Autumn

Kofu Ebisuko Festival – a Traditional Citizen Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture

Yuka

Writer

I would like to introduce a great local festival held in Yamanashi Prefecture- Kofu Ebisuko Festival. If you are looking for a festival to enjoy as local, this one would be perfect for you.


Image courtesy of やまなし観光推進機構

History

Long time ago, this festival begun for enshrining the god of Ebisu. It is the god of commerce, and it is one of the seven deities of good luck. People enshrine the god on October 20 in old lunar calendar. In solar calendar, they enshrine it in November.

 

In the beginning of Showa Period, Japanese economy was in recession because of the financial crisis. At that time, the chamber of commerce and industry of Kofu wanted to cheer the industry up. So they came up with an idea that make a sale of their things to appreciate commerce and business.

 

In Showa 7 year, the exhibition of memorial for second Sino-Japanese War was held. Japan was still in war.

 

In Showa 9 year, the parade of geisha started. From this year, this festival was not just the commerce industry festival anymore, but it became the citizen festival.

 

In Showa 21 year, Japan was defeated in war, and people got war damages. The chamber of commerce and industry of Kofu made their minds to hold the first commerce festival for rehabilitation from war with little resources on November 23 and 24. People could not see this festival during the war, so people saw it after a long time. Obviously it made them happy.

 

These days, the farmer who finish harvest come to buy things for New Year’s Day, and people from the city, even suburb come to buy things at Kofu Ebisuko Festival. Many people come to this festival, and the shopping streets get crowded every year. The chamber of commerce and industry of Kofu succeeded in recovering the commerce industry, and making people happy. Not only they sell things on a small festival market, but also there parade and carry portable shrine nowadays.

Image courtesy of やまなし観光推進機構

What to do at Kofu Ebisuko Festival

  • You can go shopping at shopping street.
  • You can enjoy local food of Yamanashi Prefecture. For example, tomato yakisoba, houtou – which is stewed with vegetable and local noodle, flavored with koshu miso, Chinese chive and minced pork covered with steamed bun and so on.
  • There are some events on stage. It depends on the year. For example, in 2017, the marching band of kids played the music. There was a mini concert of a singer who is from Yamanashi.
  • There is an illumination from 5PM to 10PM at the plaza of the south gate of Kofu station.

Image courtesy of やまなし観光推進機構

Details and Access

Place

Shopping Street called Shotengai and Kasuga Mole Palaka parking.

Address

〒400-0032 Chuo 1 chome and 4 chome, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture

Tel: 055-233-2241

Access

It takes 15 minutes by walk from Kofu station to Chuo shopping street. There is no free parking area. If you go there by car, you have to find coin parking nearby.

Fee

free

Day

November 23. It is national holiday in Japan. But you should check it on official website before you go.

Image courtesy of やまなし観光推進機構

Closing Remarks

This festival has a long history. Instead of had times during wars the festival survived. And the people from Kofu never gave up, and did not lose hope. The chamber of commerce and industry of Kofu kept trying to cheer people up.

I hope you will go to this festival, and feel the energy of Kofu.

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Yuka

"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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