In 1954, the town of Sasayama decided to create a festival that integrated the annual Bon Odori that was previously held in the old town centre. The result was what is now known as Dekansho festival, held every 15th and 16th of August.

Professional and amateur dance troupes, as well as individuals from the very young to the very old can join the constant line of dancing up and around the pavilion, where the ‘Dekansho band’ pump out their catchy tune… all night long (A-yoi yoi~)

Many festival goers don Yukata or Jinbei and walk around the many stalls on offer (why not try a wild boar skewer?) and test their nerves in Sasayama’s very own House of Horrors.

The water spraying at Sasayama castle signals the impending start of the fireworks display, and people scramble for a good vantage point.

If you’re lucky you may also get a photo with one (or all) of our town mascots, Giant Black Beans, and Maruino, the wild boar.

This is my favourite time of year in Sasayama, so come out and experience the famous Black-bean hospitality!

How to get there

Take the Takarazuka/Fukuchiyama line to Sasayamaguchi station, and catch the bus to Nikaimachi station; head towards the castle grounds (if in doubt, follow the throng of people!). Things kick off at around 6pm and carry on into the night (around 10pm). The last bus to Sasayamaguchi departs at 8:55pm, (from Nikaimachi), so be careful not to miss it!

Places to stay in Sasayama

  • On the budget end is Shin Tamba-Sou, about a 20 minute walk from the castle grounds, and it costs 5500 yen per person in a western style twin room with breakfast.
  • (潯陽楼) Jinyourou is located a 1 minute walk from Nikaimachi bus stop, and is very close to the castle grounds. Accommodation starts at 6300 yen per person, including breakfast.
  • On the upper end of the scale you may like to stay at Sasayama-sou; a great hotel and hot spring located on the hill in the historic district of town. The castle grounds are a 20 minute walk west of Sasayama-sou. Prices start from 7,950 yen per person including breakfast.

(All accommodation can be booked through Jalan.net)