Held every year on the anniversary of the death of Dochi Shonin, the founder of Kinosaki, the Onsen Festival features a wide variety of attractions and events.
“Furusato” means hometown, so another name for this festival might be, “My Hometown, Kinosaki!” All the usual offerings of Japanese festivals are here, from food and game stalls to entertainment and shows, but the big event is the huge fireworks display in the evening.
The largest and most popular in Kinosaki, this festival is to pray for the good fortune and prosperity of the hot springs. During the day, groups of men carry large danjiri – wooden carts sculpted in the shape of shrines – through the streets of Kinosaki. In the evening, the groups then clash with each other in a kind of ritualistic battle of danjiri, creating a very unique and exciting sight.
In addition to the hot springs, food is a major draw to Kinosaki Onsen. Its close location to the Sea of Japan provides Kinosaki a fresh supply of delicious, fluffy crab that visitors can enjoy. Crab season runs from November to March, and is marked in Kinosaki with various events. You might be able to sample free crab rice soup and sake, or catch the famous “shouting tournament” held at the beginning of crab season in which participants compete against each other to see who can be the most boisterous and effective in expressing their thanks for the bounty that the crabs bring to Kinosaki every year.