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Japan is situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometers, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. Japan consists of four major islands, surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands.

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Miyajima Kangensai Festival

Medieval nobles' style of entertainment reproduced at Itsukushima Shrine, which is one of the three scenic beauties of Japan.

Date: Late July- Early August
(June 17th according to the lunar calendar)
Place: Itsukushima Shrine
City: 1162-18 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture

Kangen is music performed by playing the flute, drums and Japanese string instruments used in Japanese court music. In the ancient capital, nobles used to enjoy the graceful orchestra festival by playing these kangen instruments on boats floated on ponds and rivers. Approximately 800 years ago, Taira-no-Kiyomori (1118-1181), the warlord of the latter years of the Heian Period, constructed Itsukishima-Shrine and brought the then prevalent customs to this land in order to hold a ceremony dedicated to the gods. This Shinto ritual, staged on the Seto Inland Sea, later developed into a graceful yet dynamic festival reminiscent of the Heian Period when the culture of the nobility flourished, and is now ranked among the three finest float festivals in Japan.

A registered World Heritage Site, Itsukushima Shrine is characterized by the large O-torii gate erected at the entrance of shrines standing on the sea waters and the main building which, at full tide, appears as if it is floating on the sea. This shrine serves as the stage of this festival, and the ceremony proceeds to the accompaniment of the kangen performance on the gozabune vessel carrying divine spirits. Towards dusk, fires lit to illuminate the surroundings for patrolling or fishing are ignited, and led by three tugboats, the gozabune boat adorned with lit-up lampstands covered with paper and paper lanterns starts to sail towards the Jigozen Shrine on the opposite bank. After the ritual at the Jigozen Shrine is completed, the gozabune tours around small affiliated shrines and returns to Itsukushima Shrine after midnight. The greatest attraction of this festival is the kangen melody. Immerse yourself in the graceful melody with your eyes closed and you will feel as if you have slipped back in time to Medieval Japan.


10 minutes' walk after alighting from the ferryboat which departs from JR Miyajimaguchi Station.JR Miyajimaguchi Station is about 30 minutes from JR Hiroshima Station on the Sanyo Honsen Line.


Festivals & Events

Traditional Annual Events

Traditional Annual Events