May 25
May 27

Soma Nomaoi Wild Horse Chasing Festival

¥800 – ¥12,000

The Soma Nomaoi Wild Horse Chasing Festival is a traditional festival that showcases military skills and horseback riding. It started over 1000 years ago when the leader of the Soma clan released wild horses (noma) and used them for military exercises. 

What happens?

Around 400 “warriors” on horseback reenact various events and rituals that took place during the Sengoku period. It’s not an event that happens often. Expect many festivities, including parades and horse races across the three days of the festival.

Schedule 2024

The most anticipated moment of the festival happens on Sunday, May 26.

May 25 (Sat.)

  • 8:35–12:00: Departure ceremony at Namie, Sōma, Odaka Ward, Kashima Ward, Haramachi Ward
  • 13:00–14:00: Arrival at Hibarigahara Festival Grounds
  • 14:00: Pre-event races at Hibarigahara Festival Grounds
  • 17:30: Troop member meeting at Asahi Park

May 26 (Sun.)

  • 4:00: Dedication ceremony to the three Soma Myoken Portable Shrines
  • 9:30–11:00: Parade from around Ogawa Bridge to Hibarigahara Festival Grounds
  • 12:00–13:00: Armored Horse Race at Hibarigahara Festival Grounds
  • 13:00: Sacred Flag Competition at Hibarigahara Festival Grounds
  • 19:30: Fire Festival around the banks of Maekawa River

May 21 (Mon.)

  • 9:00–12:00: Traditional dance, wild horse capture, and dedication to shrine ceremonies


You need a ticket to enter the Hibarigahara Festival Grounds. There are a few different types to choose from. The cheapest is a general entrance ticket that costs ¥800 if pre-purchased or ¥1,000 on the day.

There are also reserved seat tickets that start from around ¥6,000 and go up to ¥12,000 for bigger groups.

If you are interested in seeing the parade comfortably, purchase a parade seating ticket for ¥4,000.

How to get there

To get to the Hibarigahara Festival Grounds, take the JR Joban Line to Haranomachi Station. From there, you can take the free shuttle bus, which is available during the festival, or walk up to 30 minutes to the venue. 

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

Get the best Japan Cheapo hacks direct to your inbox