Water crossings and water demons

Shimodate Gion Matsuri

Spanning 4 days and centered around Haguro Shrine in Omachi, this is one of Ibaraki Prefecture’s biggest festivals.

During the festival the Meiji Mikoshi, a large portable shrine built to celebrate Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War in the 28th year of the Meiji era, the Hime Mikoshi, the portable shrine of Haguro Shrine’s resident deity Tamayori Hime, the Heisei Mikoshi, built in the 4th year of the Heisei era and currently Japan’s biggest portable shrine, and around 30 children’s portable shrines will be carried throughout the city streets.

Early in the morning of the last day of the festival the shrines will be carried through the Gogyo River that runs through town, in order to purify the shrines of the impurities they have picked up during the festival, in what is called the ‘River Crossing’.

Dates:

7/26    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/27    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/28    6 to 10pm   Shimodate Station North Exit Station-front Avenue

7/29    6 to 9am    Kanai-cho Gogyo River banks

Parking:

Chikusei City Hall or the parkade in front of Shimodate Station

*There are a limited number of spaces so please use public transportation if possible

*Due to traffic restrictions in order to create car-free zones during the festival the roads will be very crowded. Please check the times and locations of the blocked routes in advance.

Inquiries:

Chikusei Tourism Association (within the Tourism Division)

Tel. 0296-20-1160

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31st Annual Ushiku Kappa Matsuri

Dates : July 28th and 29th

*There will be no vehicles allowed in the area from 3 to 9 :30pm

Locations: Hanamizuki Avenue (parade, portable shrines, dancing, etc)/Ushiku City Hall & nearby park (stage performances)/Ushiku Central Adult Education Center Cultural Hall (live music performances and rock show)

Come enjoy a weekend of fun in Ushiku based around the legendary ‘kappa’ (water demon). There will be dancing in the streets, a long parade, portable shrines in the evenings, rock music live shows, and performances by local groups (soccer, karaoke, and more). Not to mention the food! There will be a free shuttle bus from Hitachi-no-Ushiku Station’s East Exit directly to Ushiku City Hall running every 20 minutes from 2 to 10pm on both days. On a side note, some of the energy used to power the festival will be provided by a local wind-based power plant in order to help save the environment.

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