Hita Thousand Year’s Light Festival 2019 – a Lantern Night in Oita




Have you heard of Hita? Hita is a city in the northeastern side of Oita prefecture with a population of approximately 60,000 people. In this article, I will be introducing the Thousand Year’s Light Festival (Sennen Akari Festival) in Hita. It is one of the most popular events in Hita for its beauty, romantic atmosphere, and its instagrammable views!

Thousand Year’s Light Festival

The Sennen Akari Festival began in 2005 as a night event in the autumn season to give the city a more charming and romantic atmosphere and to attract more tourists to Hita. Simultaneously it takes place with the Hita Tenryo Festival. Hita Tenryo festival has been taking place annually for the past 40 years, in the town of Mameda. Mameda was designated as an “Important Traditional Building Group Conservation Area”, and the Kagetsu river was also rebuilt to conserve the beauty and natural surrounding of the river.

When the festival first started, you could see around 20,000 bamboo lanterns around the town and river. However, the number has gradually increased over the years to over 30,000 lanterns nowadays!

What Time Does it Start?

When it is getting darker, around 5 o’clock in the evening, the bamboo lanterns start glowing as the scenery dives deeper into the night. There are also outdoor street vendors selling traditional foods and drinks that contribute to the overall Japanese festival atmosphere. The bamboo lanterns across the townscape are beautiful to walk around admiring the atmospheric traditional buildings and streets at the same time. The fancy bamboo arrangements, also using other materials such as washi paper, are all individual works of art. The candle’s warm lights are so beautiful and mesmerizing, you will be able to spend hours just enjoying the scenery and atmosphere of the festival.

Details and Access

Dates: October 8th – 10th, 2019 (estimated). Usually takes place after Hita Tensho Festival on weekend at the beginning of November. Please check the official website to check the exact dates closer to November.

Place: Tsukikuma Park and Mameda District

Address: Oita Prefecture, Hita City, Maruyama 2-2-1

Official website (Japanese only): 


The location is only about 20 minutes walk from JR Hita Station, which is approximately a 2-hour train journey from Oita station. If you are driving, it is 10 minutes drive from Hita Interchange and is about an hour and a half drive from Oita Airport.


Other Things to Do in Hita

In Hita, there are many other things you can see and do. Whether it is nature, museums, or shrines, there will be something that you will definitely enjoy!

Takatsuka Atago Jizoson

A shrine famously as a power spot. A Jizo statue that is over 1000 years old is the main object of worshipping. It’s 30 minutes by bus journey from Hita Bus Station. Just over 20 minutes drive from Hita Station. Image courtesy of Mukai

Sakuradaki Waterfall

I recommend you use a car to visit this location. It is a short walk from Amagase Station where you can park your car. Walk through the promenade and you will be able to see the waterfall. The mist splashing from the waterfall is amazing and you can experience the wild side of Hita. It is just a 30minutes drive from Hita Station.

Image courtesy of STA3816

Kuncho Sake Brewery Museum

Built in 1703, the museum consists of five separate breweries that are still operating. Using rice produced locally and the purest water, special local sakes are made nowadays. There are factory tours with free tasting and also ice creams that are made of sake. A 20-minute walk from Hita Station.Image courtesy of MIKI Yoshihito

Sapporo Beer Kyushu Hita Brewery

The famous Japanese Beer ‘Sapporo’ has a brewery in the small city of Hita. You can have a tour around the factory to learn the works and how it was born, and of course, taste the beer! There is also a restaurant and souvenir shop. Around 15minutes drive from Hita Station.

Closing Remarks

When you are in Oita Prefecture in autumn, that would be a great idea to soak in one of the numerous natural hot springs to make yourself warm. However, if you love a charming and mystical atmosphere that lanterns create in a small city, the Thousand Year’s Light Festival in Hita will become a perfect event to visit.

If you want to find out more about this festival and get to know locals before your trip, click on the Huber. banner below, It will make your trip even more rewarding!

Discover Oita Prefecture With its Fascinating Festivals and Hot Springs!

Would you like to avoid typical routes when you are in Japan next time? Then Oita prefecture is a perfect destination to see rural Japan, enjoy delicious local food, soak in numerous hot springs and experience the hospitality of local people at unforgettable festivals! The following article will guide you to the best activities you must try when you are in Oita Prefecture!


Famous Festivals That Represent the Edo Period

Japan has a very long and unique history. Matsuri is an excellent indicator showing a particular period of history when the event took place for the first time. I think you can even study Japanese history by attending various festivals. Explore lavishly decorated Mikoshi, admire unique festival fashion and join traditional festival dances at the Matsuri representing Edo period. For more information on their exceptional events, please click on the link below!


More Lantern Festivals

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it made you want to visit this great festival. Lantern festivals in Japan are very popular, and you can see it in any season. If you would like to know more about other lantern festivals in Japan, enjoy its mystical atmosphere, and admire a glowing night in Japan, please click on the link below and you will find an article on the best 13 lantern festivals in Japan!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

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!


Kiri Tokumoto

Scottish and Japanese mix, made in New Zealand. Currently in my 5th year living in Beppu, Japan."

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