line
(18mins)

Innoshima Ohashi
Bus
Bound for “Innoshima Habuko”
(25mins)
¥560

Innoshima Amenity Park, Shimanami Beach
Walk
(10mins)

Bus

Price:¥2,310 Time: 2h- Changes: 1time

Hiroshima Bus Center

Onomichi Sta.
Highway Bus
Flower Liner
(1.5h)
¥1,750

Innoshima Ohashi
Bus
Bound for “Innoshima Habuko”
(25mins)
¥560

Innoshima Amenity Park, Shimanami Beach
Walk
(10mins)

 JR Train

Price:¥2,310 Time: 2.5h Changes: 1time

Hiroshima Bus Center

Itozaki Sta.
Highway Bus
Flower Liner
(1h18mins)
¥1,750

Onomichi Sta.
JR Sanyo Line
(7mins)

Innoshima Ohashi
Bus
Bound for “Innoshima Habuko”
(25mins)
¥560

Innoshima Amenity Park, Shimanami Beach
Walk
(10mins)

Experience a Japanese Battle

At Innoshima Suigun Festival, it feels like you’re in the Sengoku period. There are lively events that will give you a sense of unity, like the encampment of the helmet-wearing samurai and the Kohaya races. Why not come and travel back in time to the Sengoku period?

Photo Credit: Hiroshima Prefecture