Events: Matsuri

Tourist Information Wrap Up in August

When it comes to mid-August, Japanese celebrates the annual Buddhist event, Obon(お盆), to commemorate the spirits and ancestors. Nowadays, Obon has evolved into a family reunion day, and the "Bon Odori (Bon dance)", one of the most iconic tradition during Obon, is a joyful event which everyone is welcomed. On top of that, there would be dazzling fireworks in many of the summer events! Be sure to check out these summer events when you visit Chiba, Japan!
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Yutsuzu no Saiten at Samukawa Shrine(夕星の祭典/寒川神社)

The festival starts with the carrying of portable shrines through the city that is led by the rhythm of taiko drum. By evening, the ritual of "Ohamaori(御浜下り)" is performed by carrying the portable shrine into the ocean. It would be held at the shore near the Chiba Port Tower. This ritual featuring spectacular performances draws more attentions year by year.

Date: 8/20(Sun.)
Location: Samukawa Shrine(寒川神社) / 1-123, Samugawacho, Chuo-ku Chiba-shi, Chiba   
Access: 10-mins walk from JR Uchibo Line or Sotobo Line Chiba Station
URL: chiba-samukawa-jinja.or.jp/

Myoken Taisai(妙見大祭)

Chiba Shrine is where worships Polaris and The Big Dipper, and the deity, "Chiba's Myoken-sama(千葉の妙見様)", gives blessing of good luck and protection from evil.

  The Myoken Taisai Festival has been held on 16th~22th of August every single year since 1127. The festival features the carrying of portable shrines(神輿/mikoshi)led by the rhythm of a giant taiko drum, whose sound (verbalized as "daran-daran(だらん、だらん)"in Japanese) is the origin for the festival’s general name, the "Daradara Festival(だらだら祭り)".

  On 16th(Wed.), the portable shrine is carried to temporary residence, then returns to the Chiba Shrine on 22th(Tues.). The portable shrine would be parading through the city for two days, and it is likely that the streets are crowded at that time. On top of that, on 22th(Tues.) past 7p.m., the festival features a breath-taking view of huge portable shrines in red lighted by numerous lanterns.

Date: 8/16(Wed.)~22(Tues.)
Location: Chiba Shrine(千葉神社) etc. / Innai, Chuo-ku Chiba-shi, Chiba
Access: 10-mins walk from JR Sobu Line Chiba Station
URL: http://www.chibajinja.com

Suwa Jinja Reisai(諏訪神社例祭)

This Reisai(例祭) for the guardian deity known as "Osuwa-sama(おすわ様)", is a regular festival when people pray for good harvest since ancient times. The festival-eve vigil(夜宮) is held on the 22th of August every year, featuring fair stalls and carrying of portable shrines. The ceremony(大祭式) would be performed on the next day(23th of August)

Date: 8/22(Tues.)~23(Wed.)
Location: Suwa Shrine(諏訪神社) / 655, Komagi, Nagareyama-shi, Chiba
Access: 5-mins walk from Tobu Urban Park Line Toyoshiki Station
Fee: free
URL: http://suwano-mori.com/sta16233/index.html

The Floating Lanterns on Minatogawa(湊川灯籠流し)

This local tradition has been held since Showa 61(1986). The festival features the scenery of 500 wooden lanterns decorating the surface of the river. Also, there would be Buddhist Pilgrims' hymn, fair stalls, Bon Odori(Bon dance), and fireworks.
For those who are not local citizens, you could buy lantern kits and join the floating lantern ceremony as well.

Date: 8/14(Mon.)
Location: Minatogawa(Minato River)/Futtu City Minato~Kaira
Access: JR Uchibo Line Kazusaminato Station
URL: http://www.futtu-city.or.jp/

48,000 Days(四万八千日)

The festival day is held on 9th of August every year. The guardian deity gives blessings of life extension, labor, children care, and protection from evil. It is said that if you visit Ryusho-in Temple(龍正院)on the night festival and pray, the blessings would be extended to 48,000 days. The temple would be crowded with people on that day. Especially for the households who perform their first Obon after the death of family members, they would ask Kannon(観音様) and Jizo(地蔵様) for blessings early in the day.

Date: 8/9(Wed.) 8:00~22:00
Location: Ryusho-in Temple(龍正院) / 1196, Namegawa, Narita-shi, Chiba
Access: 18-mins walk from JR Narita Line Namegawa Station