The Morioka Autumn Festival is a cultural, aural, and visual delight that has been celebrated for over 300 years. This action-packed festival showcases massive floats and mounted archers, making it a must-see event for locals and tourists alike. Held every September, the festival spans three days and is free to attend.
One of the main highlights of the Morioka Autumn Festival is the gorgeous and fantastically detailed floats. These floats are the result of months of hard work and dedication by local artisans. Each float is intricately decorated with vibrant colors and images, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region. Visitors have the opportunity to get up close and admire the craftsmanship before the parade begins.
The festival also features horseback archery, known as yabusame, at the Morioka Hachimangu Shrine. This traditional form of archery requires great skill and precision, as archers aim to hit targets while riding on horseback. It is believed that the accuracy of the archers will bring about a good harvest, peace, and safety for the community. Witnessing this ancient practice is truly a sight to behold and offers a unique glimpse into japan‘s rich history.
To get to the festival, visitors can access Iwate Park by bus or taxi from Morioka Station. Alternatively, they can take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Morioka Station and then the Morioka Central Loop Bus to the shrine. It is also possible to reach the shrine by foot, which takes approximately 20 minutes. The convenient transportation options ensure that attendees can easily reach the festival grounds.
Joining in the festivities is highly encouraged, as it allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the Morioka Autumn Festival. The floats are accompanied by musicians playing taiko drums and flutes, creating a rhythmic and energetic ambiance. Bystanders at the parade chant together as the floats pass by, adding to the excitement and sense of community spirit. The chants are often so loud that they can be heard from miles away, further emphasizing the grandeur of the event.
It is worth noting that each float is non-motorized and requires the strength and coordination of approximately 200 people to be pulled along the streets of Morioka. This impressive display of teamwork and dedication is a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving their traditions and celebrating their cultural heritage.
The Morioka Autumn Festival is not just about shooting for accuracy, but also about fostering a sense of unity and pride among the participants and spectators. The festival brings people from all walks of life together, creating a shared experience that transcends age, gender, and social status. It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate their collective history and traditions.
Attending the Morioka Autumn Festival provides a unique opportunity to witness the cultural richness of Morioka and the surrounding region. The festival showcases the beauty and diversity of Japanese traditions, offering a glimpse into the past while embracing the future. It is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the local community, who have continued to celebrate this festival for centuries.
In conclusion, the Morioka Autumn Festival is a must-see event for anyone interested in experiencing the vibrant cultural heritage of Japan. With its massive floats, mounted archers, and lively atmosphere, the festival is a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of traditional arts, or simply someone looking for a memorable experience, the Morioka Autumn Festival is sure to leave a lasting impression. So mark your calendars and join in the festivities of this remarkable celebration.
Address And Maps Location:
13-1 Hachiman-cho, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken