Beppu Park Cherry Blossoms – Enjoy Sakura in the Heart of Oita
Sand and Flower Festa is one of the most exciting art events in Japan that has been held in Fukiage-hama, Kagoshima since 1987. This place boasts one of three major sand dunes in Japan. Fukiage-hama is an average beach, but why does this event last until now? There is a reason behind this and why it is held in Fukiage-hama. And in this article, I am going to tell you more about this fantastic event.
The sand dune “Fukiage hama”, in Kagoshima has always inspired people living in the neighborhood since the old days, so they wanted to bring something great for the city by taking the advantage of this natural gift. Their strong passion has united the community and it developed the outstanding sand art event in 1987. Furthermore, because this is a significant event for local people, it became the major attraction of the area attracting many visitors every year. This festival reminds people and shows the ways of utilizing the sand of Hukiage-hama.
To entertain people, this event has various experience-based activities, delicious stalls with delicious treats, and firework shows. In 2017, thanks to the continuous support and love, the event celebrated its 30th anniversary.
You will notice approximately 100 sand statues standing in a line once you step inside the main venue. The giant statues are over 8 meters high, and its scale is remarkable. In order to make the exhibits stand out more, a lot of those sand statues are designed by professionals and famous artists who come from not only Japan but also other countries. Without mentions, the statues are sophisticated, extraordinary, and wonderful! They will definitely take your breath away.
In 1989, the main theme of the event was “The Invitation to the Fantasy of Fairly Tale Country”, so each statue had a design of a fairy tale character such as “The Wonderful of Wizard Oz”, “Hansel and Gretel”, or Alice in Wonderland”. In 2014, the main theme was “The Treasure of Japan made by Sand”, which depicted the combination of Japan and nature. There was the statue of Mt Fuji, Japanese traditional castles, famous samurais, and other designs that can describe Japan culture. Enjoy taking family pictures with a giant statue is always good but you will enjoy more if you go with being aware of the theme behind.
At the event, there are approximately 11,000 colorful flowers which match perfectly with the color of the sand. Each year over 100,000 people visits this festival. Feel free to take with the beautiful spring flowers of many different colors that make the venue look like a roofless art museum. If you want help for your memorable pictures, the friendly staff will take a photo for you, and there is also a photo booth with a cartoon character. His name is “Mr. Sandy.” He is the mascot of this event.
Fireworks stage is right under the giant statues. You will witness a memorable fireworks show in the evening along with dramatic music. It is really powerful and heart bouncing. If you don’t want to miss this, carefully check out the event schedule. There are 2 program stages at this sand event, which are the golden stage and the second stage. This fireworks show takes place only during the golden stage.
Dates and the Time:
May 1st – 26th, 2019
1. Golden stage May1st (Wednesday) ~ 5th (Sunday) from 9 am to 9 pm
(including fireworks with dynamic music, entertainment shows, food events, experience-based activities)
2. The second stage May 7th (Tuesday) ~ 26th (Sunday) from 9 am to 5 pm (only sand statue exhibitions)
Generally, this event takes place every year from the beginning to the end of May, but the dates slightly vary from year to year as well as the theme. So, I suggest you double check it on the official website.
Place: Specially setup site in Sakyuu no Mori Kinpoo
Address: Kagoshima-ken, Minamisatsuma-shi, Kinpōchō Takahashi, 金峰町高橋3075-4
Elementary/Junior High students: ¥500
Elementary/Junior High Students: ¥300
Official website: http://www.sand-minamisatsuma.jp/english-page.html
From JR Kagoshima central station
*free shuttle bus available from the station to the main hall during golden stage time
The time required: 70 minutes
The best part of this event is that not only adults but also children can also enjoy. For children, there is a bingo game, sports activities, a stamp rally, and so on. Besides, everybody should try sand sculpture making masterclasses! For adults, there is a Beer Garden (so-called buffet style beer hall outside), live music, astronomical observation, stalls and cafes with delicious local food. So many things to enjoy with a family!
If you would like to discover this fascinating festival and other hidden gems of Kagoshima with a local guide, please click on the banner below!
A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!
Image courtesy of Takashi Hososhima
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