Mando Matsuri is an over 230 year-old festival held at the Akiba Shrine in Kariya City, Aichi prefecture. It is a festival to ward off fire accidents and to keep city safety, but it is also said to be one to call for rain. Mando— paper lantern dolls in the shape of warriors—can reach 5 meters in hight and can weigh up to 60 kilograms. Young men carry them around and dance to the performers on flutes, drums and hand clappers called naruko. It is a two day event, the first day, known as "shingaku", is for the parades and the second day, known as "hongaku", is for the offering dance held at Akiba Shrine.
The sight of dancers and huge colorful Mandos floating in the summer sky just after the sun goes down is sure to capture the hearts of onlookers.
These large Mando, depicting kabuki scenes and war scenes are made anew every year.
The ones making them are normal city folk, not special craftsmen. They spend months on end pouring their heart and soul into each and every powerful creation. Whether from near or far, you can feel the power and elaborate details.
After the "issei-mai" parade on the first day, enjoy the "fureai" time, where you get the chance to carry them yourself. You wont be able to touch the Mando during any other time, so make sure to watch the "issei-mai" and head on over to check out the locals' masterpieces in person!
Please do not touch the Mando during any other time but the "fureai" time
Meitetsu Mikawa Line, Kariya Station
Address: 2-101 Ginza, Kariya City
Center Kariya City, around the Akiba Shrine
About 15min walk from JR Kariya Station on the Meitetsu Line