“Yukake Festival (Yukake Matsuri in Japanese)” is a festival held at the Onsen (hot spring) streets where people lifting up five Mikoshis (divine palanquin) on their shoulders, receiving splash of hot spring waters threw by spectators while marching around the street. The whole tour takes place at a course of approx. 2 km, start from Fudo-taki Fall on the upper stream of Fujikikawa River which is located at the boundary of Kanagawa Prefecture and Atami City, to the Izumi Park.
There were three Mikoshis marching in a line with a Mikoshi designated for women only for a Mikoshi experience tour, a Mikoshis shouldered by Geishas, and a Mikoshi shouldered by the local Mikoshi Association.
1,000 barrels (about 60 tons) of hot spring water were prepared along side the road that were splashed vigorously by the spectators toward the marching teams.
In front of main venue, Yugawara Tourism Hall and Izumi Park which is the finale venue for the festival, Mikoshis marched on the ground with the music of Jinku, a triditional form of Japanese folksong, while more hot spring water splashed toward them, the whole view looked invigorate and spectacular.
The origin of the Yukake Festival
The festival is originated from the traditional folktale of Edo period, it is said that due to the high healing effects of the local hot spring water, people put hot spring water in barrels and offered the water to the Daimyo Family and Goyoutei (Imperial Villa).
There was a purifying ceremony held before the departure of the Mikoshi, during which People splashed hot spring water alongside the road in order to pray for the safe of the journey. The Yukake Festival represented this form of ceremony of the Edo period.
However, people of today along the roadside are taking part in this hot spring festival to express their gratitude.
During the festival, there were also an event called Mihashi-Matsuri which people burns tens of thousands of chopsticks in a traditional way imitating ceremony of ancient time in order to pray a state of health, safe and harvest.
|Event name||Yukake Festival|
|Place||Area of Mikoshi Parade:
Fudo-taki Fall (departure at 7 p.m.) to Yugawara Tourism Hall (passed 8 p.m.) to Izumi Park (arrived at around 9 p.m.)
|Address||Yugawara-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa|
|Date||Saturday, May 24, 2014, no postponement for rain|
|Time||Mikoshi Parade: From 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Mihashi (Chopsticks) Matsuri, burning ceremony: Start from 7:00 p.m. (at the open space in front of Yugawara Tourism Hall)
|Contact||(General Incorporated Association) Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association TEL: 0465-64-1234|
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