What's Happening in Izu?
If you’ve been thinking about visiting Izu, the last two weekends in May are are a great time to do so.
This weekend marks the return of the full three day schedule at Shimoda’s Kurofune (Black Ships) Festival. This local festival celebrates international friendship and started in 1934. It has grown to become Shimoda’s biggest annual event.
Highlights are the parade with participants from the US Navy, the Japan Self Defence Forces and local groups. The fireworks show on Friday night draws a big crowd too.
Ito Sukechika Festival commemorates the man for whom the city is named.
Walk down Yuu no Hana Dori (Hot Spring Flower Street) to enjoy the Ito Music Festival, featuring bands and solo artists on several different outdoor stages.
The most unique event is the Noh drama that takes place on a stage built over the Matsukawa River. This is the only river top Noh stage in Japan and features Mansai Nomura, the most famous contemporary Noh actor.
There will be a free jazz festival at Lingua Franca in Izu Kogen featuring several local bands and artists. Thanks to the hard work of my good friend Yasuda-san, Lingua Franca has become THE cool place to be in Izu Kogen. It’s a great gallery/cafe/art space/museum where you always have a chance to mingle with the friendly locals and get a genuine feel for the local scene. Drinks and snacks are available, and alcohol will be served during the jazz event.
If Izu’s stunning scenery (it’s a UNESCO Geopark), world class diving, majestic mountains and delicious food aren’t enough, don’t worry. There’s plenty to do in Izu!
2 thoughts on “Things to do in Izu – May 2023”
This is good. As most festivals and events in Japan are (understandably) local in nature, they are not necessarily publicized widely…
Long ago, JNTO used to publish local festivals on their website. I attended some really unique and enjoyable ones that way.
I’ll keep trying to publicize them here in Izu 🙂