tr?id=1543387775907290&ev=PageView&noscript=1

What to Do During the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival in Ibaraki

STORY

 

What to Do During the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival in Ibaraki

 

 
 
Are you planning an autumn trip to Japan? If so you might want to consider Kasama. A short day trip from Tokyo, this city in Ibaraki Prefecture holds a Chrysanthemum Festival every year in autumn. In addition to that, you can see ”yabusame" horseback archery, check out Kasama-yaki (Kasama Pottery) and enjoy all kinds of specialties made with chestnuts, of which Kasama boasts Japan's largest cultivation.

Here's a day plan for a visit to Kasama using the Kasama City Tour Bus! 


 9:55 Departure from Tomobe Station North Exit 

Head to Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine by the Kasama City Tour Bus

There are two ways to access Kasama from the Tokyo area: you can take a JR limited express train from Ueno Station to Tomobe Station or hop on a highway bus from Akihabara Station that will take you to the Kasama area. For this article we chose the former option. From Tomobe Station you can board the Kasama City Tour Bus.
   
Kasama City Tour Bus stop at Tomobe Station

The Kasama City Tour Bus costs 100 yen for one ride and 300 yen for the whole day which is a very reasonable price. Make sure you check the timetable in advance.

Kasama City Tour Bus Click here for the Route Map
Operation: 8 rides per day (excluding Mondays). If Monday is a national holiday the suspension of service is moved to the following day
 
Kasama City Tour Bus

You can also travel around Kasama by regular bus or rental bicycle (300 yen per day, 500 yen for electric assisted bicycle). Make your plans according to your travel style.


 10:12 Arrival at Inari Jinja Shrine bus stop 

Japan's Oldest Chrysanthemum Festival

Considered one of Japan's three major Inari shrines, the Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine holds the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival every year from late October to late November. This is said to be Japan's oldest Chrysanthemum Festival. The 2020 dates are October 17 to November 23.
 
Kasama Inari Jinja
 
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine
 
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine

Additionally, there is a Yabusame (horseback archery) event on November 3. Here you can see the spectacle of archers hitting targets while riding on galloping horses. The event takes place twice starting from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
 

Information

Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival | 笠間の菊まつり
Schedule: Every year from late October to late November. 2020 dates are October 17 to November 23.
Place: Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine (1 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki) and other places in Kasama
 

Other events held at Kasama Inari Shrine during the 2020 Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival


■Yabusame
Schedule: November 3 from 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (2020)
Place: special horse riding ground in front of the Kasama Elementary School


During the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival, the whole city is decorated with beautiful chrysanthemums. As a bonus, there is the special one night event "Kasama Monzen Kiku Akari" in which the Monzen-dori street is illuminated beautifully (schedule for 2020 is still unavailable). 
 
2019 Chrysanthemum Festival at Kasama Inari Shrine

Kasama Monzen Kiku Akari illuminations


 Short Walk From Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine 

Street Food Along Monzen-Dori

The Kasama Inari Monzen-dori Street stretches in front of the shrine. Since ancient times it has been lined with businesses that provided refreshments for the worshippers. Here you can taste many local specialties like the Kasama Inari Sushi, local sake, Hitachi Aki Soba, dango and more.
 
Street Food Along Monzen-Dori

The famous Kasama Inari Sushi (vinegared rice wrapped in fried tofu) is made in different styles depending on the store. The inari sushi that you'll find here is a little different than the regular one found in the rest of Japan. Some shops add chestnuts to the rice or completely swap the rice for soba noodles. Other shops top their sushi with vegetables, lotus root and other toppings. It's a lot of fun to compare all the different versions. You can both eat inside or take away.
 

Kasama Inari Sushi

 

Inari Sushi stall along Monzen-Dori Street

 

Kasama Inari Sushi

Sake lovers know that Kasama’s local sake is good due to the high quality of rice and water there. There are three sake breweries here in Kasama City. In front of Kasama Inari's main torii gate is Sasame Sobei Shoten where you can have sake tastings and even visit the brewery.
 
Sasame Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery in Kasama


 
Sasame Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery in Kasama
Sasame Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery in Kasama, sake tasting
Sasame Sobei Shoten Sake Brewery in Kasama
Chestnut products
Sasame Sobei Shoten
Kasama sake
Sasame Sobei Shoten Brewery tour
Sasame Sobei Shoten


When you're in Monzen-dori Street, make sure you check out the little pottery artworks along the sidewalk. Kasama is also known for its pottery.
 
Pottery artworks along Monzen-dori Street
Pottery artworks along Monzen-dori Street
Pottery artworks along Monzen-dori Street
Pottery artworks along Monzen-dori Street
Pottery artworks along Monzen-dori Street


 10 Minute Walk From Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine 

Stop by Kasama Historical Exchange Center Izutsuya

Kasama Historical Exchange Center Izutsuya is a renovated wooden 3-story inn that was built about 120 years ago. The first floor hosts a tourist information center that offers free Wi-Fi. The facility is decorated with chrysanthemums during the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival.
 
Kasama Historical Exchange Center
 
Kasama Historical Exchange Center
Kasama Historical Exchange Center
Kasama Historical Exchange Center

Information

Kasama Historical Exchange Center Izutsuya | かさま歴史交流館井筒屋
Address: 987 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a national holiday it closes the following day instead)

During the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival, chrysanthemum decorations designed by the students of Ibaraki University are displayed in Omachi Pocket Park in front of Izutsuya. The 2019 exhibition featured the "ascending breeze" themed open promenade while being covered in flowers. The 2020 program hasn't been decided yet.
   

Chrysanthemum compositions

 

chrysanthemum exhibitions



 15 minute walk from Izutsuya 

Soy milk ice cream at Sashirosan no Tofuya

From Izutsuya, a short walk through the scenic residential and rural area will take you to Sashirosan no Tofuya, a homemade tofu store. Their soy milk soft serve ice cream is a must-try! It's thick, creamy and delicious. They also have soy milk donuts which are even more delicious dipped in the ice cream.
 
Tofu ice cream at Sashirosan no Tofuya
 

Information

Tofu Chaya Sashirosan no Tofuya | 豆腐茶屋 佐白山のとうふ屋
Address: 2810 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Monday, second Tuesday of each month and New Year


★Transportation tip
If you walk from Izutsuya to Sashirosan no Tofuya and Kasama Craft Hills, it takes about 30 minutes in total. Alternatively you can take the Kasama City Tour bus from Izutsuya (Nichido Museum of Art bus stop) to Craft Hills. Taxis are also available.


 15 Minute Walk From Sashirosan no Tofuya 

Experience Kasama's Art at Craft Hills!


Kasama is known for Kasama-yaki (Kasama Pottery). At Kasama Craft Hills you can see and purchase various works from Kasama pottery artists. You can even try making pottery yourself.


1. Buying Kasama Pottery

The Center Plaza is where works from some 250 artists are displayed and sold. Here you can find your favorite artist and visit the workshops in the city.
 
Kasama Craft Hills
 

2. Making Kasama Pottery

Here is also a workshop where you can try your hand at pottery. It takes about two hours and you can make something unique that you get to keep.
 
Kasama Craft Hills pottery experience
 

Kasama Craft Hills

 

Kasama Craft Hills pottery experience

★Craft Hills Pottery Experience Click here for details and reservation

*The items you make will be shipped to you later (shipping outside of Japan is also available).
*Web reservation is recommended. 
 

3. Try chestnut sweets, a Kasama specialty

Kasama has Japan's largest chestnut cultivation, so why not indulge in some chestnut-flavored sweets? At the Craft Hills café lounge you can eat chestnut ice cream and Mont Blanc made by Gruyères, a well-known pastry shop in Kasama.
 
Kasama Craft Hills chestnut ice cream
 
Kasama Craft Hills chestnut Mont Blanc

Of course there's plenty more than sweets to enjoy here. If you're hungry the café offers both Japanese and Western food.
As a nice detail, everything is served on Kasama Pottery!

Information

Kasama Craft Hills | 笠間工芸の丘 
Address: Inside Kasama Geijutsu no Mori Park, 2388-1 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a national holiday it closes the following day instead)
Website (Japanese-only): http://www.kasama-crafthills.co.jp/
 

 4:30 Departure From Craft Hills & Ceramic Art Museum Bus Stop (Arrival at Tomobe Station at 4:42) 


After getting your fill of art at Craft Hills it's time to go back. You can take the Tour Bus back to Tomobe Station and then catch a train to Tokyo. Depending on the time you might have to ride the bus to Kasama Station and then take a JR train to Tomobe. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is also an express bus from Kasama Station to Akihabara Station in Tokyo.

★Kasama City Tour Bus Click here for details
★Kanto Yakimono Liner: expressway bus from Akihabara Station to Kasama and Mashiko Click here for details

 

Bonus: Spend the Night in Kasama and Enjoy More Pottery in Mashiko

Near Kasama, the town of Mashiko has also developed as a pottery town. In November, during the Mashiko Pottery Fair you'll find all kinds of original Mashiko Pottery crafts, at reasonable prices too. If the timing is right, definitely consider paying a visit!
 
Mashiko Pottery Fair

 

Giant tanuki, Mashiko Pottery Fair

Information

Mashiko Autumn Pottery Fair | 益子秋の陶器市
Schedule: Every year in early November
Place: Around Mashiko Town  (mainly in Jonaizaka and Sayado)
Access: by bus from Kasama Station (2 rides per day at 7:30 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. departing from Kasama Station) Click here for details
Website: http://blog.mashiko-kankou.org/ceramics_bazaar/index.shtml
 

Other Events Held in Kasama From Late October to Late November

During the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival, several other events are also held in Kasama City. 
 
Tou to Kurashi (pottery and life)
Tou to Kurashi (pottery and life)
Tou to Kurashi (pottery and life)

Events planned during the Chrysanthemum Festival for 2020

■Tou to Kurashi (pottery and life)
Schedule: Early November 1-3 2020 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 on last day)
Place: Kasama Craft Hills (2388-1 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki)

■ Ibaraki Stone Festival
Schedule: Early November 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Place: Kasama Geijutsu no Mori Park event site (2345 Kasama, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki)

■ Kasama Monzen Kiku Akari
Schedule: Early November 2020 (one night only) 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Kasama Inari Monzen-dori Street
 

In Japan, autumn is considered a good season to enjoy arts and food. Kasama certainly provides both in this period so if you get the chance we recommend a visit. Mid-November also marks the start of the fall foliage season, another great thing to add to your Kasama trip!
 
 
 
*The above article is based on information from May 2020.
*Pictures are from past events.
*Event schedules and other information in this article are subject to change. Please check the official websites before your visit.
 

Liked this story? Like DiGJAPAN!
on Facebook for daily updates!

THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 06 20,2020 Author:DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team

 

NEW COMMENT | 0 COMMENTS