Shimabara’s Shoronagashi (floating ghosts floating down the river) has a tradition of more than 300 years.

Shimabara’s Shoronagashi has a tradition of over 300 years.

After the Shimabara Rebellion, the new feudal lord Takanori Tadafusa sought to stabilize the people’s minds, he rebuilt shrines and temples and promoted Buddhism.One such event is the sending off of spirits in a spirit boat on the night of Urabonne.In the Shimabara domain’s “Goshu” (a collection of references) from the 8th year of Bunka (1811), it is written, “A straw boat is built in Teppocho to send the Holy Spirit off to the Isahaya Gate, and the people bring shamisen and other instruments and feast until dawn, which is not good.

On the 15th, at dusk, the spirit boats, decorated with kiriko lanterns from Hatsubon (first obon) houses, are carried by young people and depart. The boat is carried by young men and women, and they parade around the houses of the first Bon Festival participants and the plazas of the various districts, calling out “Namaido, Namaido! Originally a quiet and heroic event, it has become more lively in recent years with the introduction of firecrackers.
After circling the town, the boats are taken to a floating place and floated out to the Ariake Sea.

The sight of the Spirit Boat floating on the Ariake Sea in the dark of night, surrounded by the pale light of the Kiriko Lanterns, is fantastic and beautiful. The sight of the boat floating silently on the Ariake Sea in the dark is a beautiful and magical sight.

Other Information

Traffic restrictions

19:00~ until the end of the event
Intersection in front of Sakai Surgical Gastroenterology Clinic~North side of Yamazaki Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinic

Event Details


August 15 *On the same day every year


19:00 –

Main Locations

Hakusan area: In front of Shimabara Hakusan Hotel
Moridake area: Takeshima Shrine
Reigaoka area: Reigaoka Park

Parking lot

There is no parking lot at each site.


Commerce, Industry and Tourism Department, Shimabara Tourism Division, Sightseeing Geopark Team