All About Japan

Saiki Spring Festival Lights up the Night

| Festivals , Oita

Saiki City is a former castle town of some 70,000 people in the southeastern corner of Oita Prefecture. Cradled between the mountains and the sea, over the first Saturday and Sunday in April, this sleepy city livens up with the Saiki Spring Festival (さいき春祭り・Saiki Haru Matsuri).

The 2017 festival was captured in loving detail by filmmaker Dean Nuely Rondario. His camera dances over the festival's 20,000 haunting bamboo lanterns, indulges in classic festival food like chocolate-covered bananas and takoyaki, lingers on stage performances ranging from kagura to modern dance, and details the grand and diverse parade running from Dainichi-ji Temple (大日寺) to the gate of Saiki Castle (佐伯城門・Saiki-jo-mon).

Beautiful and breathtaking, it's amazing just how diverse and dynamic a single Japanese festival can be!