The demon bull arrives at Ware Shrine
The demon bull arrives at Ware Shrine (Photo: cocotaro70s / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Uwajima Ushioni Festival 2024

A carnival and historic parade of demon bulls in July

Elizabeth S   - 1 min read
When : Late Jul 2024

Uwajima City, a small municipality on the Seto Inland Sea, is usually quiet. But for a few days in July, the city hosts a raucous festival for a few days in summer to celebrate the season and the defense of the region from foreign invaders. When you visit Ehime Prefecture in the summer, don't miss this popular festival.

In late July, for three days, the usually quiet city celebrates their repulsion of foreign invaders by deploying floats to represent ushi-oni, demon cattle, that parade through the streets. The first day of the festival is marked by food stalls along the covered shopping street culminating in a fireworks festival. The giant wickerwork ushi-oni floats prowl the streets to give a sense of the coming spectacle. The second evening usually features Uwajima Ondo, the dance tradition of the city choreographed to a hopping ondo, a traditional musical beat.

On the final day of the festival, the massive ushi-oni bull floats are paraded along the main street to Ware Shrine, the spiritual and cultural center of the city.

Elizabeth S

Elizabeth S @elizabeth.scally

You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too.