When one thinks of Chiba Prefecture, normally images of a cityscape and Disneyland come to mind, however this region has a lot more to offer, being full of smaller more authentic Japanese towns, and their traditions, such as the lively summer festival of the town of Togane (東金), held in August each year. In this article, I will introduce this festival, the YASSA Festival.

Matsuri Breakdown:

This festival, recently renewed from the ‘Yassa Matsuri’ (やっさ祭り) into the ‘YASSA Festival’ is the largest event of summer for the town of  Togane, Chiba Prefecture and a perfect time to see the town at its peak of cheer and summer energy!
The festival is largely centred around the town’s central park (中央公園) and is full of live street performances from locals and even from other parts of Japan, as far away as Kyushu, to keep you entertained and in the festival spirit.

The YASSA Festival is a time for the locals of Togane to come together, celebrate and enjoy the summer during whilst it’s at its the best, with dance, song, food and drink, and to cap it off, fireworks show, that’s all there for you to experience in the one place!

Things to do:

The festival is packed with activities and performances to experience and see, there’s dance contests, as well as stage performances with singing, dancing, and variety acts, including performances from well-known local groups such as the YASSA Comachi idol group.
There’s also food and drinks market under a floating airdome, a haunted house if you’re seeking a thrill, and the Yassa Night Theatre, starring local town mascots and characters.

Of course, there’s also the main event; the ‘Yassa Odori’ (やっさおどり) or ‘Happiness Dance’ which is over 1000 people raise their voices and participates in celebrating the summer. This performance unites are not only the festival but the town together as many locals volunteer to be part of this annual town tradition that you can be witness to!
And to finish, there is a fireworks show at night to mark the end of the festival in the traditional way for Japanese summer festivals, and with over 100 individual fireworks. It’s sure to dazzle and amaze!

Details and Access:

The Togane YASSA Festival is held on a single Saturday in the middle of August each year.
Access to Togane is quite easy as the town is close to both Chiba, and Tokyo, and can be reached by both bus and train from these areas.
From Togane Station, simply take the east exit and the town’s central park where the festival is held will be almost directly ahead, and you are more than welcome to attend and see all that Togane has to offer!

Other Things to do in Togane:

After experiencing this slice of Japanese celebration, why not check out other happening in Togane?

Hakkaku Lake (八鶴湖)

The picturesque and renowned cherry blossom viewing lake, with walking paths to enjoy the views from, and shrines nearby
Suguhara Glass Factory Shop- A handmade glassware factory where you can see first-hand how the glassware is made, and also take lessons in glass rolling and blowing.

Miki Hot Spring (みきの湯)

A hot spring for relaxing in after a long day touring around, with various different types of baths, and saunas on offer, as well as a restaurant to try out some traditional style Japanese food.

Honshoji Buddhist Temple (本松寺)

A quaint and peaceful Buddhist temple.

Kibune Shrine (貴船神社)

A traditional Shinto shrine nestled upon a hill.

Closing Remarks:

Located a little more than an hour from the centre of Tokyo, Togane and it’s YASSA Festival are a perfect and convenient way to experience the way Japanese like to celebrate in beautiful scenery and a lively atmosphere.
It’ll definitely be an authentic and memorable experience far different from that of Japan’s larger cities, full of good food, good times, and friendly local people!
So if you need any guides to take you around the festival and show you even more things to do in the area, check below!

Discover Chiba Prefecture!

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Chiba Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!


An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look!


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!


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Don`t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!


Aedan Southeren

Hi, I'm Aedan, an Australian university student currently studying in Japan

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