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Narita Gion Festival 2019 – See Lavish Floats and Mikoshi Parade in Chiba!

Rina

Writer

Narita Gion Festival is an old traditional matsuri in Narita city, Chiba Prefecture which is close to Narita International Airport. This 3-days festival is one of the leading annual events of Narita city and attracts over 450000 people every year. Because of its popularity and location, it attracts a lot of foreigners as well. You will not recognize the city during the festival. You can hear festive chants and shouts and admire this traditional town in new festival colors. From this article, you will learn more about this traditional and energetic festival and find out what’s the best way to enjoy it!

About Narita Gion Matsuri

Narita Gion Festival is a big event at the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. Local people celebrate this matsuri for over 300 years, and it becomes even more popular year by year. The main features of this festivals are So-odori and So-hiki. People from Japan and abroad come to Narita city to enjoy watching So-odori – an energetic and bold dance and traditional music performance on the top of slowly moving festival floats. So-hiki is a parade of 10 lavishly decorated festival floats which come from each city district, and an exceptionally beautiful palanquin for god from Shinshoji Temple – Mikoshi as a center of the parade. The procession is parading around Narita-san Omotesandou and neighboring streets for three days. Stay in the city until it gets dark, as the floats get lit-up, which creates an entirely different atmosphere!

You can also see children wearing traditional Japanese costumes walking around the streets and dancing, which makes it look like another performance.

After the signals from young people and vice president, the parade starts on each of the three days of the festival. Each town’s float and food stalls gather, and young people start dancing with the sound of traditional music accompaniment cheerfully. Festival floats and food stalls get in front of the main building and dedicate a dance to the god of the shrine. Later, the procession hit the town and Omotesando.

This parade and performances are powerful and inspiring indeed. It is a great chance to see Japanese traditional wear and festival attributes closer. However, the streets in Narita city are narrow an the floats are quite massive, so be careful and watch the procession from a safe distance.

What is Tekomai?

On the last day of the parade, all floats gather in front of the Shinshoji Temple. Elementary school students in gorgeous costumes who lead the floats and ring their bells are Temokai at this festival, and you should not miss it if you have a chance. However, in the old times,  geishas or women before getting married did Tekomai.

The costumes of Tekomai are of various colors and design for each town the same as short coats and folding fans of young people who are pulling the floats. It would be nice to compare the outfits of people from different districts.

Take Part in a Photo Contest

You can see many people enjoying this festival. So, you can see many people’s facial expressions like children who enjoy dancing and serious faces of men carrying the portable shrine. If you have a nice camera, you should take a picture of them! And apply for this photo competition! The Grand Prix is 50,000 Yen. URL: http://www.nrtk.jp/translate/index.php?lang=en&path=/gallery/contest/index.html

Details and Access

Dates: Usually the festival lasts for three days at the beginning of July including Friday and one weekend. In 2019 it is o From Friday, July 5th to 7th Sunday.

Schedule:

July 5
1:30 p.m.: Gathering of floats and mikoshi in front of the temple for ritual prayer.
2 p.m.: After So-odori performance, the parade of floats and mikoshi starts from Narita station.

July 6
9 a.m.: After So-odori performance, the parade of floats and mikoshi starts from Narita station.

July 7
1 p.m.: So-hiki parade with Tekomai at the base of the temple.
4:30 p.m.: After So-odori performance, the parade of floats and mikoshi starts from Narita station.

Place:  Naritasan Shinsho-Ji Temple and others

Address: 1 Narita, Chiba Prefecture

Homepage: http://www.nrtk.jp/

Access: From JR Narita Station or Keisei Narita Station it takes only 10 minutes to walk to Naritasan Shinsho-Ji temple. However, you can see the festival floats right outside the station.

 

What is Chiba Like?

Chiba is one of the prefectures of Kanto region. Chiba faces the Pacific Ocean. You may get obsessed with the charm of Chiba’s nature, delicious taste of local products and many attractive tourists spot in the prefecture! Chiba is also a great agricultural producer, so you can enjoy fruits picking as well! Of course, there are many hot springs, and I highly recommend you to visit one of them. IAlso, please visit Kamogawa area. You can stay at the Kamogawa hotel with a breathtaking view of the ocean.

Visit Tokyo Disneyland!

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea are amusement parks that came from Disney resort in America. You can feel as if you became a dweller in the wonderland. There are some roller coasters so that you can have a nice ride! However, it might be crowded in the park, but they have a special system, that allows you to get a ticket for the attraction and come to a certain time. Thus, you do not have to wait in the line.

The Local Product of Chiba

Seven out of ten domestic peanuts are grown in Chiba. Those peanuts are being naturally dried in cultivation for a long time. So, peanuts produced in Chiba touch consumer’s heart and mouth. Because this product has excellent taste.
If you are interested in peanuts produced in Chiba, you should try the peanut butter and peanut ice-cream while you are there. There are plenty of foods using peanuts. When you visit Chiba, check it out!

The Real Kyoto Gion Festival

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Of course, Narita Gion Festival is a great event to watch and participate, and you should do it when you have a chance! Though the original festival with much bigger floats takes place every year in Kyoto in July. I am sure you will enjoy one of the most popular Gion festivals in Japan! For more information about Kyoto`s Gion Matsuri click on the link below!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/982/

Discover Chiba Prefecture!

Chiba Prefecture is a great place to visit and can boast plenty of tourist attractions. Besides, it is very close to Tokyo, and you can easily visit it within a day. However, would you like to see rural Japan? Chiba Prefecture gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of hot springs and admire authentic traditional Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Chiba Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/best-festivals-things-chiba-prefecture

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/7726/ 

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 themselves 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/

Rina

Hi, I'm Rina. I love to communicate with foreign guests. I like traveling! Please come to Japan especially Kanto region!

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