Would you like to live an authentic japanese experience ? You should come to a traditional or a religious festival (“matsuri” in japanese) ! There are lot of matsuri into Japanese country-side but it is not easy for a non-japanese speaker to know where and when do they happen.
In this article i would like to give you usefull informations to permit you to enjoy a matsuri in Munakata and make you trip unforgettable.
- February the 3rd week-end : Akama-street matsuri.
February the 3rd week-end, Akama-street people organize their own matsuri. Across two days, local specialities are served in stalls in the street closed off from vehicular traffic. Katsuya, the japanese sake brewery opens its warehouse to the public, provides tasting of sake and sells the first sake of the year. It is also the occasion to visit old houses into friendly atmosphere.
Sunday, spectators can also watch a parade and marriage ceremony in traditionnal clothing.
- the 28th : buddhist ritual at Chinkoku temple
April the 28th, this buddhist temple near to the Munakata Great Shrine, organizes a sacred purification rite. People walk on burning embers in order to obtain good health. A really unique experience you can experience to ! (without risks) . From 11.00am to 14.00pm
- July the 3rd week end : Akama Gion Matsuri
During this traditional matsuri, one of the most important of the year, Suga shrine`s God is taken out on a portative shrine to bless houses all around Akama district.
- October the 1st – 2nd – 3rd : Munakata Great Shrine Matsuri
On 3 days, Munakata’s Goddess are gathered in the main Shrine for rites and ceremonies. 2 of them, who usually are in Ooshima island‘s shrine and Oki-no-shima island‘s shrine cross the sea on decorated fishing boats parade. (In Shinto, gods and goddess are linked to earth through simple objects stored in small portative shrines to travel)
- October the 3rd week-end : Hasshogu shrine matsuri
The 3rd saturday’s evening and sunday’s morning, founded in 674years A.C, this shrine organizes a 200years old festival. Until late into the night, portative shrines are taken out into beautiful parade to thank gods for their goodness.
- November the 2nd week-end : Akama-street matsuri
As Akama matsuri in february “starts” the new year, the one in november “ends” it. In november there is no parade but many street artists who amuse the crowd with comic representations.
- the first sunday of december : Ebisu matsuri.
December, the 1rst sunday, into Suga shrine (near to Kyoikudai-mae station), a traditionnal event is organized in the name of one of the seven fortune Gods : Ebisu.
From early in the morning (6.00AM), mochi, dried squid and konbu seaweeds are given to visitors. But the most awaited event is the lottery in the main building !