Doshi Shrine Festival – an Amazing Horseback Archery Show in Gunma



Would you like you to see a real Yabusame (Japanese horse archery) and Hanauma (decorated horses) at the same festival? Then Doshi Shrine Festival is the one for you. This traditional matsuri that takes place in Doshi Shrine will impress you with its elegantly dressed archers, colorful horses, and energetic lion dancers. This article will provide you with the essential information on Doshi Shrine autumn festival and suggest you the best ways to enjoy it.

What is Doshi Shrine Festival?

At this festival, people pray for the plentiful harvest and successful sericulture in Doshi shrine. The celebration starts with Shishimai dance. It is the Japanese traditional lion dance. People wear traditional lion costumes and perform special moves resembling lion`s ones.

Moreover, some members of horseback riding preservation society dedicate horseback archery performance to the god whose name is Nominosukune. He was a brave warrior and a  famous sumo wrestler in the 14 century. Many consider him as a forefather of Japanese Sumo. The horseback archery performance takes place on a 180 meters long track near the Shrine. The archers wear a special attire which looks elegant expensive. The participants must hit the ceramic targets with the arrows while moving very fast on the back of the horses. This beautiful tradition lasted for centuries until 1960. However, in 2002 they recalled this performance, and now you can enjoy it every year during Doshi Shrine Festival.

Other Things to Do and See around Fujioka


Doshinotsuji is a sumo ring in honor of Nominosukune. You can find it in the Doshi Shrine. It is 1.6 meters high, the foundation base diameter is 13 meters, and the upper circular arc is 4.95 meters. In the Edo period, some famous sumo wrestlers showed their sumo skills at this sumo ring. Currently, this ring is a city historical site.

Historical Site of Takayama-sha

This site was nominated as the world cultural heritage in 2014. Besides, in Japan, this is the 14th world cultural heritage. This place is the part of the world heritage of Tomioka Silk Mill. Also, it was the house of Chogoro Takayama who invented the skill of sericulture called Seioniku. The word Sei comes from a cold place, On comes from a warm place, and Iku means to raise. He taught sericulture to researchers and employees here.

Tours are available at the site. So, please check the details below.

Image courtesy of  Qurren

Details and Access

Place: Doshi Shrine

Date: Usually the festival is in the middle of October every year. In 2017, you could see it on October 22.

Tel: 0274-23-3124

Admission Fee: free

Address: Hongo 164, Fujioka city, Gunma Prefecture

Access: It takes about 30 minutes from Gunmafujioka station by walk.

It takes about 15 minutes from Fujioka IC to the shrine by car.


Place: The Historical Site of Takayamasha Tour

Address: Takayama 237, Fujioka city, Gunma Prefecture

Business hours: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Close: December 28 to January 4

Admission Fee: free

Length of a tour: About 40 – 60 minutes.

Group tour: If you want to go with a group, you need to send an application by fax or mail in advance.

Fax: 0274-23-7703


Official Website:


Closing Remarks

Not only you can feel the history in Fujioka city, but also nature. You can see cherry blossom and autumn leaves in Sakurayama Park. In Fuji no Saku hill, you can see wisteria from the late April to the beginning of May. In Yashio spring, you can enjoy hydrangea from the last days of June to the middle of July. Whichever season you come, you can always enjoy beautiful nature.

If you would like local guides to show you around Fujioka or accompany you at the festival, please click on the banner below!

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Kamakura is a tranquil suburban paradise close to the sea and not far from Tokyo. As I wanted to see something traditional, I thought that the atmosphere of this place would be perfect to spend my weekend and learn something new about Japanese culture. At that moment the guides from Huber. helped me to choose a proper event and accompanied me during this exceptionally impressive Matsuri. Besides, we are still very good friends with them!

Please take a look at the article about my experience in Yabusame Matsuri in Kamakura and how I met local friends!

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!



"I'm Yuka from Sapporo, Hokkaido. I studied English in Canada, and I like communicating with people. I hope you'll love Japan!"

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