The Hyuga Hyottoko Summer Festival is a massive summer event where nearly 2,000 dancers gather from all over the country to enjoy the "Hyottoko Odori" with approx. 70,000 attending festival goers. The "Hyottoko" refers to the humorous clown-like character that appears in traditional Japanese folk or festival dances. It is said that the Hyottoko Odori has been a way of praying for a rich harvest and the prosperity of business and descendants since long ago.
The festival is held over two days. On the first (the eve festival), there is the individual Hyuga Hyottoko competition. The main festival is on the second day and features the parade, an impressive sight where dancers in red kimonos turn the town red. The distance between dancers and viewers is shortened and everyone involved in the festival is brought closer together thanks to this unique festive Hyottoko Odori. The "Nagata no Hyottoko Odori", the local dance of Hyuga City that has been taught throughout the generations, is listed as one of the city's Intangible Folk Cultural Assets, and ever since 1984 when the festival was first held, it has been continued annually as a way of protecting traditional performance art and developing tourism.
The highlight of this event is the parade of the main festival that is held on the second day. Approximately 2,000 amusing dancers gather wearing red kimonos, white waist wraps and white underwear called fundoshi. They put on their comical dance to the light sound and rhythm of flutes and drums while accentuating hand, foot and head. This Japanese tradition, both slightly erotic and humorous, is performed on a grand scale, putting the entire city into a frenzy for a day you will never forget.
This festival provides a dance instruction class, giving festival goers the chance to try out the Hyottoko Odori. You won't want to miss the chance to experience this unique Japanese tradition yourself. Also, there are many souvenirs, such as Hyottoko masks and more, sold at several locations throughout the festival that make you happy just looking at them. We think they make just the right gift.
Please do not enter the designated dancing zone during the parade.
Access to Saku City
JR Nippo Main Line, Hyugashi Station
Koryu Hiroba, in front of the Hyugashi Station
Address: 1-19 Uemachi, Hyuga City
*Just outside of the ticket gate of Hyugashi Station.