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Odate Shinmeisha Festival in Akita


©Odate Shinmeisha Festival Organizing Committee   

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Odate Shinmeisha Festival in Akita


An Odate shrine comes alive with parades, dance, music, and water fights

Akita Inu Tourism


©Odate Shinmeisha Festival Organizing Committee


Two mikoshi portable shrines and thirteen floats come together for the Odate Shinmeisha Festival, a lively parade of traditional local music and dance in Akita Prefecture held annually on the 10th and 11th of September in Odate City.


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.


©Odate Shinmeisha Festival Organizing Committee

How to get there

From Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to Shin-Aomori Station (about 3 hours 10 minutes). From Shin-Aomori Station, take the JR express train to Odake Station (about 1 hour 5 minutes). From Odate Station, take the JR Hanawa Line to Higashi-Odate Station (about 5 minutes). The festival venue is a 3-minute walk from Higashi-Odate Station.


Omachi-hachiko-dori: Omachi, Odate-shi, Akita-ken
Odate Shinmeisha Shrine: 1-5 Nakashinmei-cho, Odate-shi, Akita-ken


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