Festivals fill the town with people
It is the moment when people feel the buzz of excitement in the quiet town and everything is covered by beautiful decoration... Festivals show us another aspect of Hanamaki. We can look in fascination at the gorgeous floats, get overwhelmed by passion and eat with great gusto... We hope you enjoy our festivals!
(second Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September)
The Hanamaki Festival has more than four centuries of history. See the passion of Hanamaki’s people in their gorgeous floats, parades of sometimes more than 150 mikoshi (portable shrine), traditional local performing arts like Kagura and the Deer Dance, and lively music.
Three major fireworks events in Hanamaki
Hanamaki has one of the top fireworks factories in Japan. Its fireworks fill the sky with passion for Ihatov.
Last Saturday of July : Lake Tase Water Festival and Fireworks
middle of August : Pageant of Light and Sound
August 13th : Ishidoriya Dream Festival
Enjoy a fashion show, a parade, local performance and a rose seedling fair at the Hanamaki Onsen Rose & Herb Garden where you can see about 6,000 bushes, comprised of 450 kinds of roses. A floral clock designed by Kenji Miyazawa is attractive.
Hanamaki Onsen TEL.0198［37］2111
The two major national tournaments in Hanamaki
Bishamon Festival • All Japan Crying Baby Sumo Tournament (beginning of May)
This is the national tournament version of the local shrine ritual held by Narushima Mikumano Shrine. Two foremen each hold a 6 – 18 month-old baby, yell “Yo, Yo”, and turn their upper body so that the babies face each other. The baby who cries first is the loser. Babies from all over Japan cry loudly and the sound echoes over the Bishamon Statue site.
All Japan Wanko Soba Contest (February 11th)
The contestants compete to see how many bowls of bite-sized buckwheat noodles they can inhale in three to five minutes. We are waiting for your participation!
The three major Somin Festivals in Hanamaki
Koshio Shrine Somin Festival (January 2nd)
In this festival, originated in 1865, half-naked men who wish for the good health and welfare of their household carry torches and march to the shrine. At the climax of the festival, they scramble for the somin bag in front of the shrine.
Koshio Somin Festival Committee TEL.0198［31］2768
Godaison Somin Festival (January 7th in lunar calendar)
Half-naked men compete to get a hemp sack containing 365 wooden charms for good health (somin bag). It is believed that whoever gets it will find happiness. This festival has been held for more than 800 years.
Koshoji Temple TEL.0198［47］2230
Hayachine Shrine Somin Festival (March 17th)
In a ritual to pray for good health and bumper crops, local men scramble for a somin bag. The men wrestle for the bag as the group moves towards the shrine gate. Whoever is holding the mouth of the bag at the gate will receive its charms of happiness.
Other festivals in Hanamaki
Ishidoriya Festival (September 8th, 9th and 10th)
Enjoy the dancing, local performing arts, mikoshi (portable shrine) and “Nambu” floats on the main street of Ishidoriya.
Ishidoriya Association of Commerce and Industry TEL.0198［45］4488
Osawa Hot Springs Konsei Festival (April 29th)
The phallic deity Konsei, said to aid in matchmaking, fertility, and safe birth, is paraded from his mountain shrine to Osawa Hot Springs. There, in a humorous scene, some women wash the dust away in the famous riverside outdoor bath.
Osawa Hot Spring TEL.0198［25］2021
Tsuchizawa Tanabata Festival (August 6th, 7th and 8th)
In this Tanabata festival, started in the Taisho period, colorful streamers adorn the main street. A local food event is also held.
Ohasama Hina Doll Festival (end of February – beginning of March)
The number of highly treasured Hina dolls from the Edo era still kept by Ohasama people hints at the town’s prosperity as an important stopover between Morioka and Tono in the old days. They are displayed in shops and houses, attracting many tourists.
Tsuchizawa Festival (Third weekend of September)
This annual festival of the Kabura Hachiman Shrine consists of a beautiful float parade, kagura dance, deer dance and sumo tournament by elementary school students.
Andon Festival (August 14thand 16th)
This festival originated as a memorial service for the people who had died in severe famines about 200 years ago. Floats of gigantic lanterns, illustrated with warriors and Buddhas, are paraded on the main street.