Oshika Village, “Kabuki by village citizens”

Oshika Village, Nagano Pref. is located between South Alps and Central Alps surrounded by high mountains. In the winter only one road is available to go into this village. In this frontier Kabuki performance by local citizens has been continued more than 300 years. Currently the performances are made twice a year at the shrines in the village. The spring performance is on May 3 and the autumn performance is on the 3rd Sunday of October. As you see in the photo lots of audiences come to enjoy Kabuki performance even from cities far from the village. The performances were even made overseas including Germany and Austria. Oshika Kabuki is even designated as “a national selected intangible folk cultural property.”

Hayakawa town, “Town of nostalgia and faith belief”

Numerous visitors have come to Hayakawa town to make pilgrimage to Minobusan Kuonji and Shivhimensan temple. Minobusan Kuonji is head temple of Nichiren-shu which was founded in 1274 and considered to be scared site of Lotus Sutra. To reach to this temple there are 2 alternative ways to go. Easier way is to go up by ropeway from Minobu town.(next town to Hayakawa). It just takes 7mins from the parking to the top of Mt.Minobusan. The ropeway goes each 20mins up and down to Mt.Minobusan. From the top of Mt.Minobusan you can have nice view of Mt.Fuji and surrounding area. Another way is to walk from Akasawa-shuku. “Shuku” is post town where ancient visitors stay over night at the inn to go for next destination. After climbing to Mt.Minobusan for faith belief they stay over night at Akasawa-shuku and move forward to Shichimensan, another place of believe for them. As you walk in Akasawa-shuku, you can feel ancient living of Japanese. To know more about Akasawa-shuku why don’t you visit Shimizu-ya at first? The hostess of Shimizuya, Miss Yuri Kushida is kind enough to tell you something about this area and Hayakawa town. You can stay at Osaka-ya, guesthouse located […]

Iwaki town, “Climb Mt.Iwaki on pilgrimage”

On August 1 in Japanese old calendar the local people climb Mt.Iwaki on pilgrimage. It has been believed that Mt.Iwaki is god for local people. So, they climb to the top of the mountain wishing good harvest and safe life of the family as local tradition. The festival starts two days before August 1. On the first and second day people visit Iwaki shrine. On the final day, on August 1 people start climbing the mountain in early morning to see the rising sun from the top of the mountain. They really live with Mt.Iwaki.

Otama village, local tradition to wish good harvest

The main industry of Otama village is agriculture, that’s why they have traditional events to wish good harvest. The first one is “Motozoro Taue Dancing”. On the second Sunday of January the people dance to pray good harvest in the year. Another one is Kagura dance held at Kamiharada shrine on the third Sunday of April and October. The Kagura dance is also for wishing good harvest. From these events you can know how important the good harvest is in this village.  

Mishima town, “Sainokami”, traditional festival

In Mishima town there is a traditional festival called “Saiknokami”. People cut the sacred trees from the mountain and decorate them by “Onpei” and “Onpe”, lucky charms made by papers and/or fans. There are 4 types of “Sainokami” in each area of the town. In every evening of January 15 people stand this decorated tree in each area and put the fire. If “Onpe” burn well, they can expect good harvest and good fortune throughout the year.