Events and Experiences

Year-round activities in Hijiori Onsen

Go truly local by visiting one of Hijiori’s many festivals or taking a unique workshop

Hijiori Onsen is a truly seasonal place; summer turns the countryside a lush, verdant green, while winter sees some of the heaviest snowfalls in all of Japan. Spring brings new life to the area, and autumn is perhaps most popular with visitors who come from all over to see the changing colors of the season.

One of the best ways to experience the seasons and meet local folks is by attending one of the many yearly traditional event hosted at Hijiori Onsen. One of the best ways to experience the seasons and meet local folks is by attending one of the many yearly traditional events hosted at Hijiori Onsen.

As for the epicurean traveler, cuisine is always a seasonal affair. To gain an deeper insight into Hijiori Onsen’s rich culinary legacy, consider signing up for one of our unique, hands-on culinary workshops listed below.

Featured Events

The Kaito Sai Matsuri

(Onsen Festival)

Commemorating the divine discovery of Hijiori’s legendary waters 1200 years ago, this festival pays respect to the original village founders and the hot springs that have allowed this small community to prosper for centuries. During the event, white-clad priests and participants take to the streets the streets–along with two important Buddha statues–giving thanks, as onlookers douse them in water from the spring.

When: Mid-July

Okura-kun Fireworks Celebration

In 2005, sleepy little Hijiori Onsen took the world record for constructing the world’s largest snowman. Towering 23 meters tall, the massive “Okura-kun” quickly became the town’s winter mascot. Since then, while residents of Bethel, Maine may have bested Hijiori Onsen for the world record, Okura-kun returns to Hijiori Onsen every year, and is accompanied by a celebration and fireworks festivities.

When: Mid-March

“Light of Hijiori” Lantern Festival

One of the most beautiful sights to see in Hijiori Onsen is this Lantern Festival. Graduates of Tohoku University’s school of Fine Arts and Engineering create traditional eight-sided Japanese lanterns, each side depicting life in the Tohoku countryside. Ryokan throughout town exhibit these works of art from their entrances, creating an enchanting nightscape throughout the village streets.

When: Late July to Mid-September

Hijiori Snowy Dream Corridor

Hijiori Onsen typically sees three to four meters of snow every year, the winter wonderland becomes even more enchanting with the “Dream Corridor,” a series of beautiful and enigmatic pathways forged through the snow. Along the sides of the paths, lamps guide the way for night walking and viewing.

When: Late January to early February, weekends

Sange Sange

(New Year’s Festival)

White-clad, concha-shell-blowing Yamabushi mountain monks take to the streets of Hijiori Onsen, in celebration and prayer for an abundant new year.

When: January 7th

Snow Digging Competition

Boasting some of the deepest snowfall in all of Japan, Hijiori might also be the only place where snow-shoveling is a certifiable sport! During this wild event, about thirty teams compete to tunnel their way down through three meters of snow and be the first to hit solid ground. 

When: Late February

Activites and Experiences

Morning Market and Cooking Experience

Save for the winter months when Hijiori Onsen is literally buried in snow, farmers and local folks line the main street of town with simple rustic stands, selling everything from local produce, to a variety of foraged foods and handmade sundries.

Rain or shine, the market operates every single day from 5:30-7:30AM.

Wasabi Harvesting and Tasting Workshop

Visit one of the wasabi farms of Okura Village and learn about the precise techniques needed to grow this extremely coveted root. You can even harvest your own wasabi and learn how to prepare it with farmers and enjoy a tasting session! Note that this is REAL wasabi and not the substitute horse radish.

When: Year Round, make a reservation request below.

Soba Workshop with Local Chefs

Work with local residents in Hijiori to produce fresh soba noodles with buckwheat grown locally in the surrounding village of Okura Mura. You will even get to cook and eat your soba!

When: Year Round, make a reservation request below.

Experience Reservation Request

Please send us a message below if you are interested in any of the above workshops or experiences, we would be happy to help arrange them for you during your visit to Hijiori Onsen!

Select your workshop
Select your workshop
Wasabi Workshop
Soba Workshop
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