The Hirata Festival in Izumo City

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, shimane prefecture
Photo | Shimane Prefecture Tourist Gallery
Izumo City

This festival takes place in the Hirata district, which until 2005 was an independent city. Although now part of Izumo City, it preserves its culture through annual events such as the Hirata Festival.

Essentially a Tanabata or Star Festival, participants write down their dreams on strips of paper to be displayed publicly. This summer celebration includes a parade put on by the local citizens and hosts a variety of performances.

Held at the end of July, the Hirata Festival has been going strong since the 1970s. You can listen to live music and see some talented regional celebrities. One of the highlights of the parade are the large and colorful nebuta-style floats which depict some internationally popular animated characters. Other exciting elements include the pyrotechnics that are set off after night falls.

Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train to JR Izumo-shi Station. Walk for 2 minutes to the Ichibata Electric Railway Station. Take the Ichibata Electric Railway Kita Matue Line to Unshu-Hirata Station. It is about a 5 minute walk from Unshu-Hirata Station to the festival.

About the Area

Shimane Prefecture can be understood best by making a distinction between its eastern and western halves. The east is made up of the cities and towns near and around Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi.

The major municipalities include the cities of Yasugi, Matsue and Izumo. An area of exception that should also be in this category is the Oki Island Archipelago, which is 75-85 kilometers off the coast. The eastern region of Shimane has the largest population and is home to the prefectural capital, Matsue City.

Western Shimane Prefecture or more precisely the southwest, includes the cities of Masuda and Hamada as well as the Tsuwano Town on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The western half of Shimane is characterized by its natural beauty from the hinterland to the coast.

The cultural bond that unites the entire prefecture can be found in the shared reverence for the history, myths and legends of the land. One example is the Kagura dance for the gods that is performed throughout Shimane in several variations.


Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee