The Saga Sightseeing Information

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)

鹿島ガタリンピック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)

唐津くんち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, 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)

佐賀城下ひなまつり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 and Chokokan.

Saga Tourist Federation Information Center
(Tourism Division) 1-1-59, Jonai, Saga City, Saga Prefecture, 840-0041
Tel: 0952-26-6754 Fax: 0952-26-7528