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Folk Culture & More at Fall Festivals

In Japan, every season is deeply appreciated through seasonal nature-viewing, seasonal treats, and many, many festivals. In Hyogo Prefecture, there fall festivals celebrating everything from daimyo (feudal lords) to fighting shrines.

Check out a few of these exciting fall festivals in the prefecture:

Nada no Kenka Festival

Himeji City | October 14-15

One of three major fighting festivals in Japan, Nada no Kenka (Fighting) Festival is an autumn festival at Matsubara-Hachiman Shrine in Himeji City. The name derives from the ritual of driving two mikoshi (portable shrines) directly into each other.

We recommend 2 days in Himeji to get the most out of the city’s tradition and culture. Visit Himeji Castle, Japan’s largest and most-visited castle and a world heritage site, which has been standing since 1333. Next door, see nine styles of gardens in one at Koko-en. The gardens offer a tea ceremony experience, as well as a restaurant with a gorgeous garden view.

Also in Himeji is Nadagiku Brewery, a beautiful wooden brewery that offers tours to visitors. The brewery has a female chief brewer, which is a rarity in Japan. They also have a restaurant that specializes in suminabe (charcoal hot pot dishes) and tofu.

Izushi Castle Festival

Izushi Castle Town | November 3

Every year, the Castle Festival is held to symbolize the castle town of Izushi. The highlight of the festival is the Daimyo Gyoretsu, a procession of 120 people dressed as feudal lords, including 30 men dressed as spear-wielding samurai that parade through the town.

We recommend 2 days in the northern Hyogo area, staying the night in Kinosaki Onsen. In Izushi, buckwheat is harvested and new, fresh soba is made sometime in October or November. The soba is sought especially during this time as it is considered the most fresh. Visitors can enjoy this special type of soba, where one serving is served on five small plates, at many different shops through town, including Mikura, a restaurant that also offers a soba-making experience.


In Kinosaki Onsen, travelers can try the delectable matsuba gani (snow crab) from the beginning of November until the end of March. Caught in the Japan Sea just ten minutes from Kinosaki Onsen, many Japanese tourists flock to the area during the winter just to taste this ultra-fresh crab.

Hyogo Prefecture is easily reachable from Osaka and Kyoto by JR train. The Hyogo Tourism Bureau provides more detailed information about traveling to and within the prefecture.

Please email us at if you have any questions about Hyogo Prefecture or the Kansai region.

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