【UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage】The Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival has over 290 years of history and tradition, and is listed as one of the nation's important intangible folk cultural assets. Every year, for five days from July 31st to August 4th, 27 gorgeous floats parade the city. It started in 1721, as a way to pray for a good harvest by sending a mikoshi, or portable shrine, from the Ogami Shrine to Chojasan Kokuzodo (present day Chojasanshinran Shrine). Now, it is thriving as a regular festival representing a shrine triad (including Jinmeigu), featuring not only a 27-float parade, but old fashion traditional mikoshi parades, tora mai(tiger dance), and kagura (sacred Shinto music and dance) as well, entertaining the eyes of numerous festival goers. Thanks to the popularity of its gorgeous and splendid floats, it is praised widely as "the number one float festival in Japan".
Twenty-seven floats, ranging up to 10m in height and 8m in width, parade their way through the city streets. Each and every one of the floats is hand made by float production staff, depicting scenes from mythology, legends and kabuki plays. Dolls move up and down and smoke erupts from carefully planned devices, all while viewers line the streets and surround the floats in cheers and applause.
On August 1st, the parade travels a 3km, 2.5h long route from Ogami Shrine to Chojasanshinran Shrine called "Otori". On the 3rd, they change the route and the parade reaches its climax called "Okaeri". We recommend comparing the two: the traditional shrine parade centered around the mikoshi, and the float parade full of dance and cleverly made master pieces that each shrines parishioner as arranged.
You are able to choose your favorite float out of all the featured floats and participate by becoming one of its pullers called "hikiko". Please contact the Hachinohe Tourist Convention Association for further information. ( Participation fee included)
Please follow common manners such as no throwing trash on the ground, forming proper lines while waiting, etc.
Access to Hachinohe City
JR Hachinohe Station, on the Hachinohe Line
Hachinohe City, Center city