The Emerald Green Sea and 600 Years of History

Do you know? the traditional event with over 600 years of history.

This time, I’m introducing the beautiful emerald green sea and the mystical traditional event "Nagoshidon."

Kishira, a district in Kimotsuki Town located in the southeastern part of Kagoshima Prefecture, is home to the traditional event "Nagoshidon." This event, also known as 'Nagoshi Festival' or 'Nagoshi no Harae,' is a unique Shinto ritual distinct from those held at shrines and temples across Japan. Nagoshidon is conducted against the backdrop of the beautiful emerald green sea and on the white sandy beaches, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit.

Past Events

Table of Contents

The Beginning of Nagoshidon

Nagoshidon is a traditional event with a history spanning over 600 years and is cherished as an important ritual marking a significant time for the local people. This event is held to pray for the peace, prosperity, and health of the region, as well as to cleanse past impurities and welcome a new year with purity.

Procession from Hirata Shrine to Kishira Beach

Nagoshidon begins with a ceremony at Hirata Shrine, where the three deities are enshrined in sacred masks. The procession then moves to Kishira Beach, accompanied by the sounds of flutes and drums. This journey through nostalgic houses and verdant fields evokes the essence of Japan's ancient landscapes, leaving a lasting impression on visitors.

During the procession, participants can feel the sacred atmosphere and connect with the region's history and culture. Local residents line the route, watching the procession and offering their prayers, showcasing the community's unity in supporting the event.

Ceremony at Kishira Beach

Upon reaching Kishira Beach, the 'Shiogake' ritual is performed. This ritual involves purifying the sacred masks with seawater to enshrine the sea deity. The pristine seawater, imbued with divine power, enhances the solemnity of the ceremony.

Details of the Sacred Dance

Following the Shiogake, the highlight of the event, the 'Kagura' (sacred dance), is performed. This sacred dance prays for the region's peace and bountiful harvest and includes the following performances:

  • Urayasu no Mai - A dance praying for peace. The dancers' graceful movements and beautiful costumes captivate the audience as they pray for peace and tranquility.
  • Yama no Kamimai - A dance to summon victory by shooting arrows in four directions. This powerful dance wards off evil spirits and prays for the region's prosperity and safety.
  • Naginata Mai - A dance wielding a naginata (pole weapon) to ward off evil. The dancers vigorously swing the naginata, driving away evil spirits and disasters. The dynamic movements are a highlight.
  • Jūnin Kenbu - A sword dance performed by twelve dancers with precise, synchronized movements. The coordinated actions and shimmering swords create a stunning visual.

These dances, performed before the three sacred masks, pray for the region's safety and a bountiful harvest. Each dance has a unique meaning, and together they fulfill the grand purpose of praying for the entire region's prosperity and peace.

Chinowa Kuguri

The 'Chinowa Kuguri,' in which spectators can participate, is a particularly popular ritual during Nagoshidon. Passing through a ring made of woven reeds purifies the participants of impurities and prays for health and safety. This ritual, rooted in ancient Japanese customs, offers a unique experience for visitors.

The History and Future of Nagoshidon

The history of Nagoshidon spans over 600 years, cherished as an important traditional event by the people of Kimotsuki Town. This event fosters community bonds and nurtures a spirit of harmony with nature.

However, the continuity of traditional events like Nagoshidon is threatened by declining birth rates and rural depopulation. Since 2016, efforts have been made to recruit 'Tsunagite' (volunteers) from inside and outside the town. This initiative not only invites volunteers from across the country to participate in the event but also encourages them to immerse themselves in the culture of Kishira. Every year, many 'Tsunagite' applicants gather from all over Japan, helping to preserve and pass down the local culture.

Nagoshidon Tsunagite Executive Committee

Experiencing Nagoshidon

Visitors can enjoy Nagoshidon as spectators or participate as 'Tsunagite.' By becoming a 'Tsunagite,' you can directly experience the traditional culture of Kishira and take part in the event as a member of the community.

Additionally, upon visiting the site, you will be warmly welcomed by the local people and have numerous opportunities to learn about the region's history and culture through interactions with other participants.


Nagoshidon has been cherished by the people of Kishira in Kimotsuki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, for centuries. The rituals held against the backdrop of emerald green seas and white sandy beaches, amidst traditional houses and fields, offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether visiting as a tourist or participating as a 'Tsunagite,' Nagoshidon will leave a deep impression on your heart. We invite you to experience Nagoshidon and discover the charms of Kimotsuki Town, Kagoshima.

Additional Information

  • Address: Kishira, Kimotsuki Town, Kimotsuki District, Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Phone Number: 0994-67-2888 (Kimotsuki Town Tourism Association)
  • Date: August 14th every year
  • Venue:
    • Hirata Shrine: 652-7 Kishira, Kimotsuki Town, Kimotsuki District, Kagoshima Prefecture 893-1511
    • Kishira Beach: 1184 Kishira, Kimotsuki Town, Kimotsuki District, Kagoshima Prefecture 893-1511
  • Access:
    • By Car: About 1 hour from Kanoya IC, about 1.5 hours from Tarumizu Ferry, about 2 hours from Kagoshima Airport (using expressway)
  • Parking: Kishira Beach
  • Website: Kimotsuki Town Tourism Association Website
  • Nagoshidon Tsunagite (Official Support Site): Official Site
  • Organizer: Nagoshidon Tsunagite Executive Committee