Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri

Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri Festival

Travel through time to feudal japan

The Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is a much-loved winter festival that has been held since the 12th century in Nara, Japan. This festival is a unique opportunity to travel back in time and experience the rich traditions and authentic costumes of feudal Japan. From December 15 to 18, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and history of Japan through various traditional performing arts and exhibitions of period costumes.

The festival takes place at the Kasuga Wakamiya Shrine, which is located just a 5-minute walk from the Kasuga Taisha Honden bus terminal. Visitors can easily reach the shrine by taking the Nara Kotsu bus from Kintetsu Nara Station. The festival was originally created to pray away a disease epidemic and later became associated with guaranteeing a good harvest. As the harvest was of great importance in ancient Japan, the festival lasts for four days. However, if you can only attend one day, it is recommended to aim for December 17, as it is the main day of the event.

One of the highlights of the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is the opportunity to witness various traditional musical performances. Kagura, which is music dedicated to the gods, and bugaku, a court music accompanied by dance, are just a few examples of the mesmerizing performances that will leave visitors with a deep appreciation for traditional Japanese music. In fact, the music of the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. These dances and musical performances are passed down from one generation to another, and many of them can only be seen at this festival.

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For those interested in the fashion and culture of bygone eras, the Jidai Gyoretsu, or Procession of the Eras, is a must-see. In this procession, the customs, manners, and clothing of every major period from the Heian period (794-1185) to the Edo period (1603-1868) are authentically replicated. It is a unique opportunity to witness over 1,000 years of art and culture in one place.

The Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is not only a celebration of Japan’s rich history and culture but also an event that brings the community together. It is a time for locals and visitors alike to come together and enjoy the festivities. The festival offers a glimpse into the traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations, fostering a sense of unity and pride among the people.

In recent years, the festival has gained popularity among international tourists who are seeking a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. The authenticity and attention to detail in the costumes and performances make it a truly immersive experience. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the significance of each era and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship of traditional Japanese culture.

As with many events and festivals around the world, the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The information provided here is subject to change, and it is important to check for updates and adhere to any guidelines or restrictions that may be in place during the festival.

In conclusion, the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is a remarkable winter festival that offers a unique opportunity to travel through time and experience the rich traditions and culture of feudal Japan. From traditional musical performances to authentic period costumes, this festival provides a window into Japan’s vibrant past. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of traditional arts, or simply curious about Japanese culture, this festival is a must-see. So make sure to mark your calendar and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri.

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Address And Maps Location:

160 Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken

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