The Warei Taisai Uwajima Ushi-oni (Demonish Bull) Matsuri is one of Shikoku’s ne of the most famous summer festivals held over three days from July 22nd to the 24th
On the 23rd, you can attend the adorable Kids Ushi-oni Parade, where children carry a miniature sized ushi-oni on their shoulders, the Uwajima Dance overflowing with southern exotic atmosphere, and the Fireworks Festival held over the waters of Uwajima Bay.
The festival reaches its climax at the finale on July 24th
Standing five to six meters high, these bulls, comprised of bamboo frame and dawned with a frightening demon mask, have a long neck made of wooden logs, a tail in the shape of a sword, and are covered in either palm leaves or red cloth. As the star of this festival, it is hauled around town upon the shoulders of dozens of young men, led by the sound of children blowing on “booboos” (bamboo horns), as it sways its long neck, parading from house to house, sticking its head in doorways to ward off evil spirits.
Witnessing over twenty of these Ushi-oni parading the city is truly the highlight.
These two consecutive nights of fireworks over the bay and in the river are sure to be an eyeful; so much that if you manage to make it close to the launching site, you can look forward to a sore neck the next morning.
Marine Fireworks (Uwajima Bay area) : 7/23 20:40～
Fireworks (Maruyama Sports Park) : 7/24 20:40～
On the last night, there is the “hashiri-komi”. Inside the river, illuminated with bonfires and torches, you will see three portable shrines parade along side a number of other floats while the sound of festival drums echoes through the air. The festival reaches its climax as the shrines surround a single bamboo stalk jetting out of the river that young men climb to compete in capturing a sacred symbol that rests at the very top. It is a brief moment, during a single night of summer; a national rarity that is truly a fantastic sight to see.
There are road restrictions during the festival.
JR Uwajima Station / Uwajima Bus Center
(When coming from the airport)
From Matsuyama Airport, take the bus to JR Matsuyama Station (Approx. 20 minutes). From JR Matsuyama Station take the JR Express UWAKAI to Uwajima Station (Approx. 80 minutes).
It is roughly a 1.5 hour drive from Matsuyama Airport to Uwajima City.