An Unforgettable Festival Experience in Iwate’s Hanamaki
Massive numbers of mikoshi shrines will enchant you at this otherworldly celebration
The city of Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, offers an engaging historical adventure. In addition to gorgeous nature and soothing hot springs, you'll find a festival noted in Guinness World Records.
The Hanamaki Matsuri (Hanamaki Festival) has a history of over 400 years, starting in 1593 under the auspices of Kita Shosai, the founder of the city.
During the festival, over a hundred mikoshi are paraded through the city streets. Admire the glorious floats, experience folk arts, and marvel at kagura, a culturally important Shinto dance. The festival atmosphere will stay with you for a lifetime. Visitors are even encouraged to join and help shoulder the mikoshi and dance along to the music.
The festival takes place from Friday to Sunday on the second weekend of September.
Access: Take the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo (about 3 hours).
Kamicho, Hanamaki-shi, Iwate-ken