A lively procession of historical figures, dancers, and musicians through Hakone’s streets
Every year on November 3rd, the streets of Yumoto in Hakone come alive with the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade. This vibrant procession attracts locals and tourists alike, as they gather to witness the spectacle of about 400 people dressed as samurai, princesses, and other historical figures marching through the famous hot spring town.
The Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade is a celebration of the rich history and cultural heritage of japan. It is a reenactment of the procession that used to take place during the Edo period, when feudal lords were required to travel to Edo (now Tokyo) every other year as part of the sankin kotai system, which aimed to prevent rebellion by keeping the lords under the control of the shogunate.
The parade starts at 10 a.m., with armored samurai leading the way. These samurai, dressed in traditional armor and wielding various weapons, create an awe-inspiring sight as they march through the streets. The sound of their footsteps and the clanking of their armor reverberate through the air, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation among the spectators.
As the procession moves forward, it is accompanied by marching bands and traditional dance troupes. The bands play lively tunes, filling the air with music, while the dancers perform intricate choreography that mesmerizes the crowd. These performances add to the festive atmosphere of the parade and showcase the rich artistic traditions of Japan.
The procession covers a distance of six kilometers, taking participants and spectators alike on a journey through the history and culture of Hakone. The route passes by historic landmarks and scenic spots, offering a unique opportunity to explore the town’s charm while being immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the parade.
One of the highlights of the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade is the presence of the lord’s palanquin. The lord, portrayed by one of the participants, is carried on a beautifully decorated palanquin, accompanied by his loyal retainers. The sight of the palanquin, adorned with ornate designs and carried by strong men, is truly awe-inspiring and gives a glimpse into the grandeur and opulence of the past.
The parade finally reaches its destination, the Yumoto Fujiya Hotel, a little after 2 p.m. Here, the participants and spectators gather to celebrate the successful completion of the procession. There are various activities and performances held at the hotel, providing a perfect opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of Hakone.
To witness the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade, visitors can easily access Hakone from Tokyo. The starting point of the parade, Sounji Temple, is just a short distance from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Travelers can take the JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station, and then transfer to the Hakone Tozan Railway to reach Hakone-Yumoto Station.
Hakone is not only famous for its historical parade but also for its natural beauty and hot springs. Visitors can take the opportunity to explore the town and enjoy the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it. From the iconic Lake Ashi to the majestic Mount Fuji, Hakone offers a myriad of attractions that captivate the hearts of travelers.
In addition to the parade, visitors can also indulge in the local cuisine and experience the traditional Japanese hospitality. Hakone is known for its delicious food, especially the region’s specialty, black eggs. These eggs are boiled in the sulfur-rich waters of Owakudani, giving them a unique black color and a distinct flavor.
Overall, the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade is a must-see event for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. It is a vibrant and colorful celebration that brings the past to life and showcases the rich traditions of Hakone. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply someone looking for a unique experience, the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu parade promises to leave a lasting impression. So mark your calendars for November 3rd and join the procession through the streets of Hakone.
Address And Maps Location:
399 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken