Published: October 18th 2009October 18th 2009
This photo is outside of the shrine. Each float goes into to worship first of all.
Oct 14 and 15, Held in Tenmangu Shrine abt.50km westward of Kobe (Also westward of Osaka) Japan. Although I checked it with Wikipedia, blogs and the related websites, I came to a question which date 14th or 15th is the most attractive one to me. It seemed it might take more than three hours to reach at the "Far West" from my house at Nara city "Far East". I took a train to Osaka station, transited for Himeji known as Himeji castle (World Heritage), arrived at Akashi Station where I changed to another line to Shirahama-no-Miya Station where the festival is held for two days. Without knowledge where it is, I followed to some would-be sightseeners. Before arriving the real site, several food stalls along street were seen within 10 minute walk.
Already local people and visitors were gathered to wait for the start in front of the shrine. The town is originally for fisheries, whose involved population seems decreasing. The festival is usually participated by the 7 villages of the area that owns each float of portable shrine with each emblem and each color for gears. By good luck, I found a higher position, standing on stone picket to
Floats and bystanders are mingled with to enjoy the festival.
take photos, where a middle aged man besides me found very pleased to know I was far (?) from Nara city and advised me (1) Festival is much better on the first day of the 14th because festivals are held at various shrines not only at one place today.(2) The best time for the festival is at the evening of the 14th (3) Festival date for the two days is fixed every year on the 14th and 15th October regardless of the week day, that's why the town's schools and offices are closed. (4) After finishing event here, all floats are to move to a main festival place called "Major Battle Field" to acomodate tens of thousand people's seats (5) Seashore was very closed to the shrine gate in red before as seen in my photo, but the present coast is moved by several hundred meters. I was very much afraid of those people rushing into the train, I could not help but return home in the middle through the crowds.
Shinto followers believe that the portable Shinto shrine (called Mikoshi) serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Japan at the time of a parade deities.
Poles are pushing to turn over the other.
During a festival, people bear a mikoshi on their shoulders by means of the two or four poles. They bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine. Autumn is the main harvest time of the year in Japan specially for farmers, but in this festival, for fishermen, who express thanks to gods for the last year and worship for harvest next year. This festival is well known throughout of Japan because of one of the most dangerous ones. Fatal accident was happened in every several years. Before this year, it was realized in 2002.
There are more photos below