Odate Shinmeisha Festival
Odate comes alive with parades, dance, music and water fights
Akita Inu Tourism
Seven mikoshi portable shrines and 15 floats come together for the Odate Shinmeisha Festival, a lively parade of traditional local music and dance in Akita Prefecture.
For two days, the Odate Shinmeisha mikoshi and other local portable shrines are paraded through the streets, followed by floats carrying kimono-clad dancers performing to traditional Odate Bayashi music played on flutes, drums, shamisen and bells.
A celebration to thank Shinto deities and a prayer offering for a bountiful harvest, the procession begins with the city’s head priest and festival organizers paying their respects at the Odate Shinmeisha Shrine. Day one sees participants cheered on by onlookers, as they vigorously pull the ropes of heavy floats and race them up a hill to receive blessings. Festivities continue on day two with a taiko drumming show and more en-route dance and music performances.
Before an evening of neighborhood celebrations, the festival ends with a big water fight - a purification ceremony involving participants being doused with large buckets of blessed water.
How to get there
3 minutes walk from JR Higashi-Odate Station