There is an annual event at New Year's in Oura area in Isotake-Cho, Oda City, Shimane.
People in Isotake-Cho build a shack made of bamboo leaves and straw mats, with a bamboo pillar 20 meters in height at Oura Beach.
The shack, called GURO, is built to welcome a god called "Toshitoku Jin".
The shack is similar to the Yurts that Mongolian people build in the steppes.This annual event continues for 5 days from January 11th to 15th every year.
Firewood is burned continuously in Guro .
People in Isotake-Cho gather in Guro and drink libations, bake and eat rice cakes and dried cuttlefish.
People pray for a big catch and perfect state of health. The shack is burnt on the last day with New Year's ornaments.
Mononobe Shrine is one of the prestigious shrines in the Iwami area.
Mononobe Shrine holds the Setsubun festival and a bean-scattering ceremony event on February 3rd.
On February 2nd, a sacred shinto fire-starting ritual is held on the grounds of the shrine. Hot soba noodles are available there.
Volunteers gather in Shigaku, a town at the base of Mt. Sanbe, pack snow into buckets and make mini kamakura (igloos) with candles inside.
When it gets dark, the candle lights shine brightly. People in Sanbe offer warm food to the visitors.
The event is held in the beginning of February when the most snow fall is expected. However, the snow is brought in from other areas when there is not enough snow.
People in Oda City set fire to the grass which withered up at the end of March to preserve the environment of the grassland in Mr. Sanbe National Park.
The fields burned off are about 30 hectares in size and it's a sight to see.
You can also volunteer to assist in the burning of the fields.
The grassland becomes ardent and black, but the plants will be revived one month later.
6000 cherry trees the people in Sanbe planted blooms alongside the country road.
In the middle of April, the cherry blossom festival is held. Cuisines of the area are served there, and Shinto music and dance numbers called Kagura are performed in the shrine.
The water fall tour is also held.
1000 cherry trees that schoolchildren in Oda City planted in Uyama valley for over 10 years are finally starting to bloom.
Edible wooden sprouts and bamboo shoots get ready to eat in the forest at the beginning of May.
We're carrying on the activity to collect and eat bamboo shoots so that fast growing bamboos don't conceal historic sites at the mine in the World Heritage Iwami-Ginzan.
Please be aware that some of the areas may be private properties, and you must obtain a permission to enter.
The purple irises bloom around the Himenogaike Pond in the north area of Mt. Sanbe in June.
Citizen volunteers remove the foreign grass which has invaded the pond to protect the irises.
While removing the foreign grass from the pond, you can pick Junsai, edible Japanese native aquatic plants.
In July there are some summer festivals in Oda City.
Saigyosan, located on Yukimi Street, on July 16th.
Tenjinnsan, located in Tenjin-Cho, on July 25th.
Kojinsan, located on Aioi-Cho, on July 27th.
Children carry a portable shrine through the streets and shaved ice and draft beer are available.
"Ayu", sweetfish, used to swim upstream in Shizuma River to lay eggs.
Shizuma River is originated in Mt. Sanbe, flows through Oda-City and goes out to the Sea of Japan.
There is a project to facilitate the migration of the fish by artificially creating a path for the fish to easily swim upstream and their actions are monitored every year.
We are expecting the fish come back every year.
The fireworks event close to the guesthouse Yukimi-Inn is at Kute harbor festival on August 4th.
A shuttle bus from Oda bus terminal to Kute harbor is available.
You can enjoy 6000 fireworks, lantern floating and music at the festival.
Higanichi is a traditional semi-annual event held on equinox days in Oda town which has continued for over 400 years. Its origin is the barter-exchanges in a temple's precincts on equinox day.
A lot of vendors sell their food and products alongside the street over 1 kilometer starting from Odashi Station. For two days, there will be a plant market, Yosakoi dance show and you can enjoy a variety of good food.
Oda Festival is held on October 15th every year. There are two locations; at the Norther Shrine (Kita Hachimanguu) and the Southern Shrine (Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu).
At Kita Hachimannguu, you can see tall banners, Otengu which is over 3 meters high, and a portable shrine carried by children parading in the old street.
Our local hamburger restaurant, Sanbe Burger, starts the fire in their wood stove and sells firewood.
They promote using the firewood, which prevents global warming.
In November they have a wood chopping event where children experience wood chopping.
On New Year's Eve, local people gather at Nima Sand Museum and turn the world‘s largest sand clock over to start the new year.
There are fireworks to greet the New Year.