Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Festival


In the feudal times of Edo-era Japan, Kanazawa (or Kaga as the feudal domain was called) was famed as the Hyakumangoku domain. Hyakuman means one million in Japanese, and koku (or goku when suffixed) was a measure for bushels of rice. This festival celebrates the rich culture and tradition that developed in Kanazawa as a major urban center of Edo-era Japan.

The festival is the biggest annual traditional festival in Kanazawa and takes place over three days with the scheduled of events (located throughout the city) as follows.

Day 1 (Friday):

9am Water Drawing Ceremony at Kanazawa Shrine and taken to Seisonkaku Villa

10am:Shinto prayers at Oyama Shrine
1pm: Dedication Ceremonies at Oyama Shrine
6pm – 7pm: Kenshibu at Oyama Shrine – Sword potery and a traditional fan dance
6:40pm – 9pm: Children’s Lantern & Taiko Procession – A procession of colorful traditional lanterns and taiko (drums) along the main Route 157 road.

Day 2 (Saturday):

8:30am – 4pm: Hyakumangoku Chakai – A grand tea ceremony at Kenrokuen.
10am – 6pm: Kaga Hyakumangoku Bon Shogatsu – Traditional summer activities connected with the bon festival at Kanazawa Castle Park.
1pm – 7pm Food stalls open at Oyama Shrine and along the parade route
2.20pm – 5.30pm: Hyakumangoku Costume Parade
Celebrating the founder of the Kaga clan, this is a parade in period costumes reenacting a triumphal procession. The parade begins at the east exit of Kanazawa Station and finishes at Kanazawa Park.
3pm – 4.30pm Karate and Taiko drum performances at Oyama Shrine
4pm – 6pm The characters of Toshiie Maeda and his wife Matsu enter the castle in ceremonial dress.
6pm – 8pm: Hyakumangoku Traditional Dance Parade, takes place downtown, along Route 157, between Minami-cho and Katamachi.
6.30pm – 7.30pm Bonfire at Oyama Shrine
7pm – 9pm: Takigi-Noh – A performance of traditional noh theatre illuminated by torchlight in the grounds of Kanazawa Castle Park. Entry is free.A Children’s performance takes place from 6.30pm.

Day 3: (Sunday)

8:30am – 4pm: Hyakumangoku Chakai – A grand tea ceremony at Kenrokuen.
9am – 5.10pmCeremonies at Oyama Shrine – These go on throughout the day including sword drawing at 11am and Hochodo (serving of fish using swords and chopsticks) at 3pm.
10am – 4pm: Kaga Hyakumangoku Bon Shogatsu – Traditional summer activities connected with the bon festival at Kanazawa Castle Park.

Please note these times are as listed but are subject to change.

Not in Kanazawa? Here’s how to get there from Tokyo.

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