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Event Roundup: October 2019

With all the food festivals going on this month, maybe it's time to buy some bigger jeans...

· Events,Autumn

1. The Independents

アンデパンダン展

September 24October 6

Central Sendai

An art exhibition inspired by the radical 1884 exhibition in Paris Le salon des indépendants, which had neither a selection jury nor awards. Eight Sendai art galleries collaborate on this similarly democratic and free-spirited annual art show.

Hours: Varies by venue. See official website for details.

Official website: sendai21-independants.com

Locations: Various venues across Sendai. Map here (scroll to bottom of page).

Access: Most, if not all, are easily accessible via public transit. See individual venue info for details.

2. Kochia festival & light-up event

COKOフェスタ & コキアカリ

September 14October 20 (Kochia Festival) & October 1214 (light-up event)

Kawasaki, Miyagi

Kochia are small, adorable green shrubs that turn a Seuss-like magenta in autumn. Pictures of the ones at the Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki often go viral online. Miyagi's own Michinoku Park is home to a field of them too. Though not as famous as the one in Ibaraki, the trade-off is that Miyagi's kochia field is much less crowded. On special evenings, the kochia will be illuminated in a rainbow of hues and live music will be performed too!

Hours: 9:30–17:00 (kochia festival), 17:30–21:00 (light-up event)

Admission: ¥450 adults, children middle school and under free

Details: michinoku-park.info

Location: Michinoku Park (みちのく公園). Map here.

Access: By Akiu・Kawasaki Sendai Seibu Liner bus (秋保・川崎 仙台西部ライナー): 80 minutes from Sendai Station. Board bus bound for Kawasaki-machi (かわさきまち) at Sendai Station Bus Stop #63. Alight at Michinoku Koenguchi (みちのく公園口). See timetable here.

3. Nankodai Autumn Sanyaso and Bonsai Exhibition

山野草と盆栽展 (秋)

October 45

Central Sendai

A semi-annual bonsai and sanyaso (native plants and wildflowers) exhibition hosted by the Nankodai Engei Aikokai (南光台園芸愛好会), a local group of horticultural enthusiasts. Roughly 35 bonsai and 150 sanyaso will be on display. Many of the bonsai artists and growers are on hand, eager to mingle with visitors and answer any questions. There is also a sales corner where visitors can purchase a large variety of bonsai and sanyaso, from miniature roses to traditional cypress bonsai. Prices start at an incredibly reasonable ¥300 for sanyaso and young bonsai to around ¥10,000 for larger or particularly artistic bonsai. The group doesn't have much of an online presence, so reading our coverage of their spring Sanyaso and Bonsai Exhibition is probably the best way to learn more short of actually calling the club president. The spring and autumn exhibitions are very similar, the most noticeable difference being that the autumn exhibition has fewer flowers but more fruiting bonsai (how cute!).

Time: 9:00–15:00

Admission: Free

Details: bonsai.co.jp

Contact: For information about the Nankodai Engei Aikokai club or their upcoming events, please contact club president Mr. Kubota at 090-9743-9615 (Japanese language only).

Location: Nankodai Community Center (南光台コミュニティセンター). Map here.

Access by rail: 20-minute walk from Kuromatsu Station

Access by bus: From Sendai Station, board bus bound for Kencho Shiyakusho-mae~Tsurugaya Nanachome~Asahigaoka Eki (県庁市役所前〜鶴ヶ谷七丁目〜旭ヶ丘駅), alight at Nankodai Shogakko-mae (南光台小学校前). Destination is a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.

4. Sendai Classical Music Festival

仙台クラシックフェスティバル

October 46

Central Sendai

A festival that aims to make classical music accessible and enjoyable for everyone. When planning the first Sendai Classical Music Festival (called Sen-Cla for short), the founders first investigated why "regular people" don't go to classical music concerts. Some of the biggest factors were that people felt classical music concerts were too expensive, too long, featured pieces they were unfamilliar with, and didn't allow children. The Sen-Cla festival decided to address ll of these issues.

Sen-Cla offers shorter concerts (45 minutes to 1 hour in length) at low prices. Children are welcome, and programs feature short pieces that people are likely to have heard at some point in their lives: world-famous tunes, songs from film scores, etc. A huge variety of programs are offered at numerous locations all around Sendai City. In addition to the music, the larger venues will also feature pop-up refreshment stalls selling quality local food and beverages, like Moritami sake and Nelson coffee.

Hours: Varies by concert. See official website for details.

Tickets: ¥1,000–2,000 per concert. It's recommended to purchase in advance, as they often sell out (to purchase online, see here). If seats for a given concert are still available, tickets can be purchased at venues day of. You can check which concerts have day-of tickets available by clicking on the pink button on the top page of the official website.

Official website: sencla.com

Locations: Various venues across central Sendai. Map here.

Access: All venues are easily accessible via public transit. See official website for details.

5. Iizaka Kenka Matsuri

飯坂けんか祭り

October 46

Fukushima City, Fukushima

One of Japan's Three Great Kenka Matsuri! Large wooden floats are paraded through town to the grounds of Hachiman Shrine, where the float bearers crash them into each other in a competition to win the favor of the gods.

Hours: Main event (the float fighting) is on October 5 from 19:00

Admission: Free

Details: hachimanjinja.info

Location: Iizaka Hachiman Shrine (飯坂八幡神社). Map here.

Access: 10-minute walk from Iizakaonsen Station

6. Nihonshu Night Aquarium 

日本酒ナイト水族館

October 5
Miyagino Ward, Sendai

A special evening event at the local Sendai aquarium! Enjoy sipping on sake as you wander the exhibits. Sake from 9 different Miyagi brewers will be available.

Hours: 18:30–21:30

Admission: ¥3,100 at the door, includes 1 drink. Additional drinks can be purchased for ¥300 each.

Details: uminomori.jp

Location: Sendai Uminomori Aquarium (仙台海の杜水族館). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Nakano-Sakae Station

7. Onikojuro Matsuri

鬼小十郎祭り

October 5

Shiroishi, Miyagi

In 1615, the Katakura and Sanada forces waged a fierce battle outside Osaka Castle. Relive that battle with a live reenactment featuring armed samurai warriors, flying ninjas, and more at Shiroishi Castle! Why Shiroishi Castle? Because Kojuro Katakura was a vassal of Date Masamune and later became the ruler of Shiroishi. Events include an impressive samurai battle with period matchlock guns and swords, a Japanese swordsmanship demonstration, hands-on armor experiences, and more.

Hours: 10:00–15:00

Admission: Free

Official website: onikojuro.jp

Location: Shiroishi Castle (白石城). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Shiroishi Station

8. Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival

二本松の提灯祭り

October 57

Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

Founded around 370 years ago, this festival is now considered one of Japan's Three Great Lantern Festivals. Tower-like floats aglow with lanterns lit with actual candles are paraded through town to the shouts of the enthusiastic participants pushing and pulling them through the streets. The floats are so tall that the tops have to be folded down at points so that they can pass under telephone wires and traffic lights.

Hours: 17:00~ (October 5), 8:25–19:00 (October 6), 16:55~ (October 7)

Admission: Free

Details: nihonmatsu-kanko.co.jp

Location: Throughout downtown Nihonmatsu. Map here.

Access: 10-minute walk from Nihonmatsu Station

9. Tohoku Curry Festival

東北カレーフェスティバル

October 56, 1214
Miyagino Ward, Sendai

A new event being held for the first time this year. Seventeen curry shops from across Tohoku will set up shop here, serving their famous curries paired with famous Miyagi rice varieties: Hitomebore, the new hybrid Date Yume, and others. Both authentic Indian curries as well as Japanese curry rice will be represented.

Hours: 11:00–17:00

Admission: Free

Details: mitsui-shopping-park.com

Location: Mitsui Outlet Park (三井アウトレットパーク). Map here.

Access: 8-minute walk from Nakanosakae Station

10. Autumn Noh at Zuihoden

瑞鳳殿の能楽

October 6
Central Sendai

A special Noh event at the atmospheric-yet-conveniently-located Zuihoden, mausoleum of the Date Clan. Gather around the stage surrounded by towering trees and immerse yourself in the mysterious and fascinating world of Noh theater.

No reservations special tickets are required. Admission to the event is included with purchase of the standard Zuihoden admission ticket.

Hours: 14:00–15:30

Admission: ¥550 adults, ¥400 high schoolers, ¥200 children

Details: zuihoden.com

Location: Zuihoden Mausoleum (瑞鳳殿). Map here.

Access by rail: 20-minute walk from Omachi Nishi-koen Station

Access by bus: 15-minute ride from Sendai Station. Board Sendai Loople Bus at Sendai Station. Alight at bus stop 4 Zuihoden Mausoleum. Bus info here (English).

11. Kome Da! Curry Da!

米だ!カレーだぁ!

October 6

Osaki, Miyagi

A curry, rice, and music festival! What better way to enjoy shinmai (freshly harvested rice) than with a side of curry? Come listen to live music as you sample curries from popular indie curry shops from across Miyagi.

Hours: 9:45–15:00

Admission: Free, curry tickets ¥1,500 per set at the door

Official website: officekreinf.wixsite.com

Location: Asahi Chuo Park (あさひ中央公園). Map here.

Access: 10-minute walk from Furukawa Station

12. Yamagata International Documentary Film Fest

山形国際ドキュメンタリー映画祭

October 1017

Yamagata City, Yamagata

A competition for filmmakers and a screening event for visitors. A number of impressive documentaries will be screened this year, centered around several themes: filmaking in wartime Japan, the culture of Northeastern India, Iran in the 1960s-80s, marginalized aspects of Oceania, and more. There are too many films to discuss any in detail here, but check out how cool some of these titles sound:

  • Chuck Norris vs. Communism  
  • An Ant Strikes Back
  • The Islands of Secret Project 4.1
  • The Broken Song
  • Nitrate Kisses

For details and synopses, go ahead and check out the official website for synopses and more details—it's in English so you'll have no problem.

Hours: Varies by screening. See official website for details.

Admission: ¥1,300/program or ¥14,000 at the door for an all-you-can-watch passport. Advance tickets can be purchase online for a small discount.

Official website (English): yidff.jp

Locations: Various venues across central Yamagata City. Map here.

Access: Varies by venue, but all can be accessed either via a short walk or bus ride from Yamagata Station.

13. Michinoku Yosakoi Festival

みちのく YOSAKOI まつり

October 1213

Central Sendai & Izumi Ward

An energetic dance festival blending traditional and modern elements. The first Yosakoi festival took place in Kochi in 1954. Since then, the Yosakoi style of dance has become popular across Japan. The Michinoku Yosakoi Festival is said to be the third-largest in Japan!

Hours: 9:00–20:00

Admission: Free

Official website: michinoku-yosakoi.net

Locations: Various venues across Sendai. Map here.

Access: Varies by venue, but all are located a short walk from a train or subway station. Details here.

14. Taiwan Cultural Festival in Sendai

台湾文化祭in仙台

October 12–13

Central Sendai

A collaboration between the Japan-Tohoku Taiwan Aikokai, Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University, and Taiwanese residents of Miyagi. The event aims to celebrates and educate visitors about popular aspects of traditional Taiwanese culture. Highlights include Taiwanese fortune telling, and specially-designed VR "games" that allow players to (virtually) experience Taiwanese cuisine, religious practices, and even a motorbike ride around Tainan.

Hours: 13:00–19:00 (October 12), 10:00–18:00 (October 13)

Admission: Free, VR experiences ¥500 each. For VR and fortune telling experiences, advance booking is recommended (can be done online). See website for details.

Official website: taiwansai2019.wixsite.com

Location: Sendai Mediatheque. Map here.

Access: 11-minute walk from Kotodaikoen Station

15. Gotochi Mochi Summit

ご当地もちサミット

October 1213

Ichinoseki, Iwate

Mochi is a vital part of traditional Ichinoseki cuisine. For hundreds of years, it has been served not only a sweet snack, but as an integral part of meals. Served with a variety of toppings, from zunda to natto, it is considered a common accompaniment to, or sometimes even the main component of, traditional meals. In celebration of that, for the last eight years Ichinoseki has been hosting the Gotochi Mochi Summit. Mochi makers from across Japan set up shop at this event, serving traditional renditions as well as creative new concoctions.

Hours: 10:00–16:00 (October 12), 10:00–15:30 (October 13)

Admission: Free, ¥300 per mochi dish

Official Facebook Page: facebook.com

Location: U-Dome (ユードーム). Map here.

Access: 35-minute walk or 15 minutes by bus from Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅). Board a #51 Ichinoseki・Aeon Line (一関・イオン線) bus bound for Iwai Nanko Byoin (磐井南光病院), alight at Ichinoseki City Sogo Taikukan-mae (一関市総合体育館前). Timetables here.

16. Ichinoseki・Hiraizumi Balloon Festival

一関・平泉バルーンフェスティバル

October 1214

Ichinoseki, Iwate

A hot-air balloon "grand prix". In addition to the competition, there is a balloon illumination and balloon rides available to visitors for just ¥2,000. The balloon rides are very popular, so come early to queue up!

Hours: 6:30–18:30 (October 12), 6:30–16:45 (October 13), 6:30–12:30 (October 14)

Admission: Free. Balloon rides ¥2,000 adults, ¥500 elementary and younger, infants free.

Details: ichitabi.jp

Location: Along the banks of the Iwai River near U-Dome (ユードーム). Map here (U-Dome is pinned).

Access: 35-minute walk or 15 minutes by bus from Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅). Board a #51 Ichinoseki・Aeon Line (一関・イオン線) bus bound for Iwai Nanko Byoin (磐井南光病院), alight at Ichinoseki City Sogo Taikukan-mae (一関市総合体育館前). Timetables here.

17. Cosquin en Japon

コスキン・エン・ハポン

October 1214

Kawamata, Fukushima

Enjoy flamenco, live music, and South American food late into the night at this energetic and welcoming festival! An annual three-day long celebration of South American folk culture held in an unexpected location—Kawamata, a tiny town in northern Fukushima. Why Kawamata? Decades ago, a man named Yasumitsu Naganuma lived in Kawamata. He was a great enthusiast of Argentinian folk music who, in the 1950s, founded the Northern Japan South American Music Alliance. That group went on to found this festival in the 1970s. The festival has only grown in popularity since then, and is now the largest Andean music festival in Japan!

Hours: 13:30–24:00 (October 12), 9:00–24:00 (October 13), 9:00–15:00 (October 14)

Admission: Free

Official website: cosquin.jp

Location: Kawamata-cho Chuo Kominkan Hall (川俣町中央公民館ホール). Map here.

Access: 36 minutes by bus from Fukushima Station (福島駅). From the Fukushima Station East Exit bus area, board bus bound for Kawamata High School (川俣高校前). Alight at Kawamata-cho Yakuba-mae (川俣町役場前) bus stop. Timetables here.

18. Murata Hotei Matsuri

蔵の町むらた布袋まつり

October 13

Murata, Miyagi

An 800-year old tradition worshipping the god Hotei, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. A large wooden float carrying a statue of Hotei is pulled through the streets, accompanied by traditional music and dancing. The parade travels through the historical Kura no Machinami district of Murata, a nice historical backdrop for this traditional festival.

Hours: 9:50–18:30

Admission: Free

Details: town.murata.miyagi.jp

Location: Throughout central Murata. Map here.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station (仙台駅). From Sendai Station Sakurano-mae Bus Stop #33, board bus bound for Murata (村田). Alight at Murata-cho Yakuba-mae (村田町役場前) bus stop. Timetable here.

19. Ishinomaki Big Catch Festival

いしのまき大漁まつり

October 13

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

A festival celebrating Ishinomaki seafood. Highlights include a fish auction, maguro-butchering demonstration, and maguro tasting. 

Hours: 9:00–15:00

Admission: Free

Details: city.ishinomaki.jp

Location: Ishinomaki Fish Market (石巻魚市場). Map here.

Access: 20 minutes by shuttle bus from Ishinomaki Station or a 45-minute walk from Watanoha Station

20. Fukushima Burger Summit

福島バーガーサミット

October 13

Koori, Fukushima

Sixteen burger shops from three prefectures will be competing for the title of Grand Prix Champion this year. Enjoy sampling their burgers, then vote for your favorite. At the end of the festival, the champions' names are announced and immortalized on the event website. Aside from the burgers, various other food and market stalls will also be set up, and local musical and dance acts will perform live.

Hours: 10:00–16:00

Admission: Free

Official website: fukushima-bgs.jimdofree.com

Location: Koori-cho Fureai Park (桑折町ふれあい公園). Map here.

Access: Free shuttle bus from Koori Station. See here for details.

21. Haramichi Abare Dashi

針道あばれ山車

October 13

Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

A traditional Shinto festival where worshippers violently crash handmade floats into each other. Though the festival dates back to 1758, many of the floats are decidedly contemporary, featuring popular manga and video game characters!

Hours: 13:30~

Admission: Free

Official website: j-fett.wixsite.com

Location: Throughout the Haramichi neighborbood. Map here, Towa Culture Center (東和文化センター) is pinned.

22. Supercars Meeting Yamagata

スーパーカー・ミーティング山形

October 13

Yamagata City, Yamagata

Tohoku's biggest supercar meet! Supercar owners gather to show off their cars to the public. Lots of Lambo doors, photo ops, ...and rumor has it some visitors even get treated to a joy ride or two!

Hours: 10:00–15:00

Admission: Free?

Details: zao-miharashi.sakura.ne.jp

Location: Zao Miharashi no Oka Museum Park (蔵王みはらしの丘ミュージアムパーク). Map here.

Access: 23 minutes by bus from Yamagata Station. From Yamagata station West Exit bus area, board bus bound for Aeon Yamagata Minami-ten (イオン山形南店). Alight at Harappa-kan (はらっぱ館) bus stop. Timetables here.

23. Shiroishi Kimono Festival

白石城下きものまつり

October 1820

Shiroishi, Miyagi

A festival celebrating kimono fashion. Highlights include a kimono fashion show, treasure exhibition, and open-air kimono market. You can even rent a kimono to stroll the festival and nearby Shiroishi Castle and historical neighborhood in!

Hours: 10:00–16:00 (October 18–19), 10:00–15:00 (October 20)

Admission: Free

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Sumaru Yashiki (壽丸屋敷). Map here.

Access: 5-minute walk from Shiroishi Station

24. Murata Pottery Market

みやぎ村田町蔵の陶器市

October 1820

Murata, Miyagi

A lively pottery fair that's just the right size—not small, but not too big or crowded either. Eighty potters from all over the Tohoku and Kanto regions gather here to sell their wares. Styles run the gamut from minimalist contemporary to traditional to whimsical. What really adds atmosphere to the event is that it takes place in the Kura no Machinami historical district, and most of the pottery stands are set up inside the original kura (original Edo-period warehouses) that line the street.

Hours: 10:00–17:30 (October 18–19), 10:00–15:30 (October 20)

Admission: Free

Official website: toukiichi.com

Location: Kura no Machinami (蔵の町並み). Map here.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station (仙台駅). From Sendai Station Sakurano-mae Bus Stop #33, board bus bound for Murata (村田). Alight at Murata-cho Yakuba-mae (村田町役場前) bus stop. Timetables here.

25. Sendai Halloween Festa

仙台ハロウィンフェスタ

October 19

Central Sendai

Probably the closest you can get to classic American trick-or-treating in Sendai. The event kicks off with a costume parade in the afternoon, followed by a "sweets rally" (お菓子ラリー) where participants visit a set "course" of shops to collect candy and small gifts. There will also be Halloween-themed photo ops and booths set up, including airbrush tattoos and a leathercraft workshop.

Hours: 12:00~

Admission: Generally free, but participating in some events requires a fee. See link for details.

Reservations: Required to participate in the Halloween parade or sweets rally. See link for details.

Official event page: machi-kuru.com

Locations: Various venues throughout downtown Sendai's shopping arcades. See link for details.

Access: Varies by venue, but all are easily accessed via train or subway. See link for details.

26. Sendai Bread Fes ・ Sendai Coffee Fes 

仙台パンフェス・仙台コーヒーフェス

October 1920
Central Sendai

Japanese coffee gets a bad rap. Come taste how good it can be at this gathering of indie roasters from across the country! Coffees come in both full and mini sizes, so atendees can sample a number of different brews before getting the jitters.

This relatively new bread fest is said to be Tohoku's biggest. Like the Coffee Fes, the Bread Fes gathers indie bakers from across Japan to serve up their best breads and bagels.

Hours (Coffee Fes): 10:00–17:00 (October 19), 10:00–16:00 (October 20)

Hours (Bread Fes): 10:00–13:00 (October 19), 10:00–12:30 (October 20)

Admission: Free

Official Facebook Event page: facebook.com

Location: Jozenji-dori greenbelt (定禅寺通). Map here.

Access: About a 10-minute walk from Kotodaikoen Station

27. Tomiya International Sweets Expo

とみや国際スイーツ博覧会

October 1920

Tomiya, Miyagi

Sweets from all around Japan and the world! Over 60 sweets shops from all across Japan will set up shop here. To cut all that sugar, some of Sendai's best gastro spots will also have food stalls set up, serving savories such as gyutan and artisanal coffee. In addition to eating them, the festival also provides visitors the opportunity to try their hand at making sweets, like marzipan and cookies, in the"Sweets College" area.

Hours: 10:00–16:00

Admission: Free

Official website: tomiyasweetsexpo.wixsite.com

Location: Tomiya City General Athletics Park (富谷市総合運動公園). Map here.

Access: By free shuttle bus from Izumi Ward Office (泉区役所, map here). The Izumi Ward Office is a 5-minute walk from Izumi-Chuo Station. See official website for shuttle bus details.

28. Miyagino Matsuri

みやぎの・まつり

October 20

Central Sendai

Photo by Tajni from the 仙台人が仙台観光をしてるブログ blog

A family-friendly festival celebrating the simple pleasures of life in Miyagino Ward. The festival offers a variety of minor attractions, including live musical performances by the likes of the Sendai City Fire Department Music Club. Active types will enjoy the "new sports" area featuring gateball, "free blow" (フリーブロー, like archery but with mouth-blown darts?), ring toss, and frisbee. Other highlights include performances of ladder acrobatics by Sendai City firemen (a time-honored tradition of firemen across Japan), a petting zoo, and rides in a Ghibli-inspired cat bus.

In addition to the fun, there will be booths set up helping to educate citizens on practical matters (health issues, police services, etc.) and spread the word on community organizations we may be interested in joining (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, athletic clubs, etc.). And in honor of the festival, the next-door Sendai City Museum of Folklore is offering free admission all day long!

Hours: 9:40–15:00

Admission: Free

Details: city.sendai.jp

Location: Tsutsujigaoka Park (岡公園). Map here.

Access: 2-minute walk from Tsutsujigaoka Station

29. Tome Flea Market

登米市佐沼秋のフリーマーケット

October 20

Tome, Miyagi

An annual flea market boasting roughly 500 vendors! By some estimates, it's Tohoku's largest.

Hours: 9:00–15:30

Admission: Free

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Nakae Central Park (迫中江中央公園). Map here.

30. Osaki Furukawa Autumn Festival & Miyagi Osaki Halloween Cosplay Fest

おおさき古川秋まつり & みやぎ大崎ハロウェインコスプレフェスティ

October 20

Osaki, Miyagi

A combination of traditional autumn festival and contemporary Halloween event. The highlight of the traditional portion is a reenactment of a historic Fujiwara samurai procession, in full warrior regalia.

Accompanying that solemn procession is a cosplay festival open to everyone, no matter whether the costume is an anime-inspired getup or a spooky, classic Halloween one. The cosplay event also features an Instagram costume contest, stamp rally, and an autograph-signing event with Osaki-based manga artist Yoichiro Ono (小野洋一郎). Those who wish to participate in the parade or costume contest should sign-up online by October 10 (see website for details).

Hours: 10:00–16:00

Admission: Free. A fee and reservation are required to participate in certain events. See links for details.

Osaki Furukawa Autumn Festival details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp  

Osaki Halloween Cosplay Fest official website: osaki-cosplay.com

Location: Various locations throughout central Osaki, centered on the Sendai Ginko Furukawa Branch parking lot (仙台銀行古川支店駐車場). Map here.

Access: Varies by venue. The main event venue is a 9-minute walk from Furukawa Station

31. National Stone-Skipping Tournament

全日本石投げ選手権大会

October 26

Marumori, Miyagi

A small stone-skipping tournament that draws competitors from across Japan. It takes place on the banks of the Abukuma River, so is a nice opportunity to enjoy a scenic autumn landscape while watching this unique event. Those wishing to compete should sign up by October 19 (see here for details).

Hours: 10:00–13:30

Admission: Free to watch. Participation requires advance sign-up and costs ¥600.

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: On the riverbank below the Marumori Bridge (丸森町 阿武隈川河原 丸森橋下流左岸). Map here.

Access: 21-minute walk from Marumori Station. Free cycle rental is available at the station too.

32. Sake Festival in Fukushima & Miso and Soy Sauce Festival

ふくしまの酒まつり・味噌醤油まつり

October 26–27

Fukushima City, Fukushima

In 2019, Fukushima sakes won the most golds at the Japan Sake Awards for a record-breaking seventh year in a row! Come taste what all the fuss is about at this festival conveniently located just outside Fukushima Station. 

A celebration of Japan's most popular fermented foods, the Miso and Soy Sauce Festival, will be held in conjunction with the sake fest. Naturally, there will be food booths selling lots dishes incorporating these ingredients and other local cuisine, providing some much needed sustenance for a day of sake sampling.

Hours: 11:00–18:00 (October 26), 11:00–17:00 (October 27)

Admission: Free

Official event page: fukunosake.com

Location: Along the street out front of the Fukushima Station East Exit (福島駅東口駅前通り). Map here.

Access: Just outside Fukushima Station

33. Rekimin Autumn Festival

れきみん秋祭り

October 26 & November 3

Central Sendai

A small festival celebrating traditional performing arts. The main event is performances of various kagura dances, many of which are designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage or National Intangible Folk Cultural Properties.

Hours: 10:00–16:30 (October 26), 10:00–16:00 (November 3)

Admission: Free

Details: sendai-c.ed.jp

Location: Tsutsujigaoka Park (榴岡公園) & Sendai City Museum of History and Folklore (仙台市歴史民俗資料館 ). Map here (Museum is pinned. It's located at the corner of Tsutsujigaoka Park.)

Access: 7-minute walk from Tsutsujigaoka Station.

34. Kesennuma Sangyo Matsuri

気仙沼市産業まつり

October 27

Kesennuma, Miyagi

A festival celebrating Kesennuma's status as a major fishing port. Highlights include a giant-sushi rolling event, and tours of the Kesennuma Fish Market and a shipbuilding area.

In conjunction with the festival, a special breakfast-at-the-fish-market event event will be held, where shoppers can treat themselves to teishoku of grilled sanma, sanma soup, and a heaping bowl of new-crop Sanriku Hitomebore rice.

Hours: 8:00–15:00

Admission: Free

Details: kesennuma-kankou.jp

Location: Kesennuma Umi no Ichi (海の市, map here) & Kesennuma Fish Market (気仙沼市魚市場, map here).

Access: Umi no Ichi is 10 minutes by bus from Kesennuma Station (気仙沼駅) via the city loop bus (市内循環バス, timetables here). Kesennuma Fish Market is a short walk from Umi no Ichi.

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