With September starting, it is officially autumn in Japan!
The heat has started to drop back, making it easier to enjoy time outside.
Kyushu is an island in Japan recently gaining popularity for its beautiful nature. For example, we previously wrote about beautiful places to visit in Oita prefecture.
Every year, in late October to early November, Saga prefecture hosts one of the biggest hot air balloon festivals in the world.
There are around 100 balloons participating!
The number of visitors surpasses 800,000 every year, making it the biggest event in Asia.
The sight of the balloons flying out into the blue sky is spectacular!
For last year’s festival, a total of 925,000 people came to visit.
They seem to be gracefully floating across the sky, but it is actually a competition to see how close the makers can get the balloon to a particular mark. There is a heated battle being waged in the sky!
Although it’s the Hot Air Balloon World Championship, it doesn’t end with just the competition!
You can also see an array of events, like the colourful”Balloon Fantasia”, where there is an array cute characters to see up close in balloon form, or the mystical “La Montgolfier Nocturne”, where burners are lit up in the night.
And what’s more, there are a range of delicious foods to enjoy!
When you have finished watching the competition, head to the Umakamon Market for a taste of Saga.
After eating, you can enjoy the rest of the day by enjoying the various parts of the festival, including a concert at the event plaza.
Also, during the Balloon Fiesta event period, there is a special station “Balloon Saga station”, operated by JR.
This station has been in operation for more than 20 years, ever since the 1989 Saga Hot Air Balloon World Championship. This means you can access the festival easily even if you do not have a car.
Saga Hot Air Balloon World Championship
Event period: 28th October 2016 to 6th November 2016
Venue: Saga Kasegawa Riverbed
Source from like-world magazine.