Yayoi Matsuri – Drifting flower boat

The Yayoi Festival (in “Yayoi Matsuri” 弥 生 Japanese) takes place in Nikko, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.

Jan 25, 2023 - 08:30
Feb 28, 2023 - 16:54
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Yayoi Matsuri – Drifting flower boat

This is a festival that heralds the arrival of spring. The festival lasts 4 or 5 days (depending on the year) but the “Main Attraction” takes place on April 17. On the 17th, there is an outstanding canoe parade; “Flower Floats” (in Japanese “Hana Yatai” 花 屋 台). This festival has a long tradition dating back to the 8th century.

This festival heralds the arrival of spring in Nikko, which has shrines and temples registered as world heritage sites. The main attraction takes place on the 17th: a parade of 11 beautifully decorated boats called hana-yatai from each town. This is a traditional festival dating back to around the 8th century. Even today ancient customs are carefully observed and rituals must be followed. Any mistake causes a lot of trouble, which is why this festival is also known as Gota Matsuri, the word "gota" meaning "trouble" or "dispute festival."

The Yayoi Festival officially begins on April 13. On the second day of the festival, Takio Shrine's mikoshi shrine will leave its place and go to Honsha Futarasan Shrine on the 16th. On arrival, it is greeted by the mikoshi of the three shrines (main shrine, branch shrine, and original shrine). Then a sacred priest is given three mikoshi and is rightly called a blessing.

The beautiful floats parade is held on April 17, where about 11 extremely decorated floats are held around the city. This is called “hana-yatai”. The decorations are in the form of silent cherry blossoms. The event begins with a morning ceremony with some traditional performances and festive music. Trolleys and trolleys are then pulled along a parade throughout the city before entering Hongu Temple. After a while, they returned to the Futarasan shrine. The Yayoi Festival is a festival that showcases the beautiful sakura colors of spring and is one of the best festivals to experience in spring.

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