The Okuma Kabuto Matsuri is the grand festival of Kumakabuto Arakashihiko Shrine (also known as the Kumakabuto Shrine). The festival is held to thank and celebrate the year's rich harvest.
The long-nosed and red faced "Sarutahiko" deity leads the Mikoshi procession formed by 19 local shrines. The parade is met by an array of massive crimson flags measuring up to 20m in height before entering Kumakabuto Shrine (main shrine) through the sounds of loud chanting accompanied by Taiko drums and bells. When the parade enters the front shrine, young men loudly bang on the drums and bells, to which Sarutahiko dances ecstatically, entering into a state of trance.
The procession then relocates to Kamowara, about 700m away from the shrine, with the main shrine's Mikoshi float leading the way. There, the excitement level of the festival reaches a climax as massive flags are boldly tilted almost to the ground in the skillful "Shimada-kuzushi".
It is an impressive sight to see Mikoshi floats and participants from the town's 19 shrines, lined up in a formation as they enter into Kumakabuto Shrine. Please experience the utterly unique atmosphere while witnessing Sarutahiko dance ecstatically to individual chants, drums and bells that differ in rhythm from village to village.
The highlight of the festival is the "Shimada-kuzushi" held on the field in Kamowara. Dozens of massive 20m tall crimson flags gather in one area, with green mountains in the background. It is such a thrilling sight to see the flags then test each other's skills in tilting them almost to the ground! In the old days, people used to say that no one would send their daughter to marry anybody from a village that couldn't skillfully tilt the flag in the "Shimada-kuzushi." As you can tell, this is a serious competition involving a great deal of pride.
Check out the dance performed by the ancient Japanese deity Sarutahiko who plays an important role as the lead of this festival. You cannot miss the sight of this long-nosed, red faced and oddly looking god dance ecstatically to the sounds of drums and bells.
Massive flags can be dangerous. Do not get too close.
Access to Nakajima-machi, Nanao City, Ishikawa Pref.
Noto-Nakajima Station (Noto Railway, Nanao Line)
*A shuttle bus connects the station and the festival location.
Ride the "Furusato Taxi" from Noto Airport (Noto Satoyama Airport) to Nakajima-machi town.
*You will need a reservation to ride the Furusato Taxi.
Address: Nakajima-machi Miyanomae, Nanao City, Ishikawa Pref.