Hokkaido YOSAKOI Soran Festival
The Hokkaido YOSAKOI Soran Festival is a fusion between Koichi Prefecture’s famous “Yosakoi Festival” and Hokkaido’s traditional folk works, Soran Bushi. The festival is held across 20 venues in Hokkaido’s Sapporo City. Various teams, equipped with wooden clapper instruments called “naruko,” fans, and banners, put on dancing displays. There are paid seats available, but typically every venue’s performances are available to view for free.
What Is Soran Bushi?
Soran Bushi is an old folk song, passed down for many years, which originated along Hokkaido’s coast of the Sea of Japan. Its traditional choreography, which involves bending at the knees and dropping the hips down low, represents fishing for herring.
More than 200 teams, gathered from across Japan, participate in the festival, and particularly remarkable teams can earn prizes!
Each team consists of 150 members. Teams also have unique themes and characteristics, including teams that showcase strong men, teams that show off easygoing dance routines, and teams of adorable children. Another highlight of the festival is looking at the different costumes and makeup that each team boasts.
The festival activities are held at around 20 different venues across the city, with each venue having its own schedule. Here we will introduce two of the main events among the venues.
Odori Street Parade
This is the location of the main parade, a must-see event. Exciting parades move down 500 meters of blocks 5 through 10 of Odori Street West, in Sapporo City’s Chuo-ku. If you want to sit and enjoy the performances, paid seats are available for 500 yen apiece. If you want to watch the festivities for free (standing), we recommend viewing from west blocks 9 and 10, where there are no reserved seats set up.
Parade Dates: June 8th (Sat) and 9th (Sun), 2019
Odori Park West Block 8 Stage
This stage is specially installed in Odori Park. The festival is held over a period of 5 days, and performances take place at the Odori Park stage on each of those days. Over the course of the 5 days, each and every team participating in the festival appears onstage once. Up to 700 people can fit into the free viewing space in front of the stage, so you can sit comfortably and enjoy the performances. To access the free viewing space, you must line up at one of two entry points to the north and south. Use of monopods, tripods, and umbrellas is prohibited in the area. Additionally, special seats are available for 1000 yen per seat. Tickets for these seats are available for purchase.
About Paid Seats (2019)
Preorders for the paid seats are available from 10:00 on April 21th (Sun), 2017. If these preordered tickets are not sold out, paid seats can be purchased day-of. (Same-day ticket sales location: Ticket Sales Tent, Blocks 5~8, within Odori Park)
Video of Hokkaido YOSAKOI Soran Festival
Basic information on Hokkaido YOSAKOI Soran Festival
Hokkaido YOSAKOI Soran Festival
- Odorinishi 8-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido
- Around 20 sites, including Odori Park
- 3 minutes on foot from Odori Station
- June 5, 2019 - June 9, 2019
- Hours vary by day; see home page for details
- Free (Paid seats available)