On a sunny summer Marine Day (national holiday), many portable mikoshi shrines gather at the beautiful Nishihama beach on the Shonan coastline to hold the large summer celebration of Chigasaki's Hamaori Festival. This festival, also referred to as the "dawn festivities" is a rite that begin before sunrise as portable mikoshi shrines (festival deities) enter the ocean for "Misogi" (purification) in order to call upon the strength and the spiritual power of water to use as a force in welcoming in the divine. It is a deep-rooted folk tradition of the Chigasaki and Samukawa region, where locals go back to their neighborhoods after the festival finishes, to spread "family safety" and "perfect health" from door to door.
The ceremonial "misogi" of the mikoshi shrines entering the sea, takes place from around 4 till 7 in the morning, and after the ending of the ceremony at 8 am. If you want to see many mikoshis entering the sea at once, we recommend viewing after 8 am, proceeding the "Otachi" (departure) when all mikoshi floats begin to move at once (they occasionally do not enter the sea depending on conditions). Please be careful not to get pulled into sea, while the mikoshis in the water frantically compete and parade.
The calls of "Dokkoi, dokkoi" is unique to the mikoshi of this region (So-shu).
You may hear the melodies of "Chigasaki-jinku" sung during the procession in addition to the calls. The mannerisms in carrying the mikoshi differ from shrine to shrine, which is an interesting point to compare as well.
Watch your steps for it may still be dark during early morning.
Getting too close to the mikoshi is dangerous.
JR Chigasaki Station
Chigasaki Nishihama Beach
Address: Nango, Chigasaki City
20 min walk from South Exit of JR Chigasaki Station
Temporary fee-based buses available (from 4:15 to 7 am) departing from South Exit of Chigasaki Station for Southern street.