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 » 2014 » 9月 » 22

Ohara Hadaka Matsuri (Ohara Naked Festival), Navigation for Beginners

Ohara Hadaka Matsuri is only a few days away (on 23 and 24 September).
Local people are looking forward to this festival for a long time.
This is one of the traditional event for which people are most excited in this area.

Local people are accustomed to this festival and know entire schedule of two days, but people who come to the festival for the first time may have no idea where the festival is taken place and what is going on.

I recommend beginners to go Ohara fishing port on 23 September around 1 PM.
Multiple mikoshis (portable shrine) are carried around the town in the morning and start to gather the fishing port around 1 PM.

After mikoshis reach the fishing port, they circle around a building. People carrying mikoshis run with a loud voice, which is excited!
Then they toss over the mikoshis in the building. The higher mikoshis are tossed, the louder people cheer.

After the ceremony praying for bountiful harvest, they move to Ohara beach where “Shiofumi,” one of the main events of the festival, is taken place.
Everybody walk together with mikoshi to the beach. It is a good chance to take a cool photo of people who carry mikoshis.

For Shiofumi, you can see mikoshis are carried into the ocean one after another.
Roar, spray of water, and dirt. People are really brave and valiant.

Well, until the time of “Owakare” of 6 PM, you can enjoy atmosphere of the festival with some foods at Ohara shopping street.
Besides local shops, there are a lot of street stalls.
“Hokutosha” is also open on the day who sells folk crafts. You can find “Walking map of Ohara shopping street” there.

6 PM. Finally it’s a time of “Owakare”
Each mikoshi gathers at schoolyard of Ohara elementary school, and start to circle around the yard.
Candle is used for the Japanese lantern instead of electricity.
The soft wavy lights… are fantastical.

On 24 September, after each shrine is carried around the town, Owakare is taken place again at 6 PM.
If you miss it on September 23, please visit this day.

It is really difficult to follow a mikoshi for a whole day. Please check “must-see” points of main feature.

Also, please read the report of the festival last year!

( Shige / Yasuko )

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