Tsushima shrine(津島神社) is open only two days a year during its summer festival.
The shrine is located on a remote island in the Seto Inland Sea.
When you see it from the distance, it looks like the shrine is floating on the water. In old times, you had to use a boat to get to the island until the bridge was built in 1933.
Now, you can use the bridge to reach the Tsushima Shrine but the bridge is usually closed apart from this summer festival.
This festival attracts a whopping 50,000 people for two days because the festival is so special and you can get to the island only during this summer festival.
When is this summer festival taking place?
This summer festival as well as religious ceremonies take place on the 4th and 5th of August.
Fireworks at the festival
And the great thing is that on the first day of the festival, 4th of August, there are fireworks to celebrate the festival. The firework starts at 8:00pm.
It’s so beautiful with all the lights illuminating the bridge and shrine as the backdrop of fireworks over the Seto Inland Sea.
The shrine on the island
God for children is enshrined in this shrine. So lots of parents come here to pray for good health and good luck for their children’s future.
During the summer festival, religious ceremonies are held at the Tsushima Shrine. It’s said these ceremonies have been going on for over 300 years.
It’s also nice to spend some time at the shore by the island, feeling the gentle sea breeze. There is no bench or seat, so if you bring your own picnic blanket, it would be very helpful and comfortable to sit on it.
It’s not always like that, but I’ve heard when it’s low tide/neap tide, you can walk to the island from the coast on the other side.
Food Stalls and Other Stalls at the Festival
There are lots of typical Japanese festival stalls whether it’s food, toys or games – in the precinct of the shrine before the bridge.
It’s the highlight of summer festivals for both kids and adults. Everyone is excited about the special stalls you see only during festivals.
Please be aware that you can’t use any credit card here and you have to have cash on you.
Look for toys, foods or games that you’ve never seen in your country, it will be always fun to explore something new in a foreign country.
This station is open only for the festival
It takes about 45minutes to get to the nearest station called Tsushimanomiya Station（津島ノ宮駅） from JR Takamatsu Station.
This station is usually closed, so trains don’t usually stop here.
But, only on 4th&5th of August, this station opens specifically for this summer festival. This station has the shortest operating days all over Japan.
You see a lot of train addicts taking pictures of this rare station that operates only 2 days a year.
If you happen to be near Kagawa on 4th & 5th of August, it would definitely be worth visiting this festival and shrine that is open only for two days a year.
The bridge to Tsushima Shrine is also known as the “Happy Bridge” among the locals. It’s said if you cross this bridge, you can become happy.
So, cross the bridge, feel the gentle breeze and become happy!
Address: 〒767-0031 香川県三豊市三野町大見6PR3+J5 三豊市
Entrance: 300 yen for adults, and 100 yen for children
Opening hours: 6:00 am – 10:00pm on 4th and 5th of August.
Note: Fireworks are on the 4th of August and it starts at 8:00pm.
How to get there: Take a Yosan line（予讃線）from JR Takamatsu Station and get off at Tsushimanomiya(津島ノ宮). I advise you to ask at the station which train you’d take because it can be very confusing.