This festival has been marking the start of summer in Toba City for over 800 years. The locals love it so much they call the festival Akasaki-San. Since so many people wear yukatas, light casual kimono-like garments, while making their rounds at the shrine, it has also come to be known as the Yukata Matsuri.A long time ago, when a plague had taken over the region, houses that had hung a branch from the cedar tree that was growing in the Akasaki Shrine grounds had been spared. The custom of hanging cedar branches as to ward of bad spirits has continued ever since.There are many food stands in the street leading from Akasaki Shrine down to Nakanogo, which becomes full of Shrine goers in the evening, a perfect chance to savor the rich festival spirit.
The Akasaki Matsuri sees so many participants wearing yukata, that it bears the nickname Yukata Matsuri. In the evening, streets become bustling with people in yukatas enjoying the festivities lined by nearly 100 food stands. We recommend going to the festival in a yukata and taking part in the high-spirited fun!
They sell traditional protective charms made from cedar branches in the entrance of Akasaki Shrine. Folklore has it that if you hang this in the doorway of your home, you can avoid epidemics. You can see them almost everywhere, even today. Anyone can purchase them of course, however, you may require an inspection before bringing plants across boarders, so do be careful when flying home.
Anyone can purchase the cedar branches, however, you may require an inspection before bringing plants across boarders, so do be careful when flying home.
Access to Toba City
Akasaki Station, on the Kintetsu Shima Line
Address: 4-chome, Toba, Toba City, Mie Prefecture
Akasaki Shrine is a 5min walk from the Akasaki Station
When coming by Kamome Bus
Take either the bus headed for Ijika or Kuzaki on the Ohama/Arashima Line or Ohama/Kanpo, Kowaki-en Line
Get of at Akasaki Jinja Mae, and you can't miss the shrine.