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Karatsu Kunchi Nighttime Parade

An evening part of the famous festival

Karatsu Kunchi, a crowd-drawing festival taking place in the city of Karatsu at the beginning of November, is famous for its huge colorful floats in the shape of various creatures, objects and characters, being pulled through city streets by cheerful locals. The festival spans 3 days, and while the most popular activities happen in the daytime (such as the ceremony of Otabisho Shinko at Nishinohama, a downtown beach), there is also a nighttime parade, where the same colorful floats are pulled through the same streets, but dressed with lanterns—which makes them look even more magical.

After dark the atmosphere is different—more intimate, although the music and cheering never stops. It’s fun to watch the floats squeeze through narrow streets and make sharp turns on the corners. Try to check the parade map beforehand and find yourself a good spot where they make a turn—then you’ll see all the best parts from up close.

Getting there

The parade takes place within a short walking distance from Karatsu Station. Check the official parade map, or just follow the crowds when you arrive.