The Obisha Festival: a Great Chance to See Rare Traditional Event!




In some places of Japan, it is common to foretell the luck of harvesting in the beginning of the year using traditional bow and arrows. This event is known as the Obisha event, and has been conducted for hundreds of years in some areas. Today I am going to introduce one of these traditional events through Obisha Festival in Hiregasaki, Chiba!

Event Breakdown:

The Obisha festival in Nagareyama(流山市)city Hiregasaki(鰭ヶ崎), Chiba prefecture has been conducted since 1716, which is over 300 years ago. It is designated as the cultural asset of the city, and is held every year on the 20th of January at the Ikazuchi Shrine called in Japanese (雷神社).

Each year the city has 7 people on duty to direct the festival, referring to the 7 gods of good fortune known in Japan.
Each god represents a type of fortune such as health, intelligence and wealth, and the people celebrate and wish for good fortune by using bow and arrows.

The event starts off by passing the duties down to the next 7 people in the shrine. Then comes the main event: the 7 gods use bow and arrows to shoot a target that is made into a Japanese devil called the “Oni (鬼)”, and wish for good luck throughout the year. Afterwards, the participants of the event march through the city, and finally the event is ended as everybody gets together to eat traditional Japanese food with some traditional entertainment.

Things to do and see:

The event itself is a traditional event that has been held for more than 300 years, so you can experience Japanese tradition just by participating. During the event you are able to see Japanese bow and arrows with Japanese traditional clothing, so it might be nice to take a snap of the scene.

Details and Access:

The event is held on the 20th of January, at the Ikazuchi Shrine in Nagareyama.
The nearest station is Hiregasaki station (鰭ヶ崎駅), Nagareyama Line (流山線) which is about 5 minutes by foot from the shrine.
You can also use the Minami-Nagareyama station (南流山駅), Tsukuba Express (つくばエクスプレス), and the shrine itself is about 15 minutes by foot.
The event begins at 3pm, and ends at 7pm.

Closing Remarks:

The Hiregasaki Obisha festival is an event which cannot be seen in many places nowadays, and has a long history. It is a really nice event to experience Japanese culture and the atmosphere of us praying for good luck in the new year.
The event is a definite recommendation if you really want to experience Japanese traditional culture! If you are interested in having more information about this event, check below!

If you are interested in more festivals in Japan please check this below.

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Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


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!


Ryusei Yuasa

Hi I’m Ryusei. I’m a university student, and love to play sports, listening to music, and communicating with people.

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