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Event Roundup: August 2021

Feel the spirit of Japan in Obon traditions and stunning summer sights

· Events,Summer

1. Clean Wetlands Project

伊豆沼・内沼清掃する

August 1 (& the first Sunday of every month through December)

Kurihara, Miyagi

Neighboring cities Kurihara and Tome are home to Ramsar wetlands, lakes and marshes where tens of thousands of migratory birds overwinter each year. In summer, these lakes are covered in beautiful lotus flowers, making them a popular tourist attraction. Unfortunately, with sightseers comes garbage—not only unsightly, but bad for the environment as well. Help support the health and beauty of these precious wetlands by joining in clean-up efforts in the area!

Time: 9:00–10:30

Fee: Free

Reservations: None needed

Details: facebook.com/events

Location: Konchu-kan (こんちゅう館). Map here.

Access: 48-minute walk from Nitta Station

2. Tanabata at Osaki Hachimangu Shrine

大崎八幡宮で七夕

Through August 8 (Chinowa ends August 6)

Central Sendai

Oharae-shiki takes place at the end of June and Tanabata at the beginning of August. Osaki Hachimangu Shrine melds aspects of these seasonal events to create a unique sight: the opportunity to view the stately chinowa purification ring from oharae-shiki together with the colorful, fluttering takekazari decorations hung in anticipation of Tanabata. In addition to viewing the decorations, visitors are also welcome to take part in either or both of the associated rituals: a self-guided figure-eight walk through the chinowa for purification, then on to the takekazari bamboo, where hanging a streamer with a wish inscribed on it is said to help the wish come true.

The chinowa–takekazari combination is a sight the shrine offers every year. This year, the shrine has also hung large Tanabata fukunagashi decorations along the approach to the main hall. The sight of Tanabata decorations framed by the shrine's giant torii is a very special thing to see!

Hours: Always open

Admission: Free

Event details: See shrine's official website here.

Shrine details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Osaki Hachimangu Shrine (大崎八幡宮). Map here.

Access by rail: 11-minute walk from Tohokufukushidaimae Station
Access by Loople Sendai bus: 45 minutes from Sendai Station. Board Loople Sendai Bus at Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool platform 16. Alight at Loople bus stop #12, Osaki Hachimangu Shrine. Bus info here (English).

3. Tamasudare Falls Light-Up

玉簾の滝ラオっとアップ

Through August 15

Sakata, Yamagata

Yamagata is home to the greatest number of waterfalls of any prefecture in Japan, and of them the tallest is Tamasudare no Taki. That says something about its size, but what of its beauty? It's also ranked one of Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls, so is certainly a sight to behold! The waterfall can be viewed year-round during the daytime, but is illuminated at night only during special times of year, one of which is the Obon holiday in August.

Hours: Always open (light up sunset–21:00)

Admission: A donation of ¥100 is requested

Details: sakata-kankou.com

Location: Tamasudare Falls (玉簾の滝). Map here.

4. Yamamoto Sunflower Fields

山元ヒマワリ畑

Through August 15

Yamamoto, Miyagi

Fields of sunflowers are a quintessential summer landscape. Enjoy 8.3 hectares of them at your leisure in Yamamoto. Guests can freely not only stroll the field, but can also pick the flowers! The sunflower fields themselves don't have much going on in the way of food stalls, so visitors looking to eat or shop are recommended to stop by nearby Yamamoto Ichigo no Sato (やまもと夢いちごの郷).

Hours: Always open

Admission: Free

Details: town.yamamoto.miyagi.jp

Location: Map here. Pin is for Kasano Hinanoka Park (笠野避難丘公園), just north of the sunflower fields.

Access: 30-minute walk from Yamashita Station

5. Umbrella Sky at Yakurai Garden

アンブレラスカイ

Through mid-August

Kami, Miyagi

Umbrella Sky is a simple yet striking art installation in which colorful umbrellas are suspended mid-air around the scenic Yakurai Garden, creating a fairy-tale like atmosphere. The installation provides photographers and wanderers an eye-catching and unique sight.

Hours: 10:00–17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Admission: ¥700 adults, ¥200 children ages elementary to junior high, children kindergarten & younger free

Details: yakurai-garden.com

Location: Yakurai Garden (やくらいガーデン). Map here.

6. Sanbongi Sunflower Festival

ひまわりまつり(大崎市)

Through August 16

Osaki, Miyagi

Over 420,00 sunflowers in full bloom! Stroll through the fields and enjoy sunflower-themed delicacies such as sunflower ice cream, and even sunflower oil pressed from the seeds of sunflowers grown in these very fields.

Hours: 9:00–17:00

Closed days: None

Admission: Free

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Himawari no Oka (ひまわりの丘). Map here.

Access: 30 minutes by bus from Furukawa Station (古川駅), followed by a 10-minute walk. Board a Sanbongi-Ohira Line (三本木・大衡村線) bus bound for Sanbongi Otonashi (三本木音無). Alight at Sanbongi Otonashi bus stop. Bus map here, timetable here.

7. Hokusai Exhibition: A Master and His Disciples

北斎展:師とその弟子たち

Through August 22

Tsuruoka, Yamagata

You could call Hokusai the Da Vinci of ukiyo-e painting, with his print The Great Wave having achieved Mona Lisa-like fame, becoming the most iconic Japanese painting in the Western world. This exhibition will display about 120 works by Hokusai, plus about another 50 by his disciples. Works by Hokusai include classic works such as prints from The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido series, plus more unusual works such as prints of yokai (Japanese demons). Disciples' works will Japanese artists, of course, but also works by European artists influenced by Hokusai, such as Henri Riviere's Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower.

Hours: 9:00–17:30* most days, 9:00–18:30* Fridays & Saturdays (*Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing.)

Admission: ¥500 adults, ¥300 high school students, children ages junior high & under free

Details: t-artforum.net

Location: Tsuruoka Art Forum (鶴岡アートフォーラム). Map here.

Access: 25-minute walk or 10 minutes by bus from Tsuruoka Station. At Tsuruoka Station, board a 052 or 054 Tsuruoka Shinai Loop Bus (鶴岡市内廻り), or a 031, 032, 033, or 034 bus bound for Yunohama Onsen (湯の浜温泉), or a 061 line bus bound for Atsumi Onsen (あつみ温泉). Alight at Art Forum-mae (アートフォーラム前) or Shiyakusho-mae (市役所前) bus stop. Timetables here.

8. Kabutomushi petting zoo at Mushimushi Land

ムシムシランドのカブトムシ自然観察園

Through August 22

Tamura, Fukushima

Kabutomushi are the huge, scary-looking-but-harmless beetles that appear in Japanese forests in summer and are kept as short-term pets by Japanese children. Mushimushiland is a bug-themed park located in the woods of Tamura, where kabutomushi thrive in their natural habitat while still being accessible to visitors. The "petting zoo" area is a section of forest enclosed in a giant net where Mushimushiland staff have raised large numbers of kabutomushi. Visitors can enter the enclosure to observe and play with the bugs freely. Although Mushimushiland tends to be marketed towards families with children, it's a great time for anyone who likes bugs, adults included!

 

Hours: 9:30–16:30

Closed days: Wednesdays (except August 12)

Admission: ¥400 adults, ¥300 children

Details: mushimushiland.com

Location: Mushimushland (ムシムシランド). Map here.

9. Hojuzan Light-Up

宝珠山ライトアップ・光のロードスタート 点燈式

Through August 22

Yamadera, Yamagata

Risshakuji is the iconic temple in Yamadera built precariously on the side of a steep, rocky mountain. On midsummer nights, the temple buildings are illuminated, creating a mystical scene.

Hours: 18:00–21:00

Admission: Viewing free. Temple entry ¥300 adults, ¥200 junior high students, ¥100 children ages 4 through grade 6

Event details: yamaderakankou.com

Temple details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Risshakuji Temple (立石寺). Map here.

Access: 7-minute walk from Yamadera Station

10. Izunuma Lotus Festival

伊豆沼ハスまつり

Through August 22

Tome, Miyagi

Take a romantic boat ride through thousands of pink flowers during the famous Lotus Festival at lakes Izunuma and Uchinuma, a popular summer destination for flower lovers. Operated by local fishermen, the rides take about thirty minutes and offer a perfect opportunity to take in the spectacular sight of lotuses floating on the lake. The Naganuma Kaijo events look to have been suspended this year, but the Izunuma and Uchinuma events are still on.

Hours: Lakes are always open. Boat rides available 8:00–16:00 at Izunuma, and 7:30–15:00 at Uchinuma

Admission: Lakes are free. Boat rides ¥700 adults,¥400 children

Details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Details (Japanese): miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Lakes Izunuma (伊豆沼) and Uchinuma (内沼) . Map here.

Access: 5-minute walk from Nitta Station. For boat rides, head to one of the three "kaijo" (会場) docks (see map here).

11. Nametsu Falls Summer Light Up Event

滑津大滝 夏のライトアップイベント

Through August 31

Shichikashuku, Miyagi

Nametsu Falls is a modest waterfall located in the charming rural town of Shichikashuku. As part of this year's Tohoku Destination Campaign, it's being illuminated on summer evenings.

Though Nametsu Falls is readily accessible by public transit, the buses don't run very late. So if you come to see the light up by bus, you'll need to spend the night in Shichikashuku.

Hours: Always open (light up 19:00–21:00)

Admission: Free

Details: tohokukanko.jp

Location: Nametsu Falls (滑津滝). Map here.

Access: About 60 minutes by bus from Shiroishi Station (白石駅) or Shiroishi-Zao Station (白石蔵王駅), followed by a 2-minute walk. Board a Shichikashuku Shiroishi Line (七ヶ宿白石線) bus bound for Yakuba・Nananiro Hiroba (役場・なないろひろば); alight at Yakuba, Family Mart Shichikashuku-ten, or Nanairo Hiroba (役場、ファミリーマート七ヶ宿店、なないろひろば) bus stop. Transfer to a Shichikashuku Kaido Line (七ヶ宿街道線) bus bound for Yubara・Hikaba (湯原・干蒲); alight at Nametsu Otaki (滑津大滝) bus stop bus stop. Bus map here, timetables here (Shichikashuku Shiroishi Line) and here (Shichikashuku Kaido Line).

12. Samurai Beach Seawater Pool open

侍浜海水プール開設

Through August 31

Kuji, Iwate

A seaside pool filled with seawater, offering views of the rugged Sanriku Coast—this is one off-the-beaten-path destination we can't recommend enough! It makes an especially great place to swim come late summer, when jellyfish start to invade the swimming beaches. Thanks to the pool's filtration system, the pool water remains clear and jellyfish free. The Kita-Samuraihama Yaeiba (北侍浜野営場) lies in a wooded grove a short walk from the pool, a campground where visitors can stay overnight for just ¥200! Though the pool is a substantial walk from the nearest train station, it's well worth it—between the pool and the campground, it's the perfect spot for a weekend adventure.

 

Closed days: None during open season

Admission: Free

Details: iwatetabi.jp

Location: Samuraihama Kaisui Pool (侍浜海水プール). Map here.

Access: 72-minute walk from Samuraihama Station

13. Sand Craft & bamboo lanterns in Mitane

サンドクラフト in みたね

Through August 31

Mitane, Akita

A sand sculpture festival at Kamayahama, one of Japan's best swimming beaches. In addition to the sand sculptures, the beach also features a bamboo lantern illumination at night. Between the sand sculptures, lanterns, and swimming, Kamayahama Beach makes for a full day's outing, so consider staying overnight at one of the many local guesthouses, or even at the beach campground!

Hours: Always open

Admission: Free

Official website: sand-mitane.com

Location: Kamayahama Beach (釜谷浜). Map here.

Access: About 30 minutes by bus from Moritake Station. At Moritake Station (森岳駅), board bus bound for Moritake Hachiryu (森竹八竜). Alight at Hachiryu Fureai Center (八竜ふれあい センター), transfer to a Sand Craft Go (サンドクラフト号) bus, alight at Arakawa Saketen-mae (荒川酒店前) bus stop. Because Mitane is sparsely populated, reservations are required for buses in the area. For timetables and how to make a reservation, see here.

14. HIROSHIMA

ヒロシマ

Through September 2

Sakata, Yamagata

On August 6, 1945 the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima—an act that would change the course of world history. On the anniversary of this tragic event, several locations across Japan are hosting exhibitions. This one at the Ken Domon Museum of Photography features expressive photographs taken in Hiroshima over a decade after the bombing, revealing the harrowing and lasting damage common folk of the area suffered.

Hours: 9:00–17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Closed days: None in August

Admission: ¥900 adults, ¥450 high school students, children ages junior high & younger free

Event details: domonken-kinenkan.jp

Museum details (English): domonken-kinenkan.jp

Location: Ken Domon Museum of Photography (土門拳記念館). Map here.

Access by rental cycle: 5 km from Sakata Station by free rental cycle. To rent a bicycle, inquire at the sightseeing window inside Sakata Station. No reservations are necessary.

Access by bus: 16 minutes by bus from Sakata Station. At Sakata Station (酒田駅), board a Sakata Station-Daigaku Line (酒田駅大学線) Runrun Bus (るんるんバス), alight at Domon Ken Kinenkan (土門拳記念館) bus stop. Bus map and timetable here.

15. Egypt, Land of Discoveries

古代エジプト展

Through September 5

Central Sendai

An exhibition of some 250 pieces from the Egyptian collection of the the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, a museum known for its ongoing excavations and research in Egypt. The exhibition will introduce various aspects of ancient Egypt, including aesthetics and religion. Highlights include five sets of coffins and two mummies. The mummies remain in their original cloth bandages—in order to avoid damaging the mummies by physically removing their bandages, the museum analyzed the mummies using CT scans instead.

Hours: 9:00–16:45 (last entry 16:15)

Closed days: Mondays (except public holidays), the day after a public holiday

Admission: ¥1,600 adults, ¥1,400 high school and college students, ¥900 elementary and junior high students

Languages: The museum's permanent collection features limited English, Korean, and Chinese. No confirmation yet, but it looks like this temporary exhibition may be English friendly.

Details (English): leidenegypt.jp/english

Location: Sendai City Museum (仙台市博物館). Map here.

Access by subway: 8-minute walk from International Center Station

Access by bus: 20 minutes from Sendai Station. At Sendai Station West Exit stop #16, board Loople Sendai bus. Alight at bus stop 5, Sendai City Museum/Sendai International Center. Timetable here (English).

16. Jurassic Big Dinosaur Show

ジュラシック大恐竜展

Through September 12

Tagajo, Miyagi

A dino exhibition dedicated to large dinosaurs. Highlights include a Tyrannosaurus, a Brachiosaurus, an Allosaurus, and a feathered Deinonychus. Some of the dinos, like the Tyrannosaurus, will be displayed as full-body skeletons; others will be presented as life-sized animatronic statues, bringing the dinosaurs to life in a fun way.

Hours: 9:30–17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Closed days: Mondays (Except August 9. The museum will be closed Tuesday August 10 instead.)

Admission: ¥1,600 adults, ¥800 children ages elementary through high school. Children preschool age & younger free.

Languages: The museum's permanent collection offers limited English. No word yet on the languages available for the dinosaur exhibition.

Event details: thm.pref.miyagi.jp

Museum details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Tohoku History Museum (東北歴史博物館). Map here.

Access: At Kofuku-Tagajo Station

17. Animage & Ghibli Exhibition

「アニメージュとジブリ展」一冊の雑誌からジブリは始まった

Through September 12

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

Animage is one of the most influential anime and manga magazines of all time. It was the first to publish Ghibli's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and other such classic manga. This exhibition will focus on the time when Toshio Suzuki was active as editor (during the 1970s and 80s), from the time before "anime" was a household word, through anime's leap into the mainstream with the first broadcasts of Mobile Suit Gundam.

Hours: 10:00–17:00 (last entry 16:30). Until 18:00 August 11–15.

Closed days: Mondays except August 9. Will be closed Tuesday August 10 instead.

Admission: ¥1,500 adults, ¥1,000 junior high and high school students, ¥800 elementary school students

Details: animage-ghibli.jp

Location: Maruhon MakiArt Terrace (マルホンまきあーとテラス). Map here.

Access: 13 minutes by bus from Ishinomaki Station, followed by a short walk. At the bus stop in front of Ishinomaki Station (石巻駅前), board an Ishinomaki Senshu Daigaku Line (石巻専修大学線) bus bound for Iinokawa (飯野川). Alight at Sogo Undo Koen (総合運動公園) bus stop. Timetables here.

18. A Tale of Yokai & Specters

妖怪・もののけ物語

Through September 13

Yamadera, Yamagata

Cool off this summer in a traditional Japanese way, with kaidan ghost stories! Tradition holds that the "chill down your spine" you get from being spooked is literal, that it can help you cool off in the heat of summer—something tough to do before the advent of air conditioning. This exhibition will feature paintings and sculptures of yokai from the early Edo period, so you don't have to rely on your imagination to get those chills.

Hours: 9:00–16:30

Closed days: None during exhibition

Admission: ¥400 adults, children ages high school & younger free

Event details: yamadera-basho.jp

Museum details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum (山寺芭蕉記念館). Map here.

Access: 8-minute walk from Yamadera Station

19. Mt. Haguro Pagoda Light Up & Evening Prayer

国宝『羽黒山五重塔』ライトアップによる夜間参拝

Weekends & holidays through September 20, plus all of Obon week

Haguro, Yamagata

*UPDATE: This event has been suspended through September 12 due to concern over coronavirus. For details, see here.*

The Dewa Sanzan is a sacred area that belongs in a league of its own. It is neither Shinto nor Buddhist, but the home of the syncretic religion Shugendo. Religious taxonomy aside, the holy atmosphere of the area is evident even to the most casual of visitors. The Dewa Sanzan consists of three holy mountains, with Mount Haguro being the easiest to access. At this atmospheric evening service, visitors can walk the pilgrims' path through the forest to the Mount Haguro Pagoda (a National Treasure) at night, using a traditional lantern to light the way.

Hours: 18:00–21:00 (last entry 20:30)

Fee: The temple requests that adults make a donation of at least ¥500

Details: yamagatakanko.com

Location: Mount Haguro Five-Storied Pagoda (羽黒山 五重塔). Map here.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Tsuruoka Station. At bus platform #1 in front of Tsuruoka Station (鶴岡駅前1のりば), board bus bound for Haguro Sancho (羽黒山頂). Alight at Haguro Center (羽黒センター). Timetables here, English bus info here. NOTE: Though the instructions say to get off at "Haguro Center," that stop isn't actually listed on the timetable. Play it safe by confirming which stop to alight at with the sightseeing information desk at Tsuruoka Station or the bus driver before departing. If you go by bus, you'll need to spend the night near the temple. Fortunately, there are numerous charming accommodations nearby; we recommend one of the pilgrims lodgings at the base of the temple approach.

20. Hot-air Balloon rides over Sunflower Hill

三本木ひまらりの丘でのバルーン搭乗体験

August 6–8

Osaki, Miyagi

Sunflower Hill in Sanbongi is on many residents' must-see lists every summer, and even attracts tourists from overseas. This year, in honor of the Tohoku Destination Campaign, an extra-special way to view the flowers is being offered: from above while riding in a hot air balloon!

Hours: 9:00–13:00

Fee: ¥1,500 adults, ¥700 children

Details: tohokukanko.jp

Location: Himawari no Oka (ひまわりの丘). Map here.

Access: 30 minutes by bus from Furukawa Station (古川駅), followed by a 10-minute walk. Board a Sanbongi-Ohira Line (三本木・大衡村線) bus bound for Sanbongi Otonashi (三本木音無). Alight at Sanbongi Otonashi bus stop. Bus map here, timetable here.

21. Sendai Tanabata Festival (reduced scale)

仙台七夕まつり

August 6–8

Central Sendai

Sendai's famous Tanabata Festival will happen this year . . . sort of. It will be held on a much smaller scale than usual, and only residents of Miyagi are invited. Some decorations will still be hung in the arcades, though to what extent remains to be seen. Food stalls and most other events associated with the festival in regular years have been cancelled, and the fireworks show all but cancelled. For details about the fireworks situation, see our Facebook Post here.

Hours: Always open

Admission: Free

Official website: sendaitanabata.com

Location: Throughout downtown Sendai, particularly the shopping arcades. Map here.

Access: Short walk from Sendai Station

22. A World of Moomin Originals

ムーミン原作の世界展

August 6–September 5

Central Sendai

The Moomins began as a family of characters in children's books written by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson. The books are so beloved both at home and abroad that they have inspired countless commercial spinoffs, from merchandise to theme parks, and cartoons which have eclipsed the books in popularity. This exhibition presents an opportunity for fans to get back to Moomin's roots, with illustrations from the original Moomin series on display. If you're a Moomin fan and looking for a delicious bite to eat, we also recommend visiting the Moomin-themed Cafe Domani, and indie cafe run by a couple who are loyal fans of the series.

Hours: 11:00–19:00 (last entry 18:30)

Closed days: Usually none, but one may occur once in a while. See official website for details.

Admission: ¥800 adults, children ages high school & younger ¥600

Details: forus.co.jp

Location: Sendai Forus (仙台フォーラス). Map here.

Access: 3-minute walk from Hirose-dori Station, or 10-minute walk from Sendai Station

23. Starry Sky Yoga

星空ヨガ

Saturday nights August 7–28

Izumi Ward, Sendai

Turn a workout into an amazing summer's night entertainment with Starry Sky Yoga at the Sendai Royal Park Hotel. Sessions take place by lantern in the hotel's garden, an atmospheric and coronavirus prevention–friendly setting.

Time: 20:30–21:10

Fee: ¥2,000 for non-hotel guests, ¥1,300 for hotel guests

Reservations: Required at least 1 day in advance. Can be booked online.

Event details: srph.or.jp

Hotel details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Sendai Royal Park Hotel (仙台ロイヤルパークホテル). Map here.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 5-minute walk. At Sendai Station Ekimae Bus Platform 2 (仙台駅前2番のりば), board bus bound for Miyagi Daigaku (宮城大学) via Izumi Outlets (泉アウトレット) or JCHO Sendai Byoin ( JCHO仙台病院) via Izumi Outlets (泉アウトレット). Alight at Teraoka Rokuchome・Izumi Outlets (寺岡六丁目・泉アウトレット) bus stop. Diagram and timetables here.

24. Atoa concert: Sosaku Waraku Geki Kuroshiro no Urashima Tagajo Eien no Inori

創作和楽劇 黒白の浦島 多賀城・永遠の祈り

August 8

Tagajo, Miyagi

Atoa is a professional taiko drumming group known for their stunning traditional performances as well more avant-garde work. At this concert, they will be accompanied by artists playing various traditional Japanese musical instruments in a retelling of Urashima Taro, a traditional folk tale the troupe has reinterpreted as an allegory of the 2011 tsunami.

Time: Doors open 13:00, concert starts 14:00

Admission: ¥600 at the door

Details: atoa-official.com

Location: Tagajo Citizen's Hall (多賀城市民会館). Map here.

Access: 6-minute walk from Tagajo Station

25. Kogota Obon Market

小牛田盆市

August 8

Misato, Miyagi

A special morning market in honor of Obon. The market is full of local flair, featuring things like fresh vegetables picked that very morning by local farmers. It's also known as a good place to buy bonbana, the fresh flowers placed in homes to welcome the spirits of ancestors during Obon.

Hours: 6:00–8:30

Admission: Free

Details: kogota-asaichi.localinfo.jp

Location: Kogota Ekimae Park (小牛田駅前公園). Map here.

Access: 2-minute walk from Kogota Station

26. The Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Photo Exhibition 

ヒロシマ・ナガサキ原爆写真展

August 9–15

Kaminoyama, Yamagata

Photo by Shigeo Hayashi - Unknown source, Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

On August 6, 1945 the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima—an act that would change the course of world history. On the anniversary of this tragic event, several locations across Japan are hosting exhibitions. This one inside Kaminoyama Castle will exhibit historical photographs taken in Hiroshima and Nagasaki around the time of the bombings and shortly thereafter, providing a harrowing glimpse into these acts of war.

Hours: 9:00–16:45

Closed days: August 12

Admission: ¥420 adults, ¥370 high school students, junior high & elementary school students ¥50

Details: kaminoyma-castle.info

Location: Kaminoyama Castle Multipurpose Hall (上山城多目的ホール). Map here.

Access: 14-minute walk from Kaminoyama-Onsen Sation

27. Reborn-Art Festival 2021: Altruism and Fluidity

リボーンアートフェスティバル2021: 利他と流動性

August 11–September 26

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

A major art festival held biennially in Ishinomaki, celebrating and promoting the revival of the area in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The festival features a plethora of site-specific artworks, plus food, music, and performance art events. If you want to learn more about what the festival actually entails before going, check out the article "A Visit to the Reborn Art Festival."

Hours: Varies by artwork

Admission: An RAF passport covers entry to all artworks*. Passports cost ¥3,000 for adults, ¥2,500 for college and high school students. (*Food events and ticketed concerts cost extra.)

Official website (English): reborn-art-fes.jp/en/

Location: Ishinomaki and surrounding areas. Map here.

Access: Varies by area. Artworks in the Central Ishinomaki Area are accessible via a short walk from Ishinomaki Station. It is recommended to access artworks in farther flung areas by car, bicycle, or bus.

28. Zuiganji Temple Daisegakie

瑞巌寺大施餓鬼会

August 16

Matsushima, Miyagi

Segaki (lit. "giving to the hungry ghosts") is an ancient Buddhist ritual performed to ease the suffering of restless spirits like gaki (ghosts tormented by insatiable hunger), jikininki (corpse-eating ghosts), and muenbotoke (spirits the dead with no living relatives). Segaki ceremonies can be performed at any time, but are most commonly held during Obon, when spirits of the dead are believed to walk the earth. At the Zuiganji ceremony, a scaffolding of wooden shelves is erected near the sea, where some 50 monks offer food and chant sutras for the spirits.

Time: 19:00–20:00

Admission: Free

Event details: zuiganji.or.jp

Temple details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: The plaza between the shore and the Zuiganji temple gates. Map here (pin is for Zuiganji Temple.)

Access: 5-minute walk from Matsushimakaigan Station

29. Kuji Noryo Fireworks

久慈納涼花火大会

August 16

Kuji, Iwate

Though most municipalities cancelled their fireworks shows for 2020 and this summer as well, Kuji has decided to keep their 2021 show on. To keep coronavirus risk to a minimum, no food stalls will be set up this year.

Hours: Fireworks start at 20:00

Admission: Free

Details: kuji-kankou.com

Location: The launch point will be a spot near town along the Kuji River. Map here.

Access: A short walk from Kuji Station

30. Sendai Port 50th Anniversary Event: Kaiko Festival One Day

仙台港開港50周年記念イベント:~開港祭 ONE DAY~

August 18

Miyagino Ward, Sendai

A festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sendai Port, featuring shopping and boat ride experiences. Details of this event are still under wraps, but it's sure to be a once-in-a-generation event.

Hours: 9:00–17:00

Admission: Free

Details: pref.miyagi.jp

Location: Throughout the Sendai Port area (仙台港). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Nakano-Sakae Station

31. Picnic Garden Cinema Night

シネマナイト

August 29

Izumi Ward, Sendai

*UPDATE: This event has been suspended due to concern over coronavirus. For more info, see the event details link below.*

Enjoy a sultry summer evening watching a movie at this open-air cinema event in the garden of Sendai Royal Park Hotel. Though the event may sound exclusive and expensive, it's actually not—the event is free and open to everyone! Food and drink will be available for purchase on-site, so all you need to bring is a tarp or sheet for sitting on.   

Hours: Doors open 17:30, show starts 18:30

Admission: Free (food and drink can be purchased for a fee)

Reservations: None needed

Event details: srph.co.jp

Hotel details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: The garden of Sendai Royal Park Hotel (仙台ロイヤルパークホテル). Map here.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 5-minute walk. At Sendai Station Ekimae Bus Platform 2 (仙台駅前2番のりば), board bus bound for Miyagi Daigaku (宮城大学) via Izumi Outlets (泉アウトレット) or JCHO Sendai Byoin ( JCHO仙台病院) via Izumi Outlets (泉アウトレット). Alight at Teraoka Rokuchome・Izumi Outlets (寺岡六丁目・泉アウトレット) bus stop. Diagram and timetables here.

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