This post concludes the Ishikawa JET Blog Summer Festival Series. Thanks for reading!
1. Watermelon Festival 西瓜祭り, Komatsu; Aug. 26-28
2. Bullhead-Fry Festival ぐず焼き祭り, Kaga; Aug. 27-29
3. Café Lowell カフェ・ローエル, Anamizu; Aug. 28
4. Fukuura Festival 福浦祭り, Shika; Aug. 28
5. Niwaka Festival にわか祭, Noto; Aug. 28
6. Togi Hassaku Festival 富来八朔祭り, Togi; Aug. 28-29
1. 西瓜祭り Suika Matsuri
Aug. 26-28 (Thurs. – Sat.)
923-0907 石川県小松市浜田町イ −２３３
923-0907 Ishikawa-ken Komatsu-shi Hamada-machi I-233
At the Suwaguu Uhashi Shrine (諏訪宮莵橋神社)
Although this end-of-summer festival focuses on watermelon, the Suika Matsuri celebrates another sui-ka: fire and water (水・火), the most important things for human life. One of the highlights of the festival is the test of strength—people try to carry 80-kg (176-lb) bags of rice, and about 100 people succeed each year. On the evening of the 27th, pure water is distributed, and it is said that those who drink it will have a year without sickness or poor health.
Take the JR Hokuriku line (JR北陸本線) to Komatsu Station (小松駅). 8-minute walk.
2. Iburihashi Guzu-Yaki Matsuri ぐず焼き祭り
Aug. 27 – 29 (Fri – Sun)
Guzu (ぐず) is another name for gori (ゴリ 鮴), the bullhead fish. This festival features large papier mache fish which are thrown into a fire to pray for a good catch. After the papier mache fish are burnt, the participants dance until dance in celebration of the last summer festival.
Take the JR Hokuriku Line (JR北陸本線) to Iburihashi (動橋駅). The festival takes place in front of the station.
Free parking for 50 cars.
Ishikawa-ken Anamizu-machi (all over town)
Anamizu’s claim to fame is Percival Lowell, an American astronomer who began the search for Pluto and who lived in the Noto in the late 1800s. Among his works is the his account of his time in Ishikawa, the book Noto: A Unexplained Corner of Japan (1894) (available here from Project Gutenberg). Every year on the last weekend in August, the people of Anamizu celebrate Lowell with a festival including food, dancing, a light-up, films, and music.
Take the Noto Tetsudou (能登鉄道)bound for Anamizu （穴水） from Nanao. Get off at Anamizu Station (the last stop). Much of the festival takes place in front of the station.
Take the Kanazawa-Wajima （金沢・輪島) bus to Anamizu Kunogi （穴水此の木）. Walk toward central Anamizu (穴水町市街). 20-minute walk.
Take the Noto Toll Road, 1, 249, or 303 to Anamizu. There should be parking at Coco’s and Dontaku near the Anamizu Kunogi bus stops. 20-minute walk.
4. 福浦祭り Fukuura Matsuri
Aug. 28 (Sat.)
925-0315 Ishikawa-ken Hakui-gun Shika-machi Fukuura Minato
A festival to pray for a good catch. Mikoshi are sent out on boats to sea as people dressed as geisha and courtesans (and other interesting costumes) ring bells.
From Kanazawa (金沢), Monzen（門前） or Hakui Station (羽咋駅), take the Kanazawa-Monzen bus and get off at Sanmyou (三明).
5. にわか祭 Niwaka Matsuri
Aug. 28 (Sat.) 19:00 – 24:00
Ishikawa-ken Housu-gun Noto-chou (Ukawa Kaise Shrine)
A kiriko festival with uniquely shaped kiriko.
Take the bus bound for Ohdawara (太田原) from Anamizu (see p. 4). Get off at Ukawa Eki-Mae (鵜川駅前).
Take the 249 from the north and the 34 from the south. The shrine is on a local road by the shore.
Pictures of the lanterns
6. 富来八朔祭り Togi Hassaku Matsuri
Aug. 28 (Sat.) 18:00 – 24:00
Aug. 29 (Sun.) 13:30 – 24:00
Ishikawa-ken Hakui-gun Shika-machi Ryuuke-machi. At the Sumiyoshi and Hassaku Shrines
Thirty kiriko are carried in this 1000-year-old festival where the god of the Hassaku Shrine and the goddess of the Sumiyoshi Shrine meet. Saturday is the kiriko part of the festival; Sunday is the mikoshi part.
From Kanazawa (金沢), Monzen （門前） or Hakui Station (羽咋駅), take the Kanazawa-Monzen bus and get off at get off at Togi (富来).