Welcome to the web site of The Mashiko Tourist Association!
Mashiko’s main industry, pottery, attracts over two million visitors every year.
There are as many as 350 potteries and about 50 ceramic shops.
We are very pleased to introduce the fantastic works of various potters, who try to exert their individuality and uniqueness through their works, in this site.
Homeabout mashikotraditional culturecultural assetmashiko pottery
access maptourist pamphletvolunteer tour guide mashikopottery fair

Traditional Culture

Gion Festival

Gion Festival is an annual festival of Mashiko which begins from July 23 to 25 for three days.

During this period, portable shrines or “omikoshi” and sculptured-type floats or “chokoku yatai” are paraded along the streets in the town. “The Ceremony of Receiving Japanese Sake from Deities” (Omiki Chodai Shiki)(see below)also takes place.


The Ceremony of Receiving Japanese Sake from Deities” (Omiki Chodai Shiki)

This ceremony is held on the middle day of the Gion Festival, July 24, every year. This is for handing off the duties from the town responsible for this year’s festival to the next town which will take care of the festival in the following year. Ten gentlemen from the next year’s community have to drink up hot Japanese sake from an extremely large sake cup. The amount of sake per cup is 3-sho*, 6-go* and 5-shaku* (approx. 6.5 liter), meaning 365 days in a year and they have to drink up three cups. .

This ritual is held to pray for agricultural fertility, good health and safety of families.
According to the record of this festival, it dates back to 1705 and represents a proud legacy.


Lion Dance of Ashinuma (Ashinuma no Shishi Mai)

This dance is said to have started about 800 years ago when the Lord Taro Hachiman, who took up residence on Mt. Ontate, raised his retainers’morale by his stirring dance.

The lion masks are believed to have remade during the Kyoho period (1716~1736).