One of the Three Great Boat Festivals of Japan takes place in Shiogama, less than 30 minutes from downtown Sendai! The night before the main festival, the night sky over Matsushima Bay will be lit up with a large fireworks display.
The main festival is on Marine Day, a national holiday. It begins in the morning at Shiogama-Jinja Shrine, where people dressed in white carry a one-ton omikoshi (portable shrine) down the steep stairway. At noon, the festival takes to the water with a boat parade featuring colorful dragon and phoenix boats followed by fishing boats waving large flags. Revelers carry the omikoshi back through Shiogama and up to the shrine in early evening. Follow the procession on foot throughout the city and watch the boats from land or from a sightseeing boat.
July 14 (Sunday): fireworks*A large fireworks display takes place from 20:00–21:00. Watch for free from near Marine Gate Shiogama, or from a sightseeing boat!
Boat tickets: buy online or in person at Shiogama Marine Gate (2,500 yen)
*In case of inclement weather, fireworks may be rescheduled
July 15 (Monday): boat parade10:30 : Procession begins at Shiogama Shrine
12:00 : Boat parade leaves from Marine Gate Shiogama
~18:15 : Procession returns to Shiogama Shrine
You can follow the procession through the city streets and view the boats from Shiogama’s Marine Gate boat terminal. For the best view, buy a ticket for a sightseeing boat and watch the boat parade from the water! Boats depart from Shiogama Marine Gate at noon.
Shiogama Minato Festival
July 14–15, 2019
塩竈みなと祭 | Shiogama Minato Festival
Maritime festival with fireworks and boat parade featuring colorful dragon and phoenix boats