Upcoming Events

32nd Annual Ushiku Kappa Festival

Date: July 27th and 28th, 3pm – 9:30pm

Location: Ushiku

Ushiku’s familiar blend of traditional dance and modern entertainment is back again this year, and promises to be quite a sight to see. In addition to the parade and dance performances, there is also a main stage with special guests and a live music stage packed with local bands.

Live Stage Schedule:


3pm – QUESTION!, 3:30pm – 840, 4pm – HATTIN, 4:30pm – sugarDaddy, 5pm – MINT, 5:30 – Higher Ground, 6pm – Go-Yah!, 6:30pm – Inaba, 7pm – BASTOS


3pm – Nitta Band, 3:30pm – MMS Band, 4pm – Limit Crush!!, 4:30pm – Solid29, 5pm – Mile stone, 5:30pm – The Hoochie Coochies, 6pm – MASH, 6:30pm – JAPINA ROCKING, 7pm – Folky na Sekai


Music Parade:

On both days starting at 3pm local elementary school students will be performing in the parade, 8 schools total over the course of the festival.

The rest of the parade comprises Ibaraki’s traditional Yosakoi and other festival dances, with thousands of participants stretching all the way down Hanamizuki Street.


Main Stage Schedule:

27th 3pm – Time and Space Warrior Ibaliger

A hero who moves through time and space to rescue the desolated future and protect Ibaraki from the evil Jaaku military group which thrives on the hatred, anger, and greed of human hearts. Ibaliger is equipped with an ‘expo dynamo’ that changes proper emotions such as love, kindness, happiness, hope, and thoughtfulness into power, so the more you support him the better he fights!

7:30pm – Celebrity Impersonations

Nakajima Mari and Danzy will be showing off their vast repertoire of celebrity impressions to awe and amuse the audience. They even have costumes for each one!

28th 7pm – Japanese Song Performance

Nishikawa Hitomi will sing her hits and most recent songs, covering a range of traditional Japanese ballads.

7:30pm – Ono Masatoshi

Active in the Japanese music industry for over 20 years and boasting of a voice that spans 4 octaves, Ono Masatoshi’s songs have been chosen as the theme song for television dramas and anime shows alike.


Free shuttle buses will be running from both Ushiku Station and Hitachino-Ushiku Station through the major areas. The area around the festival will be closed to cars for the duration of the festival, so please make use of the buses.


Upcoming Events

Water crossings and water demons

Shimodate Gion Matsuri

Spanning 4 days and centered around Haguro Shrine in Omachi, this is one of Ibaraki Prefecture’s biggest festivals.

During the festival the Meiji Mikoshi, a large portable shrine built to celebrate Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War in the 28th year of the Meiji era, the Hime Mikoshi, the portable shrine of Haguro Shrine’s resident deity Tamayori Hime, the Heisei Mikoshi, built in the 4th year of the Heisei era and currently Japan’s biggest portable shrine, and around 30 children’s portable shrines will be carried throughout the city streets.

Early in the morning of the last day of the festival the shrines will be carried through the Gogyo River that runs through town, in order to purify the shrines of the impurities they have picked up during the festival, in what is called the ‘River Crossing’.


7/26    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/27    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/28    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/29    6 to 9am    Kanai-cho Gogyo River banks


Chikusei City Hall or the parkade in front of Shimodate Station

*There are a limited number of spaces so please use public transportation if possible

*Due to traffic restrictions in order to create car-free zones during the festival the roads will be very crowded. Please check the times and locations of the blocked routes in advance.


Chikusei Tourism Association (within the Tourism Division)

Tel. 0296-20-1160


31st Annual Ushiku Kappa Matsuri

Dates : July 28th and 29th

*There will be no vehicles allowed in the area from 3 to 9 :30pm

Locations: Hanamizuki Avenue (parade, portable shrines, dancing, etc)/Ushiku City Hall & nearby park (stage performances)/Ushiku Central Adult Education Center Cultural Hall (live music performances and rock show)

Come enjoy a weekend of fun in Ushiku based around the legendary ‘kappa’ (water demon). There will be dancing in the streets, a long parade, portable shrines in the evenings, rock music live shows, and performances by local groups (soccer, karaoke, and more). Not to mention the food! There will be a free shuttle bus from Hitachi-no-Ushiku Station’s East Exit directly to Ushiku City Hall running every 20 minutes from 2 to 10pm on both days. On a side note, some of the energy used to power the festival will be provided by a local wind-based power plant in order to help save the environment.