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Morioka Sansa Odori Festival

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Morioka Sansa Odori Festival


Witness a festival with the largest taiko drum ensembles in the world

Iwate Prefecture



Morioka Sansa Odori Festival, held annually from August 1 to 4, is one of the Five Great Festivals of Tohoku. Over 30,000 drummers and dancers parade through the city over four days, making it an important part of the local culture. Legend has it that the Sansa dance began when a wicked demon was punished by the god of the Mitsuishi Shrine. The god made the demon swear that he would never do bad deeds again, and as a sign of his pledge, the demon placed his hand on a large rock and left a handprint. The locals rejoiced, dancing around the rock. This story explains the origin of Sansa, as well as the name "Iwate," which means "rock hand."


How to get there


From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train (about 2 hours and 13 minutes) and get off at Morioka Station, then walk for 15 minutes.


Chuodori, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken


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