Festivals and Events
Various festivals and events are held all over Saga Prefecture, ranging
from traditional events such as the Arita Ceramic Fair and the Karatsu
Kunchi Festival, to fun and exciting events such as the Kashima Gatalympics
and the Saga International Balloon Fiesta.
[A] Arita Ceramic Fair (Arita Town)
This is one of the most popular events held during the Japanese Golden
Week Holidays (a succession of holidays from April 29 to May 5). Every
year from April 29 to May 5, ceramic lovers from all over Japan gather
in Arita, a ceramic village in the mountains, and the area instantly becomes
bustling with visitors.
More than 600 shops line the 4-km-main street from JR Arita Station to
Kamiarita Station. The whole area is busy with many customers until sunset
everyday. Ceramic lovers enjoy themselves to their hearts content, finding
good buys and appreciating works of art by famous artists.
The Autumn Arita Ceramics Fair will be held from November 23rd (Labour/
Thanksgiving Day) till 27th. In contrast to the Arita Ceramics Fair held
during the Golden Week in May, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors
world wide, the Autumn Fair is much more relaxed and focuses on the combination
of the finest porcelain and delicious food. Enjoy the historical townscape
of Arita in the beautiful setting of Autumn colours.
[B] Kashima Gatalympics (Kashima City)
These faux-Olympic Games are held on mud flats around the end of May every
year. This sports festival is held at the tidal flats of the Ariake Sea,
which has the biggest tidal range in Japan.
Participants compete at unique games, becoming muddy all over. Hilarious
experiences of playing with mud on tidal flats have become popular, and
it has grown into one of the most famous events of Saga Prefecture, participated
by foreign students and invited athletes.
[C] Karatsu Kunchi Festival (Karatsu City)
Karatsu Kunchi Festival is an annual autumn festival of the Karatsu Shrine.
It is held for three days from November 2 to 4 every year. Fourteen giant
floats race through the streets powerfully to brave shouts of "Ennya,
[D] Saga International Balloon Fiesta (Saga City)
This is the biggest international hot air balloon event in Japan, which
is held at the Kase River bank of Saga City at the beginning of November
every year. Competitions are held in the early morning and the evening
when air currents are stable. In the afternoon non-competing balloons in
funny shapes appear in the sky for enjoyment and they offer further excitement
to the Fiesta. Magnificent scenes in which more than 100 balloons float
up into the sky altogether can only be enjoyed in Saga. At "La Montgolfie
Nocturne", a nighttime captive balloon display program, hot air balloons
are illuminated by their burner flames and create fantastic scenes.
[E] Saga Castle Town Doll Festival (Saga City)
This doll festival heralds the coming of spring to the Castle Town of Saga.
Dolls dressed in traditional hand woven Saganishiki textiles are full of
grace and gorgeousness. The dolls are displayed at historical buildings
of Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, such as, the Saga City Cultural Museum