Huge kites soar into battle during the day while parades dominate the night. The Hamamatsu Festival is a popular event in japan that showcases the art of kite flying and traditional parades. With up to 174 kites battling in the skies, this festival is a sight to behold. Held in late spring during the holiday period known as Golden Week, the Hamamatsu Festival attracts millions of visitors each year.
The origins of the Hamamatsu Festival date back to the 16th century when the birth of an heir to the domain was celebrated with a kite display. This tradition has evolved over the years, and now the festival is a grand spectacle featuring not only kite battles but also parades, music, dancing, and drum and bell performances.
During the day, the sky above Hamamatsu is filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes. These kites are not just ordinary kites; they are decorated with the characters of the names of kids from each town, along with marks or designs representing each town. This adds a personal touch to the kites and creates a sense of pride among the participants.
The highlight of the festival is the kite battle. Up to 174 large kites take to the skies, and the aim is to cut your opponent’s string using friction alone. This battle requires skill and precision, and only experts are allowed to participate. It is a thrilling sight to see the kites soaring high and engaging in a fierce competition.
In the evening, the streets of Hamamatsu come alive with a parade of about 83 festival floats. These floats, also known as “palaces,” are elaborately carved and decorated, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistry of the locals. Traditional music accompanies the floats as they make their way through the city, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere.
One of the unique aspects of the Hamamatsu Festival is the participation of the non-Japanese community. Hamamatsu has a substantial non-Japanese population, and they actively take part in the festival, adding a multicultural flavor to the celebrations. This inclusivity is one of the reasons why the festival attracts such a diverse range of visitors.
The festival also offers opportunities for visitors to explore the surrounding areas. One recommended activity is to visit the Nakatajima Dunes, located near the venue. These dunes offer a unique landscape and are a popular spot for outdoor activities such as sandboarding and picnicking. Exploring the dunes is a great way to unwind after a day of festival festivities.
To get to the Hamamatsu Festival, visitors can take the Tokaido Main Line or Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsu Station. The bullet train takes about 100 minutes, while regular trains will take over four hours. From Hamamatsu Station, a shuttle bus is available to transport visitors to the kite-battle venue. This convenient transportation option ensures that visitors can easily access the festival location.
The Hamamatsu Festival attracts approximately 1.5 million people each year. This large number of visitors is a testament to the popularity and significance of the festival. People from all over Japan and even from other countries come to witness this unique cultural event.
In addition to the kite battles and parades, the festival also offers various food stalls and vendors selling local crafts and souvenirs. This provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the local cuisine and purchase unique items to commemorate their visit to the festival.
It is important to note that the information provided here may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is always advisable to check the official website for the latest updates and guidelines before planning a visit to the festival.
In conclusion, the Hamamatsu Festival is a grand celebration of kite flying and traditional parades. With its vibrant atmosphere, thrilling kite battles, and elaborate floats, this festival offers a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and tradition. Whether you are a kite enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable cultural experience, the Hamamatsu Festival is definitely worth a visit. So, mark your calendars and get ready to witness the spectacle of soaring kites and lively parades at this remarkable event.
Address And Maps Location:
2832 Shirowa-cho, Minami-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka-ken