Jun 25, 2018 Event Hiroshima City

“Toka-San Festival”, the First Day of the Year to Wear a Yukata!

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

The “Tokasan Festival”, also called “Yukata Festival”, is a traditional event, celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2019. It is said to be the first day of the year in which one should wear a yukata, so one is mesmerized by the sight of the many women walking through Hiroshima dressed up in this traditional light kimono. This garment, considered a symbol of summer in Hiroshima, is perfect not only for the locals but also for tourists. Here are the history, the dates, and the most interesting features of the Tokasan Festival!

The First day of The Year for Yukata

 The Toka-san Festival, celebrating 400 years of history in 2019, is held every year for three days, starting from the first Friday of June. It is one of Hiroshima’s three major festivals, along with the Ebisu Grand Festival and the Sumiyoshi Festival. This festival is a cause of great activitity, with approximately 80,000 people that come to visit the temple each year while Chuo street, turned into a pedestrian-only zone for the occasion, holds as many as 450,000 visitors.

 The festival will entice your sense of sight, hearing, and taste, with its Buddhist memorial services and ritual bonfire to watch, the Japanese taiko drums to listen to, and food stands where to taste Japan’s summer cuisine while wearing your yukata.

The History of Toka-San

 The Toka-san Festival was also held during the war. Despite the Enryu Temple being destroyed by the atomic bombing of August 6th, 1945, it was rebuilt by the next year and the festival was held, until 1954, during the traditional “tango” holiday on the 5th of May.

 As there is a one month gap between the traditional Japanese calendar and the Gregorian calendar, from 1955 the festival was moved to June 9th and 10th (“Toka” also means “tenth day of the month” in Japanese.) In 1998 the date was changed to “the three days between the first Friday and the first Sunday of June”, and it still is that way today.

1,000 Food Stall Lineup

 Thousands of visitors gather for this festival, in which, over the course of three days, a special Buddhist memorial exposition is held, along with a prayer festival wishing for industrial development, a ritual Buddhist bonfire, and more. 500 red lanterns are hung inside the Enryu Temple, creating a fantastic otherworldly atmosphere.

 With as many as 1,000 stalls opened in Chuo street, one only has to worry about which one to choose. The festival has old-fashioned haunted houses, shooting games, ring throwing games, and more, for the enjoyment of both adults and children. In addition, at the Enryu Temple, for a ¥300 fee donation, one can get the “Hama Fan” which gives happiness, longevity, health, and safety. There are five different colors in total, so have fun finding out which one you got!

When is the Toka-san Festival in 2019

Festivals held over long times, such as the Toka-San festival which is open from 12 am to 11 pm, are best enjoyed by visiting at different times, to see how they change from day to night. The stalls’ opening times are matched to the pedestrian-only times, from 12 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 12 am to 10 pm on Sunday. However, on the last day some stalls may close early, so take care not to miss out on them.

Tokasan
Venue 8-12 Mikawacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima (map)
Date&Time Every first Friday to Sunday in June
June 7 (Fri)-9 (Sun)  in 2019
12a.m.-11p.m.
Website Event Official Website

Access

Since the Enryu Temple is in the downtown area, easy access is one of its main selling points!

From JR Hiroshima Station
Approximately 10 minutes by tramway. Get off at Hacchobori and walk for 5 minutes to the south

From the Bus Center
About 15 minutes on foot from the bus center

By car
7 km (around 25 minutes) from the Sanyo Expressway Hiroshima IC via National Road 54

The Beautiful, Fantastic Toka-San Festival

  As the weather June is still relatively cool, one can enjoy the Toka-San festival for hours at a time. The best time to visit is around sunset when the lanterns begin lighting up. Their red light turns the whole place into the epitome of beauty. And with 1,000 stalls, three days feel like too short of a time! Do not miss this occasion to wear a yukata as you enjoy walking through the city of Hiroshima.

Read 2018 Repot: Main Street Charm – Hiroshima’s Toukasan Festival

 

Photo Credid: Hiroshima Prefecture