Autumn

Itsukushima Shrine Reitaisai 2019 – Experience a Local Festival in Yamagu

Hikkey

Writer

Itsukushima Shrine locates in Shimonoseki city of Yamaguchi prefecture. This shrine holds the festival named “Reitaisai” (Reitai Festival) once a year on the third weekend of October. This festival is not an ordinary festival you see in other cities. It is more like a secret and private local community event. If you are interested in Japanese religion and the local community, Reitaisai at Itsukushima shrine is the one event for you to go. Let’s take a look at this festival and things you can do in Shimonoseki City.

About Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima shrine has a long history. It relates to the Taira clan who came in power at the end of the Heian Period. Taira family was defeated and eliminated at the battle of Dannoura, the historical war by Minamoto clan. The last emperor was from the Taira clan was Antoku emperor. He was only seven years old when the battle of Dannoura occurred. And he had to finish his life not knowing who he was. He is an emperor with a tragic destiny who was tossed around the era. This shrine worships separated spirits from Aki Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima prefecture and quells Taira family who lost their lives in the ocean during the battle.

About Reitai Festival

Itsukushima Shrine Reitai Festival is a relatively small festival which rooted as a tradition in the community. It takes place in Kamishinchi town in the Shimonoseki area of Yamaguchi prefecture. The concept of this festival is to show the appreciation to the harvest and to wish the same for the next year. People from this small town gather in traditional Japanese festival costumes called “Happi” and parade through the town with an original float with a rhythm of Japanese drums.

This festival is not something extraordinary but reflects the culture of the little community and its traditions in a private way. This festival is for someone who is interested in exploring the ordinary life of Japanese people.

Festival Breakdown

This festival is a two-day festival. It takes place on the third weekend of October every year, from Saturday to Sunday. The specific date of the festival is not announced yet at this moment, but you can check it on the homepage of the shrine if you are interested. You will see local people carrying small floats with a Shinto priest quietly. And local people there come to visit the shrine to show their appreciation to God and wish for the best in the next harvest year. Although Reitaisai is a festival, it is not commercialized or has entertainments like at a usual festival. It is a very spiritual and holy event.

Things to Do in Shimonoseki City

Shimonoseki city offers a lot of tourist spots to visit. One thing that will amaze you is its natural landscape! Shimonoseki city is around the ocean. You can go to Kanmon Park for example. You will see some exhibitions or a performance related to the battle of Dannoura in the park. Otherwise, you can just walk around the park and enjoy the sea breeze.

If you love the local food, why don’t you go to Karato Fishmarket? Shimonoseki city is famous for fishing, and you can try fresh seafood at Karato market. You may find some unique sea creatures which you can only see in Japan.

Details and Access

Dates: Third weekend of October every year. October 19th, 20th, 2019 (estimated)

Venue: Itsukushima Shrine

Address: 1 Chome-1-11 Kamishinchicho, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Official Website (Japanese Only): http://itukushima.or.jp/index.html

Access:

By bus

About 5 minutes bus ride from Shimonoseki Station. Get off at Itsukushima Shrine Mae Stop

Closing Remarks

The “Reitaisai” (Reitai Festival) at Itsukushima Shrine is a secret and private local event. This festival differs from what you usually see at other festivals in Japan. You can see real Japanese culture and customs during this festival.

You can find out more about this festival and the city by getting to know locals prior to your trip. Click on the Huber. banner and connect with locals before your trip and make your journey more rewarding!

All images are courtesy of Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Explore Yamaguchi Prefecture With its Rich History and Exciting Festivals!

Yamaguchi prefecture is one of the most beautiful prefectures to visit in Japan. This prefecture is blessed with the ocean and mountains. Also, there are many historical spots to explore in here, as it had been the center of the turning point in Japanese history due to its location. This territory features exciting local festivals and unforgettable scenes of provincial Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/best-festivals-places-see-yamaguchi-prefecture

Choose the Most Spectacular Nebuta Matsuri in Japan!

Image courtesy of  Yuya Saito

Nebuta (or Neputa depending on the area) is a huge traditional Japanese paper lantern that can be of various shapes. This is an essential attribute of numerous Nebuta Festivals in Japan and especially in the Tohoku region. It is hard to imagine a Japanese festivity without these colorful lanterns resembling demons from Japanese mythology, brave Samurai, or beautiful Japanese ladies. In addition, the energetic atmosphere during Nebuta festivals will never make you feel bored! The following article picked up 11 most spectacular and unique Nebuta Matsuri in Japan! Please have a look!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/best-11-nebuta-float-festivals-spectacular-matsuri-japan

 

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!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

Hikkey

Yogi and Snowboarder. Love to explore nature and to meet new people. Currently, residing in the Kansai area in Japan.

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