Shrine festival featuring children's Kabuki and a mikoshi parade
Ibi Festival, which dates back to the early 18th century, takes place at Miwa Shrine every year on May 4th and 5th. Five districts in the area have their own, gorgeous big float called yama, a designated tangible folk cultural property of Gifu Prefecture, and these five yama floats all gather in the shrine grounds for the festival. Local children dressed up in kimono line up for a procession walk called oneri. They perform hour-long Kabuki plays on stages built on each yama float. There are several performances in a day during the two days. Kaeriyama, in which people drag the floats back to the warehouses at night, making sounds of their wooden wheels, is another sight to see. Also, an energetic parade of three large mikoshi (portable shrines) carried by adults and ten smaller mikoshi carried by young people is a must-see event. With the children's Kabuki plays and the mikoshi parade, Ibi Festival is a great opportunity to witness the traditions that have been passed down since the Edo Period.