Shibukawa City has proclaimed itself as the "belly button of Japan" since 1984, for locating at the very center of Japan. Since that year, it has also hosted the Shibukawa Heso (Belly button) Matsuri.
The "Belly Button Dance Parade" where people from young to old dance with their belly buttons out, and the freeform dance where people showcase unique styles are among the attractions. The sight of them dancing with large drawings on their bellies is a unique sight, which attracts many visitors from all across the country. Many belly-button related events are held as well, other than the dance festival.
The "Belly Button Dance Parade" begins at 5 pm. Draw a large face on your stomach, and dance to the light-hearted rhythms of "Heso Ondo" (belly-button song)! You are allowed to join the parade on the day of the festival. Just visit the festival headquarters tent by 4 pm.
Even if you are not participating, cheer everyone up by shouting "Hesso matsuri! Sore!" during the parade.
Near Shinmachi Gosaro (festival location) are the "belly button rock" and "belly button jizo, located at the center of Japan. The "belly button rock" was discovered by the army general Sakanoue no Tamuramaro about 1200 years ago on his way back from the east when he told "this is the belly button of Japan". The Jizo has a proud large belly button on its stomach, and it is said that your wishes will come true if you pray while caressing it, and it is even said that it will bring wishes of pregnancy come true.
The temperature will be very high, so hydrate yourself often and be cautious of heat strokes.
Please do not lose sight of your children during hours that become very crowded.
Access to Shibukawa City
[nearest station] Shibukawa Station, JR Joetsu/Agatsuma Line
Festival Location Address: In the vicinity of 1904 Shibukawa (Shinmachi) Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture
Walk north-west for 10 min after getting off at Shibukawa Station