HOME Historical Spots Walking the Highway Water Side Spots Relaxation Activity Spots Event Gourmet

Sanno-sai Festival
April 12-14, Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine.
One of three major festivals in the lake town. The festival begins with the "Holy Ceremony of the Horse" on April 12th and reaches its climax with the "Yomiya Otoshi" (repeated shaking of portable shrines) on the 13th.

Great Lake Biwa Fireworks Display
August 8, Offshore of Otsu Port
A magnificent spectacle of about 10,000 fireworks illuminating the night sky and the surface of the lake. Fireworks launched from Otsu Port draw spectators into a night of fantastic dreams.

Senko-sai Festival
August 17, In the areas of Takebe-taisha Shrine and Karahashi Bridge
One of Otsu's three major festivals, the Senko-sai Festival is a lively festival presented on the water. It is based on the legend of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. The lanterns of the boats, bonfires on the river bank, and fireworks mark the end of the summer season.

Otsu-Matsuri Festival
The main event Honmatsuri is the day before Physical Fitness Day (the 2nd Monday in October, a national holiday) and the eve event, Yoimiya, is the day before that. The festival is held in the area around Tenson-jinja Shrine and JR Otsu Station
The festival of Tenson-jinja Shrine, which originated in the early Edo period, is one of the three major festivals of the lake town. The fantastic atmosphere of Yoimiya (the eve night), the 13-float parade on the festival day, Honmatsuri, itself (the day before Physical Fitness Day), and the elaborate clockwork mechanism of the floats are the main attractions of the festival.

Full of fun and interesting things.
Calendar of festivals and other events in Otsu
January 1 Otobiraki
(Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine)

The first Saturday and Sunday after the New Year holiday. Karuta Matsuri
(Japanese card-playing festival) (Omi-jingu Shrine)

March 13 Hieizan Ogomaku
(Mt Hiei Minemichi)

Second Saturday in March Biwako Opening Festival
(Otsu Port area)

March 26 Hira Hakko
(between Hamaotsu and Omimaikohama)

First 20 days of April Spring lighting-up
(Mii-dera Temple and Lake Biwa Canal area)

April 12-14 Sanno-sai Festival
(Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine)

May 3-4 Ryujin-sai Festival, Biwako Rainbow Bazaar
(Omi Maiko Swimming Beach)

May 16-18 Sen Dango Sai Festival
(Mii-dera Temple)

Third Sunday in May Aooni Matsuri Festival
(Ishiyama-dera Temple)

June 10 Rokoku-sai Festival
(Omi-jingu Shrine)

July 18 Taiko Mawashi Festival
(Katsuragawa Myooin Temple)

July 28-29 Mitarashi Matsuri Festival
(Karasaki-jinja Shrine)

First 20 days of August Summer lighting-up
(Seta Karahashi Bridge)

August 1 Biwako Otsu Summer Festival
(Hamaotsu area)

August 8 Great Lake Biwa Fireworks Display (Otsuko Port area)

August 17 Senko-sai Festival
(Takebe-taisya Shrine (Jinryo 1-chome), Seta Karahashi Bridge area)

Last 10 days of September Shugetsu-sai Festival
(Autumn Moon Festival)
(Ishiyama-dera Temple)

The two days prior to Physical Fitness Day (a national holiday) in October Otsu Matsuri Festival
(Tenson-jinja Shrine (Kyomachi 3-chome), JR Otsu Station area)

November 2 Shitogi Matsuri
(Ono-jinja Shrine)

November 3 Omi-jingu Yabusame
(Japanese horseback archery) (Omi-jingu Shrine)

Last 20 days of November and Last 1 days of December Autumn lighting-up

December 31 Onioi-shiki Ceremony
("driving out the demons")
(Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple)

December 31 The bells on New Year's Eve at Mii-dera Temple
(Mii-dera Temple)

* The dates and sites mentioned in the above calendar are subject to change. For confirmation, please consult a tourist agency or other source of official information before your visit.

Mt. Hiei

The cherry blossoms are best viewed a little later than in the city area. The view of Lake Biwa from the driveway is superb.
Mii-dera Temple, Lake Biwa Canal

The illuminated temple building seen against the thousand cherry trees of Mii-dera Temple and the cherry trees on either side of Lake Biwa Canal are one of the charming sights of Otsu in the spring.
Biwako Valley (foothills)

Cherry blossoms, skunk cabbage and alpine roses bloom in relay on the mountaintop.
Ishiyama-dera Temple

As well as the cherry blossoms that proclaim the coming of spring, there are azaleas, irises and more, giving the temple its nickname "The Temple of Flowers".
Sakamoto (Hiyoshi no Banba)

Splendid cherry trees bloom on both sides of the approach to Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine from Keihan Line Sakamoto Station.

Saikyo-ji Temple

The palace garden and the maple trees of the approach to the temple are particularly beautiful.
Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine

The best spot for viewing the autumn foliage in the lakeside town.
Ishiyama-dera Temple

In the autumn, the whole temple area is a fantastic display of red.
The contrast between the red leaves and the main building and two-storied pagoda, both national treasures, is also beautiful.
Mii-dera Temple

Famous for the autumn foliage as well as the cherry blossoms in the spring.
It is fun to walk around the temple grounds surrounded by colorful leaves.

With the celebrated Hisyoshi-taisha Shrine as the focus, the approach to the shrine, and temple buildings are illuminated together with autumn leaves.