Hamamatsu, known as the windy city, is an excellent place for a kite festival. Every year in May, the 450-year old Hamamatsu Festival, or Hamamatsu Matsuri, features around 170 gigantic kites that take to the sky at Nakatajima Dunes in a beautiful display.
Each kite, measuring 3.5 x 3.5 meters, represents a town in the Hamamatsu area. In the sky, the towns battle each other by trying to take each other’s kite down. The skilled kite flyers focus on cutting their opponent’s strings by using friction. There is an element of danger as large, heavy kites come crashing down.
The kite festival takes place on all three days starting at 10:00 am (12:00 pm on May 5).
In the evening after the kite-flying battle, a parade takes place featuring around 80 gorgeous floats starting at 6:30 pm. The floats resemble small temples and have elaborate woodcarvings and lanterns. Musicians sitting on the floats play beautiful music.
The Hamamatsu Festival is completely free to attend. During the festival, there are shuttle busses that run from Hamamatsu Station to the Nakatajima Sand Dunes. The one-way trip takes approximately 20 minutes and costs 280 yen.
Date: May 3-5, 2017
Schedule of Events:
- 10:00 am-3:00 pm – Kite flying battle at Nakatajima Sand Dunes
- 6:30 pm – Parade in downtown Hamamatsu
Fee: Free admission
Website: Hamamatsu Festival Official Website (in Japanese)
Transportation: Shuttle bus from Hamamatsu Station to Nakatajima – about 20 minutes, 280 yen one-way