DOYO YOICHI (Saturday Fair) in Matsuyama City
MISHIMA SUIGUN TSURUHIME FESTIVAL in Omishima-cho, Imabari City
UWAJIMA USHIONI MATSURI in Uwajima City
KAZAHAYA UMIMATSURI in Hojo, Matsuyama City
July 1-10 OYAMA-BIRAKI (Opening of Mt. Ishizuchi)
July 1st is the official opening of Mt. Ishizuchi石鎚山 (1,982 m), the highest mountain in western Japan. It is also considered a holy mountain and many believers from all over Japan come to climb it and pray. On June 30th three gods are taken in portable shrines from Ishizuchi-jinja near Saijo西条 to Jojusha, the shrine at the top of the mountain. The three gods represent wisdom, compassion and courage, which are said to be the three masculine virtues. On the morning of July 1st, from about 7:00 small statues of the gods are carried to the top of the mountain one by one to the accompaniment of drums and conch shells followed by
men dressed in white, called sendatsu-san. At the top they pray for health and safety while tapping the statues on each others’ backs. The gods are enshrined there until July 10th. In the past no women were allowed to climb Mt. Ishizuchi. Now they can, but they are still not allowed on July 1st. The climb is not so difficult and takes about two hours from Tsuchigoya.
(Tel. 0897-55-4044 Ishizuchi-jinja)
IYOTETSU BUS NIIHAMA TOKKYU (limited express)
Fare (one way) \1,340 . 089- 972-2511
Matsuyama-shieki 8:26 #8→Ishizuchi-jinja-mae 9:56
Ishizuchi-jinja-mae → Matsuyama-shieki
July 1-Sept. 20 UKAI (Cormorant Fishing) on the Hiji-kawa (river) Ozu City
In Japan the tradition of fishing with cormorants goes back at least a thousand years. In Ozu it started as a tourist attraction in 1957 and now the Hiji-kawa is one of the three most famous ukai spots in Japan, including the Nagara-gawa in Gifu Prefecture and the Mikuma-gawa in Oita Prefecture. The fishing is done from a boat called u-bune, which is lit by torches as it sails down the Hiji-kawa, which runs through Ozu. Cormorant fishermen called usho, beat the sides of the boats to encourage trained cormorants to catch fish. They are drawn by long strings attached to rings around the birds’ necks, which prevent them from swallowing the fish. When a cormorant makes a catch, a fisherman pulls the bird in and has it spit out the fish on the boat. You can watch it from special sightseeing boats called yakata-bune. You can order a bento to eat on board or just ride the boat and watch, and some hotels offer a special ukai package. It will be canceled if the weather is bad. Prices range from \4,000 to \20,000. You need to make a reservation in advance at Ozu Machinoeki Asamoya. (Tel. 0893-57-6655)
Transportation: Take an Iyotetsu bus bound for Yawatahama from Shieki, gate #4, and get off at Ozu Honmachi, a 90-minute ride. Or take a JR express train from Matsuyama and get off at Ozu, a 40-minute ride. From the station take a taxi or walk for 30 minutes.
July 7 TANABATA (Star Festival)
According to a Chinese legend it is only once a year that two lovers, the Shepherd (Altair) and the Weaving Princess (Vega), are able to cross the Milky Way and meet. Bamboo branches are decorated with tanzaku, strips of colored paper on which wishes are written, and brightly colored balls with long paper streamers. In Ehime it is usually held on August 7th according to the lunar calendar.
July 22 UMI NO HI (Marine Day) 海の日 National Holiday
July 23 SPORTS DAY スポーツの日 National Holiday
Late July SHIMANAMI-KAIDO TAKIGINO (Noh play by firelight)
at Oyamazumi-jinja (shrine) Miyaura. Omishima-cho, Imabari City
Shimanami-kaido Takigino is an annual event widely known among Noh and kyogen (comic plays) lovers in Japan. Noh and kyogen performed by top class performers are held in the precincts of Oyamazumi-jinja.
Details of the event have not been announced yet.
Further information: Ehime-shinbun-sha (Tel. 089-935-2355)
NOTES: Events might be canceled or postponed to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus infection. Please check the latest information.