The Kokiriko Festival is the Autumn festival of Hakusangu, a shrine designated as a national important cultural property, located in Gokayama, a world heritage site. For ages it has been a way of praying for and celebrating a rich harvest, and has been held on the same dates, in the same fashion to this very day. For the past 50 years, it has gradually accommodated for tourists, becoming the present day Kokiriko Festival. Look forward to a variety of Gokayama folk song and dance, including the Kokiriko, as well as other performances.
The event is held over two days (September 25th and 26th). The shrine's regular festival is held on the second day which includes a ritual dance performed as an offering to the shrine's deity. The festival is held from 12:00 noon to 10:0pm on both days and includes stage performance competitions and dances for festival goers to participate in, and much more.
Be taken back by the multitudes of performances on the shrine's specially built stage and in the shrine's very own dance hall with it's own unique atmosphere. Performances include original folk songs that have been handed down through the ages, luxurious dances, and shishimai (lion dance), and more. It is the perfect chance to experience ancient Japanese expressions of joy and dreams original to the Hakusangu Shrine.
After the stage performances, look forward to the most exciting part of the festival, the So Odori, where participants dance in a circle holding the Sasara, a folk instrument made from 108 pieces of Japanese cypress wood. Festival goers are encouraged to participate as well. It is held after 9:00pm.
In Gokayama, a region surrounded by mountains and beautiful scenery of days past, you will find many traditional foods including Gokayama Tofu, mountain vegetables and river fish. You will surely miss out if you don't try these one of a kind meals.
*The picture is of the World Heritage Gokayama Ainokura thatched-roof houses of the Gassho Zukuri style
Please follow the local rules and listen to the directions of the local people.
Access to Nanto City
JR Johana Station on the Johana Line
Shrine grounds of Hakusangu Shrine, Murakami village, Gokayama, Ecchu
Address: 654 Kaminashi, Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture
Take "Sekai Isan Bus Gokayama/Shirakawago" bus on the Kaetsuno Bus Line that leaves the front of Johana Station. A 30min ride. Get off at the Kaminashi bus stop. 1min walk. You can also take a bus from the JR Takaoka Station and Shin (New) Takaoka Station.
*Please confirm when and where you will ride from prior, as there are limited rides.
When coming by car or rental car, please take the Tokai-hokuriku Expressway and get off at Gokayama IC. Six kilometer drive (approx. 10min) from the off ramp.