Jul 22nd
Jul 24th

Uwajima Ushioni Festival

A carnival and historic parade of demon bulls in July

By Elizabeth S    - 1 min read
When: Jul 22nd - Jul 24th 2021, 10:00am ~

Uwajima City, a small municipality on the Seto Inland Sea, is usually quiet. But for a few days in July, the city hosts a raucous festival for a few days in summer to celebrate the season and the defense of the region from foreign invaders. When you visit Ehime Prefecture in the summer, don't miss this popular festival.

In late July, for three days, the usually quiet city celebrates their repulsion of foreign invaders by deploying floats to represent ushi-oni, demon cattle, that parade through the streets. The first day of the festival is marked by food stalls along the covered shopping street culminating in a fireworks festival. The giant wickerwork ushi-oni floats prowl the streets to give a sense of the coming spectacle. The second evening usually features Uwajima Ondo, the dance tradition of the city choreographed to a hopping ondo, a traditional musical beat.

On the final day of the festival, the massive ushi-oni bull floats are paraded along the main street to Ware Shrine, the spiritual and cultural center of the city.

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Elizabeth S

Elizabeth S @elizabeth.scally

You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too. 

Join the discussion

Kim 7 months ago
The floats are super impressive! Ehime is definitely somewhere I want to spend some more time...the same goes for Shikoku in general, really!
Elizabeth S Author 7 months ago
Next time I go, I want to spend a week but even that’s too short to see and do everything there.
Elena Lisina 7 months ago
Festivals in Japan are great! Have never been to that part of Japan yet.
Lynda Hogan 7 months ago
It looks amazing. Any chance they'd try to repulse us though!?
Elizabeth S Author 7 months ago
I wasn’t beaten back but I got accidentally squished against a wall by an ushioni on its way from our neighborhood to the festival. It had been drinking.