June 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 in the evening from a boat called u-bune, which is lit by torches as it sails down the Hiji-kawa, the river that 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 fish. When a cormorant makes a catch, a fisherman pulls the bird in and has it cough up the fish on the boat. You can watch 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. Prices range from 4,000 yen to 12,000 yen, depending on your plan.

You need to make a reservation at Ozu Machinoeki Asamoya (Tel. 0893-57-6655).

It will be canceled if the weather is bad.

Transportation: Take an Iyotetsu bus bound for Yawatahama from Shieki, gate #4, and get off at Ozu-honmachi bus stop, 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.


June 17 -July 29 DOYO YOICHI (Saturday Fair)  13:00- 21:00
On Saturdays from mid-June to late July the Okaido and Gintengai Arcades and Matsuchika Town are filled with booths. There are games such as kingyo-sukui (goldfish catching), food, many sorts of things to buy and crowds of people enjoying the fun.

July 1-10 OYAMA-BIRAKI (Opening of Mt. Ishizuchi)
July 1st is the official opening of Mt. Ishizuchi (1,982 m), the highest mountain in western Japan. It is 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 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. If you are male and want to join, you should follow the sendatsu-san.
The climb is not so difficult and takes about two hours from Tsuchigoya.

(Tel. 0897-55-4044 Ishiduchi-jinja)

Transportation: Iyotetsu Bus Niihama Tokkyu (limited express)  Fare (one way) 1,800 yen

Matsuyama-shieki #8  →    Ishizuchi-jinja-mae

                  8:23                                   9:56

                14:23                                 15:56

Ishizuchi-jinja-mae   →    Matsuyama-shieki

               13:07                                  14:38

               17:07                                  18:38

(Tel. 089- 972-2511)

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 this is usually celebrated on August 7th according to the lunar calendar.


9:00-17:00 (closed on Tuesday) at GALLERY SHIROKAWA Shirokawa-cho, Seiyo City

The national exhibition of paintings on kamaboko (fish-paste) boards started about thirty years ago. This year 6,355 paintings were sent from all over the country and abroad. The painting which won the first prize this year is the one titled “Konosato ni oi wo sadamete (I have decided to spend my old age in this village)”. It was painted by Kunimitsu Mitsue from Yamaguchi prefecture showing her old father transplanting rice seedlings carefully one by one in the paddy field by hand.  (Tel. 0894-82-1001)

Mid-July MISHIMA SUIGUN (sea guards) TSURUHIME (Princess Tsuru) FESTIVAL

                                                                           Omishima-cho, Imabari City

Details of the event have not been announced yet. 

July 17 UMI NO HI (Sea Day)      National Holiday


This is one of the biggest festivals in Shikoku. The main feature is Ushioni (ox devil). Ushioni, having the body of an ox and the head of a devil, are made of red, blue or brown cloth or hemp palm bark. They are paraded downtown on the main streets. Legend says ushioni were used to frighten the enemy. Togyu (bull fights) are also held during this festival.

It will be canceled in case of rough weather.
22 13:20 (Children) / 16:30 (Adults) Uwajima Gaiya Carnival on Kisaiya road and Ushioni street. “Gaiya” means “terrific” in the local dialect.

      15:00-21:00 All-comer Festa at Fureai square

23 10:45 Brass band parade on Kisaiya road

     13:30 Children’s Ushioni parade on Kisaiya road

     15:00-21:00 All-comer Festa at Shinuchiminato Dai-1-go Ryokuchi

     17:00-20:00 Uwajima odori (dance) on Kisaiya road

     20:30-21:10 Firework display over Uwajima bay (5,000 rounds)

24 13:00-16:00 Usioni parade on Kisaiya road

Transportation: Take a JR express train bound for Uwajima. It takes about one hour and fifteen minutes.

Late July SHIMANAMI-KAIDO TAKIGINO (noh play by firelight)

     at Oyamazumi-jinja (shrine)  Miyaura. Omishima-cho, Imabari City

  Details of the event have not been announced yet.

July 29 KAZAHAYA UMI MATSURI (sea festival)

HOJO FIREWORK DISPLAY 20:2 0-21:00 at Hojo Sotominato Tsuji, Hojo, Matsuyama City

About 4,000 rounds of fireworks are displayed at Hojo Sotominato, Hojo Port. Many stalls are set up. In case of rain, it will be held on July 30th.

Transportation: It takes about ten minutes on foot from JR Hojo station to the port.


Early August -Late August DOGO-ONSEN NATSU MATSURI (summer festival)

    Around Dogo-onsen Honkan (main building), Botchan square, Hojo-en (opposite Dogo-            onsen station)

Early August Dogo-mura matsuri (village festival)

  Details of the event have not been announced yet.