Shiroi Juku Yaezakura (Double Cherry Blossoms) Matsuri

(白井宿八重ざくら祭り)

Shibukawa City, Gunma Pref.

Afternoon Afternoon See See Kanto Kanto

About the festival

Shiroi Juku is a historic post town ("Juku" represents a village or a town built at key points of network to host travelers since medieval times) where traditionally built storehouses line the old streets. While men wearing Sengoku era warrior attires march under the Yaezakura cherry trees planted along the town's waterways (the festival's main attraction), other events are held, such as Rokusai-ichi where local produce and specialties are sold, and Yayoi no Kukai where improvised Haiku poetry written to praise the springtime of Shiroi Juku are recited.

The surreal scenes of Shiroi Juku—the historic townscape of the storehouses' white plaster walls and water wells, the powerful warriors' march, the Yaezakura cherry blossoms in full bloom—will surely soothe your soul.

082 Reh Shiroi Juku Yaezakura

Things to do

1. The Warriors' Procession under the cherry trees

082 Re1 1 Shiroi Juku Yaezakura

Local residents and enthusiasts dress up in Sengoku era warrior outfits to parade along the Yaezakura cherry trees in full bloom, planted along the waterways of historic Shiroi Juku town. Feel the Japanese aestheticism as you view the Samurai under the cherry trees.

2. Enjoy a cup of Matcha (powdered green tea) while admiring the cherry blossoms

082 Re2 1 Shiroi Juku Yaezakura

Matcha (powdered green tea) is offered at an old family residence known as "Izumiya" while So (a traditional Japanese stringed instrument, similar to the Koto) is recited. Enjoy the Japanese springtime with cherry blossoms, sounds of So and the taste of Matcha.

3. Try the Konnyaku!

082 Re3 1 Shiroi Juku Yaezakura
082 Re3 2 Shiroi Juku Yaezakura
082 Re3 3 Shiroi Juku Yaezakura

90% of domestically produced Konnyaku (a hard jelly made from the starch of devil's tongue) is made in Gunma Prefecture. Why not try some Konnyaku, a food that is recently receiving world wide attention as a health food? They are sold at Michino-eki Komochi, Shibukawa's specialty shop "Shibusan" located in front of Shibukawa Station, and at the Rokusai-ichi.

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates April 23th (Sun) 2017, from 10:30 to 15:00
    Warrior Procession from 10:30 to 12:00 (May be cancelled due to poor weather)
    Rokusai-ichi from 9:00 to 15:00
    Yayoi no Kukai from 9:00 to 15:00
  • Place Shiroi Juku
  • General Participation Unavailable
  • International Reception and Info. An English map from Shibukawa Station to the festival site is available at the tourist information center (open from 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00) located inside Shibukawa Station.
    Available at the tourist information center located inside Shibukawa Station.
  • Wi-Fi Available at the Michino-eki Komochi facing the festival site.
    Also, a Wi-Fi card enabling free use of NTT East-Japan's hotspots for 14 days is handed out at the tourist information center (open from 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00) located inside Shibukawa Station.
  • Restrooms Available
  • HP

    http://www.city.shibukawa.lg.jp/kankou/matsuri/index.html

  • Contact Yaezakura Matsuri Executive Committee
    (office located inside Shibukawa City Office Chamber of Commerce and Tourism)
    0279-22-2873

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

A rise in temperature is expected depending on the weather. Please keep yourselves hydrated, and beware of heat strokes.
The Warrior Procession may be cancelled due to poor weather.

There will be heavy traffic near Michino-eki Komochi due to the festival. Please be careful.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Shibukawa City 

[nearest station]
Shibukawa Station (JR Joetsu Line, Agatsuma Line)

Festival Location
Address: near 2318 Shiroi Shibukawa City, Gunma Pref.

40 min walk from the station, or you may catch the bus. 
There are 8 buses a day.
An English map from Shibukawa Station to the festival site is available at the tourist information center located inside Shibukawa Station.

AREA SIGHT

立春の前日は「節分」といって、二十四節気による旧年から新年への変わり目であることから重視されており、日本全国各地の神社仏閣等で豆まきが行われる。地元では“おせんげんさん”と呼ばれ多くの人から親しまれている静岡浅間神社の節分祭は、静岡市指定の無形民俗文化財であり、古き歴史を有し、さらに特殊神事として今に伝承されている。豆まきを体験できるのはもちろんのこと、おにやら棒で戸板を叩き、市中より悪鬼を追いはらう特殊神事が体験できる。

Emiko Izawa
Writer