Sun, Jan
17

Miyoshi Bonden Matsuri

Free

Held at Mt. Taihei Miyoshi Shrine every year, the Miyoshi Bonden festival is a sometimes-violent race to place offerings to pray for a bountiful harvest. Bonden are scared wands which are markers for Gods entering the world and are now heavily decorated bamboo baskets sometimes reaching up to 4m in length. This kind of festival is held in different locations across the prefecture, but the mount Taihei one is particularly large and exciting.

The atmosphere is competitive and men race to be the first to make offerings, often resulting in behaviour lending the festival its nickname of Bonden fighting. It’s not only the competitors who jostle for good luck and power though (as the deity of Miyoshi shrine is the God of power) but onlookers also push to touch the charms attached to the bonden and filled with power. It is best to arrive early, as the festival peaks at around midday. You can catch a bus from the East exit of the station to a bus stop near by the shrine.

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