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Shibushi Buddha Festival

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See the horse parade and experience Japanese tradition at one of Kagoshima’s three major festivals

Osumi Tourism and Regional Development Corporation



Plan a trip to Kyushu to experience one of the prefecture’s three biggest festivals. Celebrated since the Edo period (1603–1867), the Shibushi Buddha Festival marks the birth of Gautama Buddha.
The highlight of the festivities is a colorful procession which winds through the city streets to Hōman-ji, a temple where visitors often pray for safety in childbearing. It’s customary to gently wash the temple’s small statues of Buddha with sweet tea during the festival, in hopes that you'll be blessed with a year of good health in return.
The most famous part of the procession is the shan-shan horse parade, where you can see women dressed as brides in beautiful kimono being led on horseback towards the temple. The name “shan-shan” refers to the ringing sound of the bells attached the horses' harnesses. Following the picturesque shan-shan horse parade are people performing the lively Hanya-bushi song and dance—you’re sure to get swept up in the energy of this tradition.
You can enjoy plenty of other music, too, from brass bands to taiko drummers. And of course, no matsuri (Japanese festival) is complete without sampling festival foods from the stands set up around the parade route and temple.


How to get there

From Haneda Airport to Kagoshima Airport: About 2 hours by plane
From Kagoshima Airport: About 1 hour and 10 minutes by car
From JR Hakata Station to Kagoshima Chuo Station: About 1 hour and 30 minutes by Shinkansen bullet train
From Kagoshima Chuo Station: About 1 hour and 30 minutes by car


6537 Cho Shibushi-cho, Shibushi-shi, Kagoshima-ken

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