- Group Tours
- Private Tours
- Trip Reviews
- Booked Guests
- USA/Canada 1-800-285-2726
- Australia (02) 8006 4411
The Yamaga Toro Matsuri, or Yamaga Lantern Festival, is an annual festival held in Kumamoto during the summer. There's an old story that one of Japan's ancient emperors was traveling to Yamaga when a dense cloud of fog made him lose his way. The townspeople lit pine torches to light a path for the emperor. The Matsuri is marked with thousands of lanterns carried on women's heads while dancing to traditional songs played by shamisen (traditional Japanese instrument). The women wear kimonos and gracefully dance as they move with the lanterns to the tune of the music. While the women dance, the men walk along the path with them as if they are welcoming the emperor.
In addition to the procession of lanterns, the Yamaga Lantern Festival is also well known for the stunning fireworks display at night. Using no less than 4,000 fireworks, the celebration launches bright colors the night sky for a wonderful illumination. The Yamaga Lantern Museum is a great option to visit during the day to learn more about the festival, and admission gives a discount when visiting the Yamaga Theater. The theater features noh plays and traditional kabuki with reenactments the story of the lost emperor.
Looking to add the Yamaga Lantern Festival to your vacation? Japan Deluxe Tours is more than happy to help arrange a day-trip to the festival with our flexible line of pre/post stay options before or after a Southern Japan Tour package, or customize your itinerary with our fully-guided private tour packages for a dream vacation in Japan!
Mt. Aso and Hot Spring Resorts
Gentle curtain-like waterfall in Kagoshima countryside
Largest active volcano in Japan and one of the largest in the world
Well fortified hilltop castle; several original wooden buildings remain
Thousands of bamboo lanterns illuminate the town and rivers
Shunsetsu Festival and celebrates Chinese New Years
One of Japan's Largest Fireworks Festivals with 9,500 fireworks
Small Open-Air Food Stands selling street food like Takoyaki and Chocolate Banana