This Sunday, Komatsu City will hold its 35th annual Don Don Matsuri. This festival isn’t affiliated with any shrine or spiritual practice; rather, it’s yearly chance for garage bands, theater troupes, and traditional dance ensembles to take over the area around the Komatsu JR station for a day. The festival also includes a market, lots of festival food, and–of course–a drink tent.
While not as famous among ALTs as some of Ishikawa’s more traditional matsuri, the Don Don Matsuri offers something unique: a chance to sample the many genres of music, dance, and theater found in Japan for free all in a single afternoon (with a drink tent and takoyaki cart nearby). Also, because the festival is made up of many community organizations, it can give you a feel for what is out there in terms of art and music organizations and an opportunity to contact a Flamenco group, belly dancing class, or shamisen instructor.
Local band/troupe performances begin at 10 am on Sunday and last until 5. From 5 to 7:20, there will be a series of civic parades, followed by performances from the most popular or better-known groups until 8 or 9.
The festival is easy to access by train or bus: from Kanazawa, take the Hokuriku line bound for Fukui (or Komatsu) to Komatsu station. Trains run every 30 minutes until 10:30 at night. From Kaga, take the Hokuriku line toward Kanazawa.
Posted by Lauren, who is looking forward to underground rock bands and tiny children attempting taiko.