I went to Yassa Matsuri at Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was a big parade of yassa odori (yassa dance) and dashi (festival car), then closed by beautiful fireworks.
The festival was held for 2 days but I went at the second day only. At the first day was the main yassa odori contest, but don’t worry they also danced on the second day, only it was shorter compared to the first day. There were many groups, and all of them wore colorful costume. The dance ware also various. There were slow but firm traditional dance from older groups, and also energetic dance full with lively shouts and clapping from teenager group.
After an entertaining parade from yassa matsuri contestant, there were 2 omikoshi procession too. I think it were smaller and lighter than the one I saw in Kibune Matsuri (that one looked so heavy). But at one of the omikoshi, there were 3 girls standing while waving paper fan, which of course made it heavy again (´ ˙○˙ `)
The last part from the parade were dashi (festival car). I think Yassa matsuri has the most dashi from all festival I have visited. Each dashi also have different design and everyone at dashi were giving their best playing music while cheering and shouting. For this matsuri, the festival car were real cars and not pulled by people like the one in Ajiro matsuri. Some of the festival cars were decorated with traditional way of hanging many lanterns. But some of the festival cars went for a more modern decoration. Especially dashi from elementary school, it was full with big cartoons painting. The member who played music at that dashi were 6th grader so it will be last time for them participating in an event together.
After very long dashi parade, there was yassa matsuri winner announcement. The winner was a group with white outfit and colorful eyelashes. They were very excited won the competition. The leader shout at the microphone while her teammates cheering for her from below the stage.
To close the event, there were fireworks! It was a pretty big fireworks show. There were approximately 6,000 fireworks shoot up the night sky for 30 minutes, non-stop! I got pretty comfortable place to enjoy the fireworks too! Here are some pictures of the fireworks 😀
On my way home, I stopped in front of a mall where all the festival cars gathered. The festival were not finished yet! There was a stage where some local artist sung. I only watched briefly though because I need to go home. But everyone at that place seemed having a very good time ٩(^ᴗ^)۶
It was a warm entertaining summer night! If you come to Japan, don’t forget to visit Yugawara to enjoy the onsen (hot spring) and see Yassa matsuri! Thank you for reading this article.
|Event Name||Yassa Matsuri|
|Location||Kanagawa Prefecture, Ashigarashimo-gun, Yugawara-cho|
|Event Period||2015, August 3rd|
|Contact||Yugawara Onsen Tourist Association：0645-43-4194|
|Getting There||Go to Odawara or Atami with Tokaido line, then transfer to go to Yugawara.
From Yugawara station, walk approximately 15 minutes to the matsuri venue.
※ Please make sure the info you see is the latest in advance.