Festivals & Events
Wakasa Jinguji Temple Omizu Okuri Festival 若狭神宮寺のお水送り
A water tradition stretching back more than ten centuries
One of the most famous springtime events in Fukui Prefecture is Omizu Okuri, a religious festival held every March 2 at Jinguji Temple in the city of Obama. Sacred water is drawn from a well called Akai at Jinguji, then brought to a river near Unose and poured in.
This holy water is taken from a well called Wakasai beside Nigatsudo Temple 10 days after the ritual and dedicated to the principal image of Buddha at Nigatsudo. It is a historical event that reinforces the strong ties between Nara and the Wakasa area.
- The spectacular nighttime parade of torches
- The archery rituals on the grounds of Jinguji Temple
- Sampling amazake, a sweet non-alcoholic drink made from the rice used to brew sake
How to Get There
You can reach Jinguji via shuttle bus, taxi and on foot.
Jinguji is a 30-minute walk from Higashi-Obama Station. There are also shuttle buses departing from Obama Station on the day of the festival.
From Tokyo, the best way to reach Obama is to take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara, the Shirasagi limited express to Tsuruga, and then the JR Obama Line. The journey should take a little over four hours.
During the Dattan procession, a seven-meter pine torch is waved through the air while locals shout "aye!"
You can buy a torch and attach a prayer of your choice to it
When in Obama
The festival begins at 11 a.m., but it isn't open to the public until 1 p.m. You can purchase a torch for 1,500 yen and participate in the evening procession with other members of the public, which begins at 6 p.m.
The torch-bearing procession walks around two kilometers from Jinguji to the Onyu River. It is an incredible scene.
Once the procession arrives, the head priest of Jinguji uses a sword to ward off evil spirits and reads an incantation before pouring the sacred water into the river. The water reaches Todaiji Nigatsudo 10 days later.