Earth Celebration

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The next Earth Celebration is scheduled for August 26 to 28, 2016.

The Earth Celebration is an annual music festival held to celebrate global culture. It is hosted by the internationally acclaimed Kodo taiko group which is based on Sado Island. Each year the festival features different guest artists who perform in collaboration with Kodo.

The three day event is held every year in mid to late August in Ogi Town. Thousands of people come from all over Japan and the world to enjoy the festival's many events, including workshops and fringe performances during the day and the main concerts in the evenings.

The main attraction of the Earth Celebration are its three main concerts, one held each night of the festival at the Shiroyama Park. The first night's concert features the Kodo taiko drummers, while the second night's concert features the guest artists. The third night is a collaboration featuring both Kodo and the guest artists.

Concert at Shiroyama Park

There are a number of events that take place during the day. Special performances, called fringe concerts, are held at various venues around town, with many taking place at Kisaki Shrine. They are performed by various artists, and while most are scheduled, they sometimes happen spontaneously. Fringe concerts are usually free and do not require tickets.

The festival program also features various workshops, such as taiko drum and Japanese flute making, taiko drumming, and traditional Sado dance by experts such as Kodo and Asano Daiko. Workshops require advanced registration and most have a participation fee. Spaces tend to fill up quickly and early application is recommended.

Fringe concert at Kisaki Shrine
Taiko drumming workshop

Some other attractions of the festival include boat rides around Ogi Harbor in taraibune, tub-shaped boats characteristic of Sado Island, and the Ogi Okesa dance held after the concert on the second night. This traditional Sado dance is performed by Ogi townspeople and anyone is invited to participate in the festive atmosphere and dancing.

Additionally, the Harbour Market is held everyday from 10:00 to 22:00 at Ogi Harbor. Here dozens of small shops and food stands are set up, creating a small tent city where you can shop and enjoy different kinds of food from around the world.

Taraibune boat rides
Harbour Market

The Kodo taiko drumming group was started on Sado Island in 1981. They have a group center, called Kodo Village, near Ogi Town where they live and train together when not touring. Guided tours of the village (including one in English) are held on the last day of the festival.

Accommodation can be found at a number of lodges around Ogi Town, but spaces fill up quickly. Alternatively, a number of special buses run during the festival to neighboring towns such as Akadomari, Sawata, Aikawa and Ryotsu. The Sobama Beach Campground is another alternative for those who enjoy staying outdoors.

Kodo Village
Kodo Performers

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Get There and Around

From Ryotsu Port, Ogi Town can be reached in about one hour by car. Alternatively by bus, take the Main Line bound for Aikawa from Ryotsu to Sawata (40 minutes, 610 yen, 1-2 buses per hour) and transfer to the Ogi Line for Ogi (60 minutes, 820 yen, about one bus per hour). There are additional buses during the Earth Festival.

Alternatively, it is possible to access Ogi directly via the car ferry from Naoetsu.

How to get to and around Sado Island

Hours and Fees

Tickets for the evening concerts at Shiroyama Park can be ordered online on the official Kodo website. Alternatively, same day tickets are available at a ticket office in Ogi.

Tickets ordered from abroad must be paid by credit card or Paypal and will be available for pickup at the ticket office in Ogi. Within Japan, payments are also possible at convenience stores and by bank transfer, and if the order is made sufficiently in advance, tickets can be mailed to you once payment is completed.

Hotels around Sado Island

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Page last updated: August 25, 2015