nagasaki kunchi festivalNagasaki Kunchi Festival in Japan is celebrated in Suwa-Jinja Shrine in Kaminishiyama-machi with dragons and tiny ships. During Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, not only is the history of the city reflecting the Chinese influence, upheld but also the sophisticated instinct of fun, joy and zeal.

Nagasaki located in the northwestern part of Kyushu, has remained one of the busiest ports close to the mainland of Asia. Also a capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, it reached out to the world after the atom bomb attack in World War II. One of the most popular festivals and events in Japan, held in Suwa Shrine, has been declared as an important intangible folk asset by the government of Japan. History says that this festival has a history of over 370 years.

The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival has been celebrated for more than 370 years and incorporates different aspects of Chinese and Dutch cultures, which have played a role in the city’s history. The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival’s name is believed to come from ku-nichi (“9th day”), the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar.

The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival highlight are dance and show performances by groups representing Nagasaki’s various city districts. Each district (odori-cho), participates only once every seven years, so this festival remains fresh to even the regular viewer.

About five to seven groups perform each year, presenting traditional Japanese dances, Chinese influenced dragon dances or performances involving large floats, many of which are shaped like ships. While some performances are calm and peaceful, others get wild and hectic.

Performances Nagasaki Kunchi Festival are held at four main venues with paid seating and/or standing areas in the morning and evening of October 7th and in the mornings of October 8th and 9th. The four main stages are Suwa Shrine, Otabisho, Yasaka Shrine, and Kokaido. See the link section below for more ticket information in Japanese.

At some of the main venues, it is possible to take a glimpse at the performances without a ticket, but it gets crowded and people arrive early to reserve the best spots.

Performances Nagasaki Kunchi Festival are also staged at a few other locations across the city, for which no tickets are available. Among them is the plaza of Nagasaki Station, where all groups have scheduled appearances on October 7th. Get there in advance to reserve a good spot either on the ground level or from the elevated walkway.

It is also possible to follow the floats and dancers, as they pay visits to supporting shops and households during the rest of the day. Festival schedules in Japanese and English are available at tourist information desks and hotels.

Event: Nagasaki Kunchi Festival 2012
Date: October 7 until October 9, 2012
Hours: Morning and Evening
Price: -
Venue: The Four Main Stages (Suwa Shrine, Otabisho, Yasaka Shrine, and Kokaido)

Access and Orientation To Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

By train

Take the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station and transfer to the JR Kamome limited express train to Nagasaki.

When using a direct Nozomi train along the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen, the entire journey takes about 7.5 hours. Japan Rail Pass holders using Hikari and Sakura trains, will require about 8.5 hours and an additional transfer of trains at Shin-Osaka Station.

The one way fare by non-reserved seats is 23,420 yen. By reserved seats, it costs around 24,000 yen by Hikari and Sakura trains and around 24,500 yen by Nozomi. This compares to 28,300 yen for a 7-day Japan Rail Pass, which is valid on Hikari and Sakura trains, but not on Nozomi trains.

By air to Nagasaki Airport

JAL, ANA and Solaseed Air operate frequent flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Nagasaki Airport. Flight time is approximately two hours. The regular one way fare of JAL and ANA is around 36,000 yen, but discount offers are usually available for around 14,000 to 28,000 yen. The fares of Solaseed Air are typically 20 percent lower than the ones by JAL and ANA.

Nagasaki Airport is located 45 minutes outside of central Nagasaki by bus (800 yen). See our Haneda Airport page for access details about Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

By air via Fukuoka Airport

The Tokyo-Fukuoka route is the world’s third busiest air route. Accordingly competition is fierce, resulting in the probability that fl

ying from Tokyo to Fukuoka followed by a bus trip to Nagasaki comes cheaper than flying directly into Nagasaki Airport. From Fukuoka Airport, buses depart to Nagasaki every hour. The one way trip from Fukuoka Airport to Nagasaki takes 2.5 hours and costs 2500 yen.

Nagasaki is most easily navigated by tram and on foot.

The city center with mos

t major tourist attractions is situated about one kilometer (approx. 5 tram minutes) southeast of Nagasaki Station. Among the major sights, only the Peace Park is not centrally located, several kilometers (approx. 10 tram minutes) north of Nagasaki Station in the Urakami district.

Trams

Nagasaki is served by four tram lines. Operated by Nagasaki Electric Tramway, the tram lines provide easy access to most of the city’s main attractions and run approximately every 5-8 minutes from 6:00 to 23:00

Enter the tram through the rear door and exit through the front door. Pay the driver when exiting. One ride costs 120 yen regardless of how far you travel. A 1-day pass for unlimited use of trams on one calendar day is available for 500 yen.

The tram network is designed in a way in which it is possible to reach almost any tram stop from any other tram stop without the need of a transfer.

Only at Tsukimachi tram stop, it is sometimes necessary to transfer between lines 1 and 5. Therefore, transferring passengers can ask for a transfer ticket when exiting a tram at Tsukimachi in order to avoid paying twice. Hand the transfer ticket to the driver of the second tram when exi

ting.

Buses

Nagasaki is also served by a network of city buses, operated by Nagasaki Bus. However, the average visitor is unlikely to use buses, except maybe for accessing Mount Inasa.

Nagasaki Airport

Nagasaki Airport is located about 30 kilometers northeast of the city center. The one way journey from the airport to Nagasaki Station by bus takes 45 minutes and costs 800 yen. There are departures every twenty minutes.

Besides connecting several domestic airports, Nagasaki Airport also offers international flights to Shanghai and Seoul.

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

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