Nagasaki Traditional Events and Attractions
Nagasaki has a vibrant history of international exchange, at one point serving as Japan’s only gateway to other countries. As a result, Nagasaki has a unique culture and history that reflects its Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese influence. To deepen your understanding of Nagasaki and Japanese history, please consider participating in the following festivals and traditional cultural events.
Major Festivals and Traditional Events in Nagasaki City
|First and second week of April||Kite Flying Tournament||Touhakkei||Kite Battles, Kite Classroom, Treasure Hunting, and more
■Nagasaki Shimbun 095-844-2111
|Late April||Nagasaki Boat Festival||Nagasaki Mizubenomori (Seaside) Park, Dejima Warf Area||See boats from around the world. Cruising, field concert, and more.
■Nagasaki Kaiko Kinen Kaikan (Nagasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry)095-822-0111
|Late July||Nagasaki Minato Festival||Mizubenomori (Seaside) Park||A large event built around Nagasaki’s harbor serves as a host to sports, small concerts, and other attractions. Food stands are plentiful, and the event is good for children and adults.
■Nagasaki Minato Festival Executive Committee (Nagasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry)095-822-0111
|Late July weekend||Nagasaki Dragon Boat Race||Matsugae International Sightseeing Warf||The Dragon Boat Race brings the Nagasaki Minato Festival to a close.
■Nagasaki Dragon Boat Race Association (Nagasaki International Tourism and Convention Association) 095-823-7423
|August 15||Spirit Boat Procession||Throughout Central Nagasaki City||In this lively traditional event, the spirits of deceased relatives are sent to the afterlife.
■Nagasaki City Sightseeing and Publicity Division 095-829-1314
|(Old Calendar) July 26-28||Chinese O-Bon Gathering||Sofukuji Temple||In this Chinese O-Bon Gathering, people from around the country visit the Sofukuji Temple national treasure to comfort ancestors’ souls.
■Sofukuji Temple 095-823-2645
■Kyoka Kaikan 095-821-7824
|Late September||Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Festival||Glover Garden, East and South Yamate Area||Listen to mini-concerts and participate in a variety of events at Glover Garden and the surrounding area.
■Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Festival Executive Committee (Nagasaki City Sightseeing and Publicity Division) 095-829-1314
|Final Saturday in September||Confucius Festival||Confucius Shrine||Celebrates the birthday of Confucius. The ceremony is faithfully reproduced in its original Chinese form as celebrated since the Ming Dynasty.
■Confucius Shrine 095-824-4022
|October 7-9||Nagasaki Kunchi||Suwa Shrine area and other locations||Taking place every autumn at Suwa Shrine, this is one of the three largest festivals in Japan. The shows and dances are rich in Chinese, Dutch, and other international flavors.
■Nagasaki Traditional Performance Art Promotion (Nagasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry) 095-822-0111
|October 14-15||Takengei Bamboo Performance||Wakamiya Inari Shrine||In this autumn event at Wakamiya Inari Shrine, two young people wearing masks of male and female foxes perform acrobatics on top of two 10-meter green bamboo poles.
■Wakamiya Inari Shrine 095-822-5270
|January 1-3||New Year’s First Shrine Visit||Suwa Shrine and other locations||Many people dress up in kimonos and make their first temple visits of the new year.
■Suwa Shrine 095-824-0445
|Late January to Early February (Chinese New Year)||Nagasaki Lantern Festival||Minato Park and other locations||Associated with the celebration of Chinese New Year. More than 12,000 lanterns and Chinese ornaments are hung in and around Chinatown. Dance and other performances may also be seen.
■Nagasaki Lantern Festival Executive Committee (Nagasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry) 095-829-1314
|February||Anniversary of the 26 Martyrs||Site of the 26 Martyrs||A Catholic mass is held near the site of the 26 Martyrs.
■Memorial Hall of the 26 Martyrs 095-822-6000