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Tateyama is located in the southern part of Chiba Boso Peninsula. Blessed with a warm climate, you can enjoy looking at beautiful flowers like poppies and stocks in early spring. The marine sports are popular here, and a lot of swimmers and divers visit this beach from Tokyo area or other places. The most famous annual event in Tateyama is the autumn festival of Tsurutani Hachimangu, Shurine, performed in September and local people call this festival, “Yawatan-machi”with friendly feeling. The origin of this festival was 1,000 years ago, and 100,000 people join this festival every year. Let me introduce the highlights of this “Yawatan-machi”, and its schedule of 2018 year in this time.
“Yawatan-machi” is the most important event in Tsurutani Hachiman-gu, Shrine. “Yawatan” stands for Tsurutani Hachiman-gu, Shrine, “Machi” stands for a festival in the dialect of the Minami Boso district.
“Yawatan-Machi” means a festival praying to Tsuruhani Hachiman’s god for exalting the spirituality of god and good harvest and good catch.
According to a local document or books, this festival began in 1070 year by a provincial governor of this area.
This festival has long history of approximately 1,000 years. Recently, this festival has been held in mid week’s Saturday, and Sunday for two days in September.
Mikoshi and Dashi are indispensable things in Japanese traditional festivals. It is said that one of charactetistics of Yawatan-machi is Mikoshi （神輿）, Dashi（山車） are ornamented beautifully and brilliantly.
Usually Gods in Japan are enshrined in shrine. When going around the town during the festival, people think that gods will ride in carriage called “Mikoshi” or “Omikoshi”. People carry this miniature shrine (Mikoshi) on their shoulders and walk around downtown.
Different from “Mikoshi”, “Dashi” is an ornamented parade floats with wheels. Many people pull “Dashi” by ropes.
In this festival, an Ofune, which is an ornamented ship, comes up, too. Tateyama is a city facing the sea, and ancient people thought that both good things and bad things came from the sea.
On the first day, you can watch the scene where 10(ten) “Mikoshi”, miniture shrines, get into the precincts of the Shrine. It’s so splendid and speedy !
“Mikoshi”, miniature shrines are sustained by two bars structurally, “Mikoshi”s are swung to the right, or to the left, and sometimes can be up and down.
“Mikoshi”, miniature shrines, approach each other, and almost intersect sometimes. The movement is so wonderful. You can enjoy looking at these.
On the second day, around at 18:30, 5(five) ”Dashi”, ornamented parade floats and a “Ofune” ship, gather at Tateyama-Eki, station. You can enjoy listening to Ohayashi, Japanese orchestra, with Japanese traditional
drums and flutes.
After the orchestra music is over, “Dashi”, parade floats, are pulled by people and start running vigorously. Speedy “Dashi” are sometimes become close to hit the audience, and you will feel so excited, and thrilled when you watch this.
Yatai(屋台)are indispensable scnery in any Japanese festivals. A yatai is a small, mobile food stall in Japan, typically selling “Takoyaki” or other food. Some of them are easy game stands.
When the“Yawatan-machi” festival is performed, around 150 stand shops are open every year. Stand shops will make you feel very Japanese.
【Date】 September 16 Saturday, 17 Sunday, 2 days
【Place】 Tsurugaya Hachimangu
68 Yawata, Tateyama-shi, Chiba-ken, 294-0047
It takes 15 minutes on foot to get there from JR Tateyama-Eki, Station.
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Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
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