Festivals & Events
New Years | beginning of month
New Years' festivities are held throughout Japan the first days of January. Experiencing the festive atmosphere at the Kumano Sanzan shrines is a unique way to bring in the new year.
Ume Hanami | from mid-February to beginning of March
Ume (apricot-like fruit often translated as plum) blossom viewing from the middle of February to the beginning of March.
Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival | 13th to 15th
This annual festival of Kumano Hongu Taisha takes place from April 13th to 15th. The 13th consists of a purification bath of father and son in Yunomine Onsen before walking on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to Oyunohara. The 15th consists of a procession, carrying of the portable shrine, fire ceremony and other events. more Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival >>
Nanakoshi Festival | 29th
Nanakoshi festival takes place on April 29 (Showa Day). Nanakoshi is the ridge across the Kumano-gawa River from Oyunohara. Small local festival dedicated to the deites enshrined along the ancient training route called Omine Okugake-michi.
Opening of the Ogigahama beach | beginning of month
Ogigahama beach is located on the Tanabe Bay about a 10 minutes walk from the JR Kii-Tanabe Station. It is officially open July and August. There is a beach house change room and a seasonal restaurant.
more Ogigahama beach >>
Nachi-no-Hi Matsuri Fire Festival | 14th
The main festival of the Nachi shrine, it takes place on July 14 at the base of this magnificent falls. It is a fire festival in which 6 meter high portable shrines symbolically representing the waterfall are purified with the fires from oversized torches laboriously carried by men dressed in white.
Tanabe festival | 24th to 25th
A parade of floats takes place during this festival, as well as a demonstration of horseback archery by young boys wearing typical Edo period costumes. Takes place around Tokei-jinja shrine on July 24 and 25.
more Tanabe Festival >>
Kumano Kodo Kiyohime festival | last Sunday of month
Re-enactment of the legend of Anchin and Kiyohime taking place on the last Sunday of July, in Nakahechi. Kiyohime, having been betrayed by the man she loved (Anchin), turned into a dragon and, in her rage, bursts into flames thus killing herself and Anchin.
Chikyu genki mura festival | beginning of month
Takes place the beginning of August in Oto, Mizube-no-Gakko. Fireworks.
Yata Fire Festival | last Saturday of month
Festival taking place on the last Saturday of August, in Oyunohara (Hongu-cho), in honnor of the Yatagarasu crow. This fire festival includes the parading of a fire mikoshi, a Taiko drum show, dancing, and fireworks.
Benkei Festival | first weekend
Taking place at the Ogigahama beach, this festival offers different shows and concerts, including a play re-enacting Benkei’s story. Benkei was a warrior monk who died protecting his master against a vast army. The year’s biggest fireworks take place during this festival.
Kumano Kodo picture scroll procession | 3rd
Re-enactment of the Imperial pilgrimage procession, with traditional costumes, taking place in the Takahara area, Nakahechi-cho, on November 3.
Lion dance of Nonaka | 3rd
Traditional dance with a lion costume, near Nonaka-no-Ipposugi (Tsugizakura-oji) on November 3.
Shoryu (Rising dragon) Festival | third Saturday and Sunday
Farmer’s market in Ryujin, involving chainsaw art presentaions, on the third Saturday and Sunday of November.
Kinosato Marathon | first Sunday
Ryujin Onsen on the first Sunday of December.
Opening of Sennin-buro bath | 1st
Giant outdoor bath dug out of the bed of the Kawayu river in Kawayu Onsen. Open from December 1st to the end of February.
more on Kawayu Onsen>>
Benkei market | every third Sunday
Every third Sunday, Tanabe city Tokei-jinja shrine.