Shiogama Shrine Hote Matsuri


Shiogama City, Miyagi Pref.

Over 100 Years Caution ! All Day See Tohoku

About the festival

In March, before the approaching Spring, at the port city home to Shiogama Shrine, the Hote Matsuri is solemnly held as a way to ward off evil omens and fire related accidents. The highlight of this parade festival is the departure ceremony of the floats that starts at 11:30 am. The sando (sacred walking path) on the Shiogama Shrine grounds is on a steep hill known as Omotezaka that contains 202 steps which local men descend carrying a one ton mikoshi (portable shrine) float.  One misplaced step could spell danger, but these 16 young carriers show splendid team work as they carefully lower the mikoshi to the bottom of the hill. This kind of dangerous and bold parade is known as Aremikoshi and the Hote Matsuri is one of the largest in Japan. After the mikoshi is paraded around the city, it comes back to Shiogama Shrine and ascends back up the Omotezaka steps, so visitors have two opportunities to witness the spectacle. Come experience the men's passion first hand.

146 Reh Shiogamajinzya Hotematsuri

Things to do

1. Take one of the two chances to watch the Aremikoshi!

146 Re1 1 Shiogamajinzya Hotematsuri

On the grounds of Shiogama Shrine stands a steep hill named Omotezaka that boasts a 202 step staircase. Carrying the mikoshi on these stairs is the highlight of this festival. There are two opportunities to witness the highlight, when the mikoshi leaves at 11:30 am and when it returns after parading the city around 8:00 pm. It is quite a sight to see these men passionately working together to carry it around. Time your trip right and make sure to witness the excitement. 

2. Take notice of the octagonal-shaped 1 ton mikoshi!

146 Re2 1 Shiogamajinzya Hotematsuri
146 Re2 2 Shiogamajinzya Hotematsuri

The mikoshi at Shiogama Shrine weighs a whopping one ton. It has a rare octagonal shape and a mirror decorates each side. A total of 16 men hug the four carrying poles, eight men to a side. The mikoshi was made over 300 years ago and has survived to this day after many repairs. It's fun to watch the men boldly whisking this portable shrine around, but we recommend paying special attention to the build of the mikoshi itself.

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates March 10th (Sun), 2019
    The Mikoshi departure ceremony is at 11:30 am
  • Place Shiogama Shrine and surrounding Shiogama City
  • General Participation This festival is for viewing only
  • International Reception and Info. Not available
  • Wi-Fi Available at the coastal parking lot and the Shiogama City Tourism and Produce Information Center
  • Restrooms Available at the Shiwahiko Shrine and Shiogama Shrine
  • Other useful Info. Not available
  • HP

  • Contact Shiogama City Tourism and Produce Association

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Entering the sectioned off parade course is prohibited.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Shiogama City

[Nearest Station]
Honshiogama Station on the JR Senseki Line

15min walk from Honshiogama Station to the Omotesando (Omotezaka) hill. 7min walk to the stone arch at the back entrance.

By Car
Take the Sanriku Expressway. 10min drive from Rifunaka Interchange.

1-1 Ichimoriyama, Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture

Makoto Terauchi
Born in Hyogo. My morning routing is reading MANAGA 30 min.