Most Popular Hokkaido Spring Events and Festivals 2019
Have you ever seen a Samurai in your life? Or, would you like to see them? In Hakodate, there is a famous festival that will tell you a lot about Japanese history. It is the Goryokaku Festival. You can enjoy seeing people in traditional clothes and it will be a great chance to learn about Japanese history through the parade. In this article, you can get all the information you need, so you don’t miss the amazing parts of the festival and the city. Let’s check it out!
There was a time when Japan had changed completely. It was Meiji restoration that made it change. Japan had been closed for other countries for 200 years in the 17 century and it was not really civilized compared to the Western countries. Some Japanese diplomats visited Western countries and realized that Japan needed a restoration. That what the Meiji restoration was all about.
The northern area, in Hakodate, was one of the most damaged parts of Japan because of the conflict between the people who lead the revolution and who resisted it. This festival started commemorating the moment they had. Since then, it has become very popular among many people. Besides, it will be the 50th anniversary of the festival in 2019.
Many people participate in this march and it is one of the best parts of the festival. Some of the participants play music, and everybody wears the clothes of the restoration period. The parade starts at Nakajimamachi and goes to Chiyoda stage. Next will be Gyoukei-dori, and here you can see the fighting performance and show. It is really exciting to see. The last place they are going to is Goyoukaku special stage. If you do not want to follow the whole parade, I suggest you come to its final point.
There was a Samurai who fought for the new and nicer Japan. His name was Toshizo Hijikata (土方歳三) and you will see a show about him. It actually looks like a cosplay show. The participants compete in their acting skills and showing the best play of Toshizo Hijikata. You can take part in this competition as well. If you win the competition, you will get 100,000 Yen. Are you motivated to try now? Anyways, it is really fun to see and also nice to learn the history of Meiji restoration time.
Dates: May 18th and 19th, 2019
On 18th, from 10 am
On 19th, from 1 pm
Place: Goryokaku Park and others
Address: 44, Goryokakucho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Official website (Japanese only): https://www.hotweb.or.jp/goryokaku-sai/
From JR Hakodate Station, you should take a bus and get off at “Goryoukaku kouen iriguchi (五稜郭公園入口)” stop. It will take about 7 minutes to walk from the stop to the venue.
Those traditional clothes that you will see at the festival are so real, that is something you cannot miss. It will be a precious moment for you to feel the history and feel Japan closer. Grab the camera and see the sons of Samurai with your own eyes!
If you would like to see this breathtaking parade and explore Hakodate wiith a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!
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Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
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