FESTIVALS April 2023


                                 9:00-17:00 Closed on Tuesdays        At Uwajima Date Museum  Uwajima city (Tel. 0895-22-7776)

Feb. 26-April 3        The 9th KUMA-MACHI HINA-MATSURI                                                                                                                             On Kuma-cho Shotengai (Shopping Street) and at Akebono-za  Kumakogen-cho, Kamiukena-gun (Tel. 0892-21-2018)

Feb.11-April 4          HINA-DOLL EXHIBITION

                               At Museum of Ehime History and Culture  Uno-machi, Uwa-cho, Seiyo city (Tel. 0894-62-6222)

HANA-MI (flower viewing)
Popular hanami spots in Matsuyama

Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle is designated as one of the 100 national beautiful sakura spots. About 200 cherry trees attract us in addition to the fantastic view of the castle against the clear blue sky.

Ishite-gawa Riverside Park

The area near Izumi-machi and Muro-machi, and the area between Ichitsubo Bridge and Tachibana Bridge are recommended spots. There are grassy areas along the riverside where you can relax and have a picnic.

Dogo Park near Dogo-onsen

The hilltop area has a good command of the whole park in full bloom.

Well-known cherry trees in temples in Matsuyama are Usuzumi-zakura in Saiho-ji in Shimoidai-cho, Mikaeri-no-sakura in Ishite-ji, and Uba-zakura in Taiho-ji in Minamiedo, all of which are designated Matsuyama City Natural Monuments, and have interesting legends related to the cherry blossoms.


1st 11:00-16:00   The 50th National Yakyuken Contest

                                    At Matsuyama Castle Honmaru  Hiroba (main tower square)

In case of rain, at Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan

The Yakyuken dance, a stylized form of jan-ken-pon, originated in Matsuyama. The gestures are borrowed from baseball hand signals.

12:30-14:00    Challenge of the 50th National Yakyuken Contest to Guinness World Record

                                 At Matsuyama Castle Honmaru Hiroba

In case of rain, at Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan

12:00-16:30       The 19th National Iyo-bushi Contest

                                At Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan

2nd    11:40-13:20       Daimyo Musha Gyoretsu (Procession of the Feudal Lord and Samurai)

Starting in front of the chairlift/gondola station, it goes down the Ropeway street, to Okaido and Chifune-machi streets.

                             In case of rain, on Okaido and Gintengai streets

This event started in 1968 to commemorate the completion of the reconstruction of the sub-castle-tower. It re-enacts the procession of feudal lords who had to make regular visits to the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (present-day Tokyo) during the 17th -19th centuries.

The guest star this year is Suzuki Airi, a singer and model, who will be the o-himesama, a princess.

10:00-16:00 SPRING FESTIVAL IN HORINOUCHI At Castle park Horinouchi

Stage events, booths with food & drink, etc.

              11:00-12:50      Matsuyama Citizen Parade   On Okaido and Chifunemachi streets

4th        14:00-16:00        The 14th SHINONOME-NOH

                                 At Shinonome-jinja shrine, up the stairs at the north end of the Ropeway street

Once Shinonome-noh was a core event of the Matsuyama spring festival. It was revived after a 13-year interval by the local people who love Matsuyama traditional noh culture. Admission: 2,000 yen (day ticket only)       (Tel. 090-4784-5847 Watanabe)

Co-operative events

1st -2nd 17:30 -21:00  Matsuyama castle gondola and chairlift service operates at night during the festival.

                      Gondola and chairlift ticket (round trip) :Adults 520 yen children 260 yen       

8:30-17:30      Flower arrangement exhibit

                                      At Matsuyama Castle gondola station 2F (Admission: Free)

2nd 14:40-15:45      Showano-komachi-mikoshi (portable shrine) Rope rolling

                                      At Matsuyama castle park Horinouchi

April 15-16 TOBE-YAKI FESTIVAL 9:00-20:00               Tokaido-Yutori-koen , Tobe-cho, Iyo-gun

Tobe-yaki (porcelain), famous for its beauty and durability will be on display and for sale. This event is popular because the prices will be lower than usual. Many stalls are set up and local foods and products will be on sale.

Place 1. Tobe-cho Tokaido Yutori-koen (Multi-Purpose Park) near Tobe-cho Town Office

               Tobe-yaki sales / Sales of local foods and products

          Rokuro (potter’s wheel) Challenge Corner Try making your own cup or plate.

               Etsuke (painting your own design on an item of pottery)

            Tobe-yaki-no-sato Stamp rally

Place 2. Tobe-yaki Dento-sangyo-kaikan (Traditional and industrial Tobe-yaki Center), and Tobe-cho Shoko-Kaikan (Tobe-cho Commercial Center) (16th -17:00)

                  Display of newly-made Tobe-yaki pieces / Sales of local foods and products / Charity Auction

                   Mochimaki (rice cake scattering)  12:00 (Tel. 089-962-7288)


To Place 1 (Iyotetsu Bus) Buses leave every 30 minutes. There is no free shuttle service between Place 1 and Place 2.

To get to Yutori -koen, take a bus bound for Tobe-dansoguchi or Tobe-oiwabashi from Matsuyama Shieki #3 and get off at Tobe-cho yakuba (town office) -nishi (a 40-minute ride). Then it’s a 15-minute walk to the park.

(JR Bus)Take a bus bound for Kumakogen and get off at Tobe-cho Chuokominkan-mae. (a 40-minute ride). Then it’s a 15-minute walk to the park.

To Place 2 (Iyotetsu Bus) To get to Dento-sangyo-kaikan, take a bus bound for Tobe-dansoguchi ) or Tobe-oiwabashi from Matsuyama Shieki #3.and get off at Dento-sangyo-kaikan-mae.

(a 40-minute ride). Then it’s a minute’s walk to Dento-sangyo-kaikan.

http://www.tobe-kanko.jp/news/      (Tel. 089-962-7288)


On Mt. Tomisu Park  0zu city

About 63,000 plants of azaleas are in bloom on top of Mt. Tomisu about this time of the year. Mt. Tomisu is well known in east Japan for its azalea blossoms.    (Tel.0893-24-2111)

Transportation: Take a bus bound for Yawatahama from Matsuyama Shieki #4 and get off at Ozu Honmachi. It takes one hour and 20 minutes. Or take a JR express train bound for Uwajima and get off at Ozu. It takes 40 minutes. From the station it takes 15 minutes by taxi to get to the park. Combine this with the Garyu sanso villa and Ozu castle for a full day of sightseeing.

GOLDEN WEEK (April 29-May 5)

The string of holidays starting on April 29th and ending on May 5th is called Golden Week. Since it is a popular time to travel, all means of transportation are very crowded. If you want to take a trip you need to plan well in advance to get reservations.


At Yawatahama Citizen Sports Park Yawatahama City

Ninomiya Chuhachi was born in Yawatahama in 1866. He is called the ‘father of the plane’ because he succeeded in flying the first model plane 12 years before the Wright brothers made their famous flight. This event is held to commemorate Ninomiya’s creative spirit. There are races of various kinds of model planes competing for the length of flying time. You need to make a reservation if you wish to join the race. (Tel. 0894-22-311)

Transportation: Take a JR express train bound for Uwajima and get off at Yawatahama. It takes about one hour. There is free shuttle service from JR Yawatahama station to the festival site (a 20-minute ride).

April 29 SHOWA-NO-HI (National Holiday)

The Showa era lasted from 1927 to 1989. This day commemorates the Showa era.

Early May KASHIMA  SPRING FESTIVAL in Kashima Island

Hojo, Matsuyama City

Details of the event have not been announced yet. (Tel. 992-1423)

May 3 KENPO-KINEN-BI (Constitution Day)   (National Holiday)

The present constitution was promulgated on May 3rd, 1947. This day commemorates the event and it is also a day for us to reaffirm hope in national growth.

May 4 MIDORI-NO-HI (Greenery Day) (National Holiday)

This holiday was established in 1989 for people to admire nature, give thanks for its blessings, and to cultivate love for all living things on the earth.

May 5 KODOMO-NO-HI (Children’s Day) (National Holiday)

Traditionally, this was Boys’ Day. After World War II it was changed to Children’s Day. Now it is a day to pray for the healthy growth of children. Koinobori (carp streamers) are flown from poles. According to Chinese legend, carp symbolizes vigor and strength. Chimaki (rice dumpling wrapped in a bamboo leaf) and kashiwa-mochi (rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf) are the traditional treats of the day.

May 5 (In case of rain May 6) IKAZAKI ODAKO GASSEN (Big Kite Fight Festival)

                                 8:00-16:00 Ikazaki, Uchiko-cho

This festival with over a 400-year history is one of the three biggest kite fights in Japan. It is designated as a Prefectural Intangible Cultural Folk Asset. Several hundreds of kites are flown high from both sides of the Toyoaki river in Ikazaki. The feature of this event is that each flier tries to cut down the other kites using gagari, a sharp piece of metal attached to the line of the kite. The last kite left flying is the winner. This festival originated to celebrate babies born within the past year, hoping for their healthy growth by putting their names on the kite and flying them in the sky. (Hatsuzeku Shinto ceremony). Everything takes place at or near the Toyoaki bridge in Ikazaki. (Tel. 0893-44-2118 Uchiko Town Office)

8:00 Boys’ kendo contest

9:45 Handmade kite (by junior high students) contest

Kids’ kite fight

Exhibition of calanthe discolors (May 4,5) at Kite Museum

Flight of Kanreki, 60th birthday celebration kites praying for the happiness and longevity of those who have turned 60.

12:00 Flight of a 100-jo (tatami mats) sized kite

12:30 Hatsuzeku Shinto ceremony to bless babies born since last April

13:00-15:00 Big kite fight

13:00  Japanese drum performance by Uchiko High School students

Transportation: It is recommended to go by train because traffic on Route 56 is very crowded on this day. Take a JR train bound for Ozu or Yawatahama from Matsuyama and get off at Uchiko,. There is free shuttle service from Uchiko station to the festival site (a 5-minute ride).

Across the river from the festival site is Ikazaki Kite Museum which has a collection of kites from all over the world.

NOTES: Events might be canceled or postponed to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus infection. Please check the latest information.

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STAFF April 2023