Do you know of a great festival happening in your town? Contact us to write a guest post (or blurb)!
1. The Tale of Orihime Summer Festival 織姫夏ものがたり, Nakanoto; July 31
2. Notojima Kouda Fire Festival 能登島向田の火祭, Notojima, July 31
3. Nagoshi Festival なごしの祭り, Nanao; July 31
4. Matto Festival 松任祭り, Matto (Hakusan); July 31 – Aug 1
5. Nafune Festival 名船大祭, Wajima; July 31-Aug. 1
1. 織姫夏ものがたり Orihime Natsu Monogatari
July 31 (Saturday), 14:00~
Friday, July 30, is the illumination event (see here). On Saturday is the actual festival, which includes student performances, festival floats, a fashion show, and a lion dance. The festival will conclude with fireworks.
929-1721 Ishikawa-ken Kashima-gun Nakanoto-machi Ida HO-25
Behind the Kashima AL Plaza アルプラザ鹿島
Take the JR Nanao Line to Yoshikawa (良川). 25 minute walk.
Take the Kanazawa-Nanao Hokutetsu bus (see right) to Kashima Chousha Mae (鹿島庁舎前). 5 minute walk.
Nanao-shi Notojima-machi Kouda
One of Japan’s three biggest fire festivals, this exciting festival takes place on the last Saturday of July. This festival celebrates the once-a-year meeting of the god and goddess of two local shrines. Male participants carry 7 kiriko of various sizes to Sakiyama (崎山), where a pine torch standing 30 meters high is lit on fire to wish for a good catch and a good harvest.
Google map of the location (from NanaOh! Net).
From Kanazawa, take the JR Nanao (JR七尾本線) line to Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉). Take the Notojima Rinaki Kouen bus (のとじま臨海公園行き) from the Wakura Onsen-mae stop (和倉温泉前) to 向田宮の前 (Kouda-miya no mae).
Genbu.net’s page on the Iyahime Shrine
3. なごしの祭り Nagoshi no Matsuri
July 31 (always the last Saturday of July)
926-0818 Ishikawa-ken Nanao-shi Madashi-machi Tsu-35
The summer festival of the Notoikukunitamahiko Main Shrine(能登生国玉比古神社 [本宮神社]), the Nagoshi no Matsuri features 15 kiriko of various sizes, as well as a children’s kiriko.
Take the Hokutetsu Kanazawa-Nanao bus or the JR Nanao JR七尾本線line (from Kanazawa) or take the Noto Tetsudo 能登鉄道 (from Anamizu). Trains: get off at Nanao Station (七尾駅); buses: get off at Nanao-eki-mae (七尾駅前). The festival is an 8 minute walk from the station.
4. Matto Matsuri 松任まつり
July 31 – Aug. 1
Ishikawa-ken Hakusan-shi Kuramitsu (between Matto Station and the Hakusan City Hall)
Connected with one of the poet Chijo’s poems, the Matto Festival is held to drive out crop-eating insects and ensure a good harvest. The town is decorated with morning glories, and a giant pine torch is paraded through town to the sound of taiko drums. The evening of the 31st is the dancing part of the festival and the 1st is the fire part of the festival.
Take the JR Hokuriku Line (JR北陸本線) from Kanazawa or Daishoji and get off at Matto Station （松任）. Five minute walk.
Take the Hokutetsu Bus from Kanazawa Station (bus stop #9; bus #40,) headed for Mattou Minami (松任南). Get off at Mattou Minami. 5 minute walk.
5. 名船大祭 Nafune Taisai
July 31- Aug. 1
Ishikawa-ken Wajima-shi Nafune-machi
Saturday 21:00-24:00; Sunday 14:00
The Nafune Gojinko drummers perform every weekend from May to November and every day during the summer in downtown Wajima. An intangible cultural artifact, the drum performance reenacts a folktale that drummers wearing ghost masks and seaweed “hair” fought off Uesugi Kenshin’s army in 1577. This performance is the largest of their events and takes place at the site of the battle.
From 9-10 pm on July 31, the mikoshi (portable shrines) are taken to be blessed at the Okisuhime shrine (奥津姫神社). At 10:40 pm, they are placed on boats and floated to Hegura Island 舳倉島 as the taiko drummers play.
On Aug. 1 at 2 pm, the drummers play again in honor of the miracle of driving away the invading army.
There is not parking on site, but there is available parking in various places in Wajima.
This festival is far from downtown Wajima. Linked is the contact number for the bus that picks up at the Wajima Flat Station (ふらっと訪夢) and the Kiriko Museum (輪島漆器会館前) (1500 yen round-trip).
(Both pick-up sites are stops on the Hokutetsu Kanazawa-Wajima bus [via Anamizu])
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and the editor of this blog. This summer, she’s blogging about all festivals, all the time. Check the blog for updates!