Kanazawa's Hyakumangoku Festival

Come join Kanazawa Walking Tours as Kanazawa celebrates its biggest festival of the year!

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Each year, on the first Saturday in June, the colourful festival known as Hyakumangoku Matsuri is held on the streets of Kanazawa. It is a celebration to mark the anniversary of the arrival of Maeda Toshiie, a famous Sengoku Period samurai who was appointed as Lord of Ishikawa Prefecture and guided the city of Kanazawa into the golden age of culture and prosperity.

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The main event of the festival is a huge parade of people dressed in historical costumes, samurai and nobleman alike and is led by Lord Maeda, his wife O-Matsu-no-Kata and princess Tama-hime (or at least prominent actors playing those roles).

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The procession departs from the east gate of Kanazawa Station following an impressive display of traditional dancing and the thunder of taiko drums. As the music draws to a close, the parade begins to make its way slowly toward Kanazawa Castle where displays of Kaga Shishimai (Lion Dancing) take place as Lord Maeda enters the castle to reunite with his wife.

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As the evening draws in, a large bonfire is lit within the castle courtyard and spectators can enjoy stories told through traditional Noh theatre.

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Elsewhere in the city during the afternoon, The Hyakumangoku Odori Nagashi parade will be held. Companies and organisations throughout the city will send teams dressed in summer kimono. They will dance up and down the street showing off various traditional dances and the watching public are encouraged to join in.

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The Hyakumangoku Chakai tea ceremony event also takes place on the Saturday and following Sunday. Here, the various schools that practice Tea Ceremony in Kanazawa give visitors the opportunity to watch and take part in tea ceremonies to celebrate Lord Maeda's encouragement of the practice to flourish.

 

On the Friday night before the festival begins, the beautiful Kaga Yuzen Toro-Nagashi festival is performed on the Asanogawa River. Thousands of lanterns made from paper or local Kaga Yuzen silk and containing candles are floated down the river, under the Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge and out to sea. Many people will relax on the river bank and watch the lanterns float lazily passed.

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While Kanazawa has a lot to offer tourists all year round, the weekend of the Hyakumangoku Matsuri makes it one of the most exciting (and noisiest!) places to be.

Friday Night

Kaga Yuzen Toro-Nagashi Lantern Festival - 19:00 to 21:00

 

Saturday

Hyakumangoku Gyoretsu Costume Parade - 14:00 to 18:00 – Free Admission

Hyakumangoku Chakai Tea Ceremony - 8:30 to 16:00, 1500 yen per person

Kaga Hyakumangoku Bon Shogatsu Events at Kanazawa Castle - 10:00 to 18:00 – Free Admission

Hyakumangoku Odori Nagashi Summer Kimono Parade - 18:30 to 20:00 – Free Admission

Hyakumangoku Takigi-Noh Performance - 19:00 to 20:00 – Free Admission

 

Sunday

Hyakumangoku Chakai Tea Ceremony - 8:30 to 16:00, 1500 yen per person

 

Special Thanks to:

Guest Author: Gary Luscombe

Photo Credits: Loki Liu / Andrea Hale

      

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