The Ainu Culture Promotion Center is a fascinating place where visitors can learn about the livelihood, culture, art and history of the indigenous Ainu people who have fostered a unique culture. It is Japan’s first facility featuring indigenous peoples, where visitors can watch, touch and experience numerous traditional Ainu handicrafts Read More ....
|Dates||1st weekend of September|
|Notes||Free parking available (from 5pm)
Fire works start around 7pm
Food, live music, & taiko drums
|Access by bus, take the train to Otaru station, then take the Otaru Aquarium bus.
A taxi will cost around ￥3000 from Otaru station
Otaru has many festivals over the year, and the Otaru Shukutsu Festival is one of the last festivals to see fireworks for the summer. The festival starts off at 5pm and attracts many of the locals and there is a lot to see. There is a “mikoshi” (portable shrine), taiko drum performance, live music, plus there are plenty of food stalls and of course, the fireworks which start at 7pm! All of this takes place below a meiji period house/museum, the ‘Otaru Nishin Goten’, which makes a fantastic backdrop for this festival!
At the start of the festival a portable shrine (mikoshi) is carried in by a large group of participants. These group of shrine bearers get together every year, and are from Sapporo and a few outlying towns. Chanting and singing to the rhythm the shrine is slowly brought into the festival. Once the shrine is in the festival it is placed in front of a dozen Taiko performers hitting the drums in time with the chanting. The drums with the shrine gives this festival a great Japanese atmosphere!
There are many food stalls, and as Shukutsu is a local fishing town there is a lot of grilled seafood to treat your taste buds! Shellfish, sea snails, squid, octopus, and fish are all on the menu. After an evening meal you can settle in and await the fireworks. Many people set up early for a good viewing spot for the fireworks but there is plenty of space! The Shukutsu fireworks are set off along the stone beach along the harbor, just below the Otaru Nishin Goten and lighthouse. At 7:00pm the fireworks begin and light up the sky so make sure you’re there before then! Enjoy!