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Annual Events in Tsuyama
Date : 1st - 3rd of the lunar New Year
Place : Fukuriki-Kojin Shrine
Visitors to Fukuriki-Kojin to hope for the avoidance of mamushi (pit vipers) and for easy childbirth. 100,000 people including many visitors from surrounding prefectures and even Kyushu island pay visits to the shrine.
Manpukuji Buddhist Memorial Service
Date : 11th - 13th of the lunar New Year
Place : Manpukuji Temple
Manpukuji Temple is located on the holy ground at the top of Kurosawa-yama mountain, 659m above sea level. It is believed that thirteen-year-old children who visit this temple will be granted dignity, happiness, and wisdom. This 1200 year old traditional visit attracts tens of thousands visitors every year.
Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival
Date : Beginning to middle of April
Place : Kakuzan Park etc.
The 5000 cherry trees in Kakuzan park are famous as the best place for viewing cherry blossoms in western Japan. The cherry blossoms bloom from early to mid-April and are very beautiful. The best time to see them is in the evening when the cherry blossoms are lit by lanterns against the backdrop of the stone walls of the castle ruins. A recreation of a Daimyo Procession is held during the festival. About 100,000 tourists visit Tsuyama to enjoy its cherry blossoms during this annual festival.
Rice Planting Festival
Date : April 29th
Place : Nakayama-jinja Shrine
This festival worships the god of farming and prays for an abundant harvest. About two dozen plowmen swing plows and pretend to plant rice while a lion dances to the music of the flutes and drums.
Azalea Blossom Festival
Date : End of May
Place : Kakuzan Park etc.
During this festival, a pageant of azalea blossoms celebrates the Tsuyama city flower. Hundreds of colorful potted dwarf azalea trees are exhibited every year. Potted dwarf trees and azalea seedlings are sold, and stalls serving Japanese green tea and various foods are set up.
Date : 1st Saturday & Sunday of August
Place : Yoshii Riverbank Park
This summer festival is held in the riverbank park along the Yoshii-gawa River. A Gongo is a mythical creature that lives in the Yoshii-gawa River. A Gongo Dance Contest is held at the festival, and attracts about one thousand participants. Fireworks can be seen during the festival.
Lion Dance Festival
Date : October 17th
Place : Takata-jinja Shrine
This festival began around 710 A.D. to thank the gods for a good harvest. A male and female lion, each controlled by twelve dancers, perform a soul-stirring dance imitating a struggle. The lions keep time with the flutes and drums. The dance is believed to drive away the devil and impurity.
Tsuyama Matsuri Festival
Date : Middle of October
Place : Tokumori-jinja, Osumi-jinja, Takano-jinja (Shrine)
In conjunction with the the autumn festivals at Osumi-jinja, Takano-jinja, and Tokumori-jinja, there are many events in the heart of Tsuyama. One of these is a procession of festival floats and decorated festival cars led by the large portable shrine from Tokumori-jinja, which is also one of the three largest portable shrines in Japan. This festival also hosts a recreation of a Daimyo Procession on a small scale, the "Yakko Procession", which winds its way through the historic Tamachi district of town.
0ld Izumo Street Festival
Date : Beginninig of November (Sunday)
Place : Joto Street
Old Izumo Street residents host visitors in the old style during this event. They wear traditional clothes and open a theater, tea houses, and various stalls.
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