The Kurosaki Gion Yamakasa is a festival celebrated during mid-to-late July by parishioners of Okada, Kasuga, and Ichinomiya Shrines. It is said to have began in the year 1605, and is registered as Fukuoka Prefecture's intangible folk cultural asset due to its over 400 years of history.
Yamakasa is a 4.5m tall, 3m wide dashi (parade float) decorated with warrior figures etc. weighing 2.8 tons. It is truly a sight to see, to witness these gorgeous Yamakasa being vigorously pulled with the accompaniment of taiko drums and bells ringing out the Gion-bayashi chants. This Gion-bayashi chanting is said to have been inspired by the fierceness of battle drums during the Sengoku (civil war) era, as this unique chant incorporates the sounds of trumpet shell (there used to be a custom of blowing the trumpet shell to signal the beginning of a battle). The Yamakasas spinning around and around to the fierce chanting is a thrilling sight. It is the reason why the festival is also referred to as the "Kenka (fight) Yamakasa".
The pre-festival begins at 6pm on Friday.
The 8 Yamakasa floats lined up in a row is a must see. The lit-up Yamakasa parade as if it were a light show. The magnificence and vigor of the Yamakasa merge in to one during this night-time show.
Beginners must follow the directions of those in charge
Costumes such as Happi must be those designated by each Yamakasa
Map etc. attached
Access to Kitakyushu City
JR Kurosaki Station
Right outside JR Kurosaki Station
Kurosaki Ekimae Street (Fureai Street), Yahatanishi-ku Kitakyushu City