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An extraordinary festival boasting giant wooden floats
The Seihakusai Dekayama Festival is a three-day event held in Nanao on Ishikawa’s Noto Peninsula. This festival is known for displaying the biggest wooden floats in Japan, which are a sight to behold. These beautiful floats, weighing a whopping 20 tons and standing at a height of 12 meters, are maneuvered through the narrow streets of the picturesque fishing village along Nanao bay. The festival takes place during the Japanese holiday Golden Week, from May 3 to 5, adding to the festive atmosphere.
One of the highlights of the Seihakusai Dekayama Festival is the gathering of the three floats at Nanao Fisherman’s Wharf. These floats, known as Dekayama, are pulled by teams of young men called “wakashu” using large thick ropes. Each float represents a different district of Nanao, and they are flamboyantly decorated. The upper part of the floats showcases scenes from famous Kabuki theater plays, adding a touch of cultural significance to the festival. Visitors have the opportunity to lend a hand and pull the floats, becoming a part of this grand celebration.
One of the most spectacular events of the Seihakusai Dekayama Festival is the tsuji-mawashi, which refers to the nimble movement of turning the floats 90 degrees in the middle of the streets. This display of skill and coordination by the townspeople is truly remarkable to witness. It is a testament to their dedication and love for their traditions. Along with the floats, there are also plenty of food stalls selling tasty street food, adding to the festive ambiance.
Nanao, the host city of the Seihakusai Dekayama Festival, offers many other attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. One such attraction is Shirai, Nanao’s famous kelp shop. Here, you can see varieties of kelp harvested from the nearby waters, gaining insight into the local culinary culture. Another recommended activity is taking the Noto Satoyama Satoumi-go, a scenic train journey from Nanao to Anamizu. This train ride offers breathtaking views of the coastline, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
If you happen to visit Nanao in August, you can witness another exciting festival, the Issaki Hoto Festival. This festival showcases traditional performances and cultural displays, providing a deeper understanding of the local traditions and customs. Nanao is a city rich in history and culture, and exploring its various attractions will surely leave you with a memorable experience.
Getting to Nanao is convenient, thanks to the availability of express JR trains that connect Kanazawa and Nanao in just 60 minutes. If you prefer air travel, there are also flights from Tokyo to Noto’s small airport. From the airport, you can either rent a car or use the taxi service, which must be reserved in advance.
In conclusion, the Seihakusai Dekayama Festival in Nanao offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. The giant wooden floats, the lively atmosphere, and the cultural significance make it a must-see event. Whether you choose to witness the grandeur of the floats being maneuvered through the streets or participate in pulling the floats yourself, you will be captivated by the spirit of the festival. Additionally, exploring the attractions of Nanao will provide a deeper understanding of the local traditions and customs. Plan your visit to Nanao during the Seihakusai Dekayama Festival and immerse yourself in the beauty and vibrancy of this extraordinary celebration.
Address And Maps Location:
1-13 Sanno-machi, Nanao-shi, Ishikawa-ken