Ohashiri Matsuri

(お走り祭り)

Yabu City, Hyogo Pref.

Over 1000 Years Afternoon See Kansai

About the festival

This festival gets its name, Ohashiri ("to run") from the way the omikoshi(portable shrine), is carried; in a way that it looks as if it's galloping. Locals carry it from Yabu Shrine to Itsuki Shrine, yelling the unique call, "Hatto, Yogozaruka!". 

Said to have started roughly 1,800 years ago, the Ohashiri Festival began as a thankyou to the god Hikosashiri-no-mikoto from the deity of Yabu Shrine, on behalf of the 5 shrines of the Tajima region, for parting the young waters of Toyo'oka City and creating a fertile land. The ritual is still performed to this day. This festival is said to also give good fortune for a safe home, warding off bad omens, sickness and disaster. 
Enjoy the so called "strange" festival of Yabu City that has been recognized as an intangible folk-cultural assett of the city.

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Things to do

1. Watch a shrine cross water, in the Kawatogyo!

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Locals carry the heavy 150kg omikoshi roughly 20km from Yabu Shrine to Itsuki Shrine.
On Saturday, from 12:30, the event known as Kawatogyobegins as the omikoshi is carried across the river Ooyagawa. The men must cross the entire river, fighting against the current in waters that come up to an average adults chest. Upon crossing the onlookers cheer in joy. See this highlight for yourself and join in on the applause.

2. The crashing of shrines!

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The climax of this festival, known as Neriawase, is held in the Takinoya area. It is where the omikoshi of Yabu Shrine and that of Itsuki shrine crash into each other, send one another back on their return route. Enjoy the Neriawase, a perfect end to an exciting country festival. 

Picture provided by Yabu City Tourism Association

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates April 15th (Sat) to 16th (Sun)
    Held annually on a mid April weekend
  • Place Between Yabu Shrine and Itsuki Shrine
  • General Participation This is a watch only festival
  • International Reception and Info. Not available
  • Wi-Fi Not available
  • Restrooms Available inside Yabu Shrine
  • Other useful Info. None
  • HP

    http://www.yabu-jinja.jp/ohashiri/

  • Contact Save the Ohashiri Association (insde of Yabu Shrine)
    079-665-0252

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Please be sure not to obstruct the path of the omikoshi when viewing and taking photographs.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Yabu City

[Nearest Station]
JR Yoka Station, Sanin Mainline

Venue
Address: 840 Yabu Ichiba, Yabu City, Hyogo Prefecture
About 15min ride from JR Yoka Station on the Zentan Bus. Get off at the stop Yabu Myojin and it is right there.

Toshiki Nakamura
Writer
Loving Japanese anime and video games who grow up with Otaku culture.