【UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage】Seihakusai, the grand annual festival of O-tokonushi Shrine (Sanno Shrine), is the largest spring festival of the Noto region. The ancient festival was declared the national festival of Noto in the year 981 during the Heian era. It has since continued yearly to welcome the divine, and to pray for the affluence in people's daily lives. Sacred rites are performed on May 4th at the O-tokonushi Shrine.
The festival is famous for its Hikiyama floats (also known as "Deka-yama") weighing 20t—said to be the largest in Japan—that gather from 3 of the city's districts to parade all over town. The biggest highlight of the parade is when the floats turn corners at 90 degree angle ("Tsuji-mawashi") in a thrilling manner. Furthermore, tourists are allowed to participate in the floats' pulling.
The highlight of Seihakusai Festival definitely is the sight of some of the largest floats in Japan (Deka-yama, weighing 20t and 12m tall) rushing through the town's narrow streets barely missing the buildings. You cannot miss the thrilling "Tsuji-mawashi" where young men use the force of leverage to lift the front wheels in order to turn the floats around tight corners.
The float procession of Seihakusai Festival can not only be viewed but joined. Locals and the many excited visitors join hands in pulling the massive floats together. Why not take the chance to have this valuable experience?
Please wear comfortable shoes when participating to pull the large "Deka-yama" floats. You cannot participate wearing high-heeled shoes or slippers.
Access to Nanao City
JR Nanao Station (Nanao line)
O-tokonushi Shrine (Sanno Shrine)
1-13 Sanno-cho Nanao City, Ishikawa Pref.
Route of the Hikiyama parade differs by the day of festival.