Summer Festivals, Part 2: The long weekend of July 17-19.
You don’t have to leave Ishikawa to enjoy your three-day weekend!
1. Nanao Harbor Matsuri and Hokkoku Fireworks Display七尾港祭りと北國花火大会: July 17-18; Nanao
2. Tsurugiji Hachiman Matsuri 剣地八幡祭り, July 17-18; Wajima
3. Hakusan Matsuri 白山祭り, July 17-18; Shiramine (Hakusan)
4. Horimatsu Tug-of-War Matsuri 掘松綱引き祭 , July 18; Shika
5. Hasebe Matsuri 長谷部祭り, July 18; Anamizu
6. Kasano Matsuri 笠野祭り, July 19; Tsubata
7. Monzen Matsuri (Gourai Matsuri) 門前祭り（ごうらい祭り）, July 18-19; Monzen (Wajima)
Click the cut for details.
1. Nanao Minato Matsuri and Hokkoku Fireworks Display
七尾港まつり と 北國花火大会
July 17-18 (Sat./Sun.)
Nanao Marine Park七尾マリンパーク
926-0041 Ishikawa-ken Nanao-shi Nakamachi 25-8
A festival to celebrate the development of Nanao Bay. The highlight of the festival is the Hokkoku Fireworks Display (北國花火大会), which closes the festival.
Harbor Festival Bonsai Exhibition (港祭り協賛盆栽･山草展): July 17-18 9:00-17:00. First floor of Monterey Hall (モントレー ホール)
Children’s Carnival (ちびっこカーニバル) July 17, 17:00-18:00. Nanao Marine Park.
Nanao Bay-Side Music—An Evening of Light Music (七尾港ベイサイドミュージック｢軽音楽の夕べ｣): July 18, 15:30-17:30, Nanao Marine Park
Hokkoku Firework Display (北國花火大会): Sunday, July 18, 20:30-21:10. Over 2000 fireworks will be launched from Marine Park.
Free to attend.
Take the Noto Tetsudo （能登鉄道）toward Nanao (七尾) from Anamizu (穴水), the JR Nanao line (JR七尾線) from Kanazawa (金沢), or one of the Hokutetsu buses bound for Nanao from Kanazawa. Marine Park七尾マリンパーク is a 10-minute walk from Nanao Station; head towards the bay.
Free parking on-site for 1500 cars.
2. 剱地八幡神社大祭 (おさよまつり) Tsurugiji Hachiman Jinja Matsuri (Osayo Matsuri)
July 17-18 (Sat./Sun)
927-2192 Ishikawa-ken Wajima-shi Monzen-machi Tsurugiji Re-136
The main part of the festival starts at 10 pm on the 17th and goes late into the night. The young people of Wajima carry portable shrines (mikoshi 御輿), kiriko, gongs, and bells, along with decorated floats) to the shrine, where there is dancing. The festival closes with the Hinotori (Japanese phoenix) being taken off the top of the shrines and a lion dance.
Map from Puchi-Tabi.
3. Hakusan Matsuri 白山祭り
July 17-18 (Sat./Sun.)
Ishikawa-ken Hakusan-shi Shiramine RO 65-2 (Shiramine Onsen, near Shiramine Souyu)
This festival celebrates the anniversary of Taichou’s (泰澄) successful climb of Hakusan in 717 CE and the opening of Hakusan.
Saturday, July 17
- 13:00 Procession of the mikoshi, portable shrines, starts in Kuwashima (桑島)
14:45 Marching brass-band performance
15:30 Procession of the mikoshi in the Shiramine ward.
17:30 Reenactment of Taichou’s descent from the mountain; he pays his respects at to Iwane Jinja (岩根神社). Lead by priests blowing conch shells. The role of Taichou is played by a man the same age as Taichou was when he returned from climbing Hakusan.
18:30 Mochi pounding (making sticky rice cakes)
19:00 Folk dancing. The students of Shiramine Elementary learn the Kanko Odori かんこ踊り, a local folk dance done in a circle
Sunday, July 18
- 7:30 Festivities start at the Hakusan Honchi-dou (temple)白山本地堂 and the Shiramine Onsen opens for morning baths
9:30-10:30 Folk dancing. The students dance the Kanko Odori in a parade going from the central assembly hall (中央会場) to the Shiramine branch office of the Hakusan City Hall (白山市役所白峰支所).
10:30-12:30 The “Hakusan Long-Life Water” (白山延命水) festival float departs from the town hall.
12:30 Ceremony for drinking to long life.
13:00 Mochi-maki: Throwing of the prepared mochi into the crowd.
13:00-14:00 Musical performances
Free parking lot (500 cars).
Take the Hokutetsu Bus 北鉄バス from Kanazawa station (bus stop 9) to the Shiramine bus stop 白峰.
4. Horimatsu Tug-of-War Matsuri 掘松綱引き祭り
July 18 (Sun.) (always on the third Sunday of July)
Ishikawa-ken Hakui-gun Shika-machi Horimatsu/Sumiyoshi Jinja
Every year, on one night in July, people of all ages gather at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Horimatsu for a raucous night of tug-of-war. This festival dates back to the middle of the Edo Period. Participants are divided into sea-side and mountain-side teams. To pray for a good catch and a good harvest, participants play a massive game of tug-of-war with a rope 15 cm in diameter and 90 meters long—even just watching is exciting! The Horimatsu Tug-of-War Festival has been designated as one of Ishikawa’s intangible cultural assets. Praying via tug-of-war can only be seen in Shika-machi, so don’t miss it!
4. Hasebe Matsuri 長谷部まつり
July 18 (Sun.), 9:00-21:00
Ishikawa-ken Housu-gun Anamizu-machi
This festival takes place in the center of town, near the train station.
The Hasebe Festival is held in honor of Lord Hasebe Nobutsura, who was appointed lord of Anamizu in 1186 and is considered the town hero. The festival features the procession of Lord Hasebe, a parade of locals in period costumes; dancing, music, and the carrying of hand-made portable shrines. At night, the harbor and town are decorated in lanterns and fireworks are set off.
Take the Noto Tetsudo （能登鉄道）from Nanao （七尾） to the end of the line, Anamizu （穴水）, which will take you directly to the center of town. Or, take a Hokutetsu Bus 北鉄バス from Kanazawa （金沢） or Wajima （輪島） to Anamizu Konogi. 穴水 此の木. From the bus stop, walk toward central Anamizu/Anamizu station; about 15 minutes.
This festival will be canceled for rain and was canceled last year and the year before for bad weather.
5. Monzen Matsuri (Gourai Matsuri) 門前まつり（ごうらい祭）
July 18-19 (Sun/Mon [national holiday])
Ishikawa-ken Wajima-shi Monzen-machi Sojiji (temple)
〒927-2156 石川県輪島市 門前町門前1−18甲
927-2156 Ishikawa-ken Wajima-shi Monzen-machi Monzen 1-18 Kabuto
The Monzen Festival is held by Sojiji Temple, the head temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism, and one of the Okunoto’s most important temples. Once a year, Sojiji and Kushihi Jinja櫛比神社 hold a joint festival to pray to their guardian god for good health. It is also known as the Gourai Matsuri because the heralds of the festival carry staves with the face of a monkey (gourai).
Take the Hokutetsu bus for Monzen 門前 from Kanazawa get off at Souijiji-mae 総持寺前。(Goes through Uchinada and Hakui, too.)
Wajima City Website.
6. Kasano Matsuri 笠野祭り
July 19 (Mon.; national holiday), starts at 17:40
Ishikawa-ken Tsubata-machi Kasano Fureai Kouen (Kasano Park)
This event requires a ticket, which will be decided by lottery. Please contact chuou HYPHEN ph AT town DOT tsubata DOT ishikawa DOT jp for more information or send a self-addressed stamped-postcard (往復はがき) with your address, name, and phone number to〒929-0464 石川県津幡町山北ﾜ116 笠野祭り実行委員会（笠野公民館内）.
Also known as the Festival of Fire, Water, and Sound (火と水と音の祭典), the Kasano Festival is Tsubata’s biggest event oｆ the year. The festival evolved from a torch-light procession to drive away crop-eating insects and to pray for a good crop of grain and the happiness of the people. Sparks dance in the air from one of Japan’s biggest pine torches, and a pillar of flames and fireworks pierce the sky as the sound of drums and flute fill the night.
300 fireworks will be launched starting at 21:00.
This festival will be canceled only in the case of heavy rain.
Tsubata Town Website.
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and the editor of this blog. She is on a quest to make Ishikawa’s summer festivals accessible to the English-speaking population –or die trying.