Kitakyushu – Wasshoi Hyakuman Festival

The Wasshoi Hyakuman Summer Festival began in 1988 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Kitakyushu’s city status and draws an astounding 1.5 million attendees annually. This vibrant summer extravaganza features a range of spectacles, including the iconic “Hyakuman Odori” parade where 10,000 participants in traditional dress dance through the streets. The festival also features the “Natsu Matsuri Daishugo”, which showcases floats and portable shrines from various wards, and the exciting Yosakoi performances held at four distinct venues such as the JR Kokura Station Jam Space and Kokura Izutsuya Crossroads. Beyond these highlights, the festival spans two bustling days filled with diverse events at locations like Katsuyama Park and River Walk Kitakyushu.

Taking place on the first Saturday and Sunday of August, the festival begins on Komonji Dori Avenue, just outside the Kitakyushu City Government Office. The first day kicks off with an exhilarating opening ceremony parade, where festivals from the city’s past merge into a vibrant procession.

On Sunday, the festival reaches its peak with the Million Dance encircling Kokura Castle. Over one and a half million citizens from local enterprises and community groups don themed festival clothes as they dance. The festival ends with a  dazzling fireworks display, illuminating the night sky.