The festivals of Akune City bring to mind four key words - 'Beauty', 'Deliciousness' 'Charm' and 'Uniqueness'. These festivals are held in spring, summer and autumn, with each season offering an array of attractions for visitors to sample. In spring, visitors can take part in the Hokusatsu Curry Fest or explore the Umisachi-Yamasachi Market, both of which are held along National Road 499. Such events are a fun time out for the whole family! In summer, visitors can witness traditional dancing and a special parade. Visitors will want to form a circle and dance together at this fun summer festival. In autumn, there is a fireworks / laser beam show which features 8000 fireworks. These lasers and fireworks spectacularly light up the sea surface and the night sky.
The Akune Midokoi Spring Festival features a 'Curry Fest' that is held along National Road 499. Here, visitors can sample a wide assortment of curries, all of which use the natural produce of Akune City. Akune, blessed with ample waters and mountains, is home to the Umisachi-Yamasachi Market. Moreover, Akune Station is home to an 'Exchange Building' that serves as a lively venue for food markets, children's festivals and much more. A wide variety of festive events are held here during Golden Week exclusively for your pleasure!
The 'Akune Midokoi Summer Festival' begins with the arrival of a portable shrine and an array of Japanese traditional performing arts. The festivities carry on well into the night, with a parade and a 'Hanya' (Midnight) Dance. All of the events bring to mind the joys of summer! In the morning, offerings are made at Yasaka Shrine in the form of dances. They consist of a stick dance and a traditional Japanese dance known as 'Yamadaraku' (a war dance originally designed to boost troop morale). This heroic dance always draws a big crowd. The dancers wear matching kimono with white cords known as 'tasuki' to hold back their sleeves. Watching the dancers manipulate their sticks, all while striking bells, is a sight worth seeing in and of itself! The night starts with a musical parade making its way down main street. This parade is followed by a kindergarten music recital and a brass band performance, both of which serve to liven up the atmosphere. It is at this point that the Hanya Dance begins. 60 groups, totalling 2500 people, perform a live folk dance called the 'Hanya-bushu'. The train of dancers is comprised of a diverse range of people; everyone from dancing school students with their crisp, skilled movements, to cute little children, to elaborately costumed performers - all of whom bathe in cheers and applause - make for a highlight extraordinaire. At this fun festival, watching the individual groups makes you want to form a circle and join in the dancing fun! This folk dance event has been included since 2017,
as has the Kagoshima 'Oharabushi' folk dance.
Usually, Akune Harbor is lined with rows of vendors selling fresh fish. At the time of the 'Akune Midokoi Autumn Festival' waves of people descend upon the harbour to watch the fireworks display. In excess of 20,000 spectators gather here to enjoy 8000 fireworks and a laser show. 50 large, spherical fireworks are simultaneously launched in rapid succession from multiple locations. Some of the fireworks take the form of huge flowers, while others are designed to be launched from the sea itself. Such a sight will leave you feeling deeply impressed. Even more spectacular is the 'Midokoi Festival' finalé, set against the backdrop of the clear autumn air. During the finalé, visitors are invited to witness a large and befittingly beautiful fireworks display. Even though there are large crowds, the fireworks are visible over a large area. Thus, half the attraction is finding an out-of-the-way place (of which there are many) to enjoy the fireworks at your leisure. During the evening, street stalls sell not only delicious Japanese staples such as shaved ice and yakisoba (stir fry noodles), but also a wide array of local food and delicous treats from Kagoshima and Kyūshū. Don't forget to check them out!