Festival Report: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Reitai-sai Festival

You might easily guess that I visited Kamakura recently since my recent topics were Kamakura. Yes, I went to Kamakura recently.

The day I went to Kamakura was coincidentally Reitai-sai Festival of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

What is Reitei-sai?

Reitai-sai (例大祭) is the most important festival of a shrine. The website of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu describes it as  “Annual Major Festival”.

So, on the day I visited Kamakura, the most important festival of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu was been held (I didn’t know anything). 

Tsurugaoka Hachimang holds Reitai-sai every September 14th to 16th.  According to the website, it continues more than 800 years!!  The final day has Yabusame (流鏑馬 やぶさめ) which is a Japanese traditional archery that an archer on a running horse shoots targets.

Please see the further information→ Calendar TSURUGAOKA HACHIMANGU

There were some people wearing traditional Japanese clothes for the festival in precincts of the shrine.

Why are so many people gathering in front of the stairs which leads to the main shrine?

 I recognized the festival was gonna be held before going to the main shrine, but I believed it must have been too crowded.  So, I was planning to be apart from it, go to the main shrine and get a goshuin.  Then,  let’s walk around the city of Kamakura!!  However, I found people gathering in front of the stairs which leads to the main shrine.

Somehow, many people are gathering..
Somehow, many people are gathering…

What is that?

Apprently, portable shrines (JP: Omikoshi お神輿)seem to leave after a while.

It is not so crowded. I may see well them from a nice position!!

Then, I lined up.

10min or 15min later.

Some people wearing Japanese traditional clothes came and went to the main shrine.

People in Japanese traditional clothes passed through us.
People in Japanese traditional clothes passed through us.
They are going to the main shrine
They are going to the main shrine.

(When they were going, general people who visit the main shrine seem to have been stopped.  Many people (wearing regular clothes) came down the stairs after the people in the traditional clothes left.) 

What? Is it end?

Hey, what a waste of time! I just spent the time for seeing people wearing the traditional clothes? I got disappointed a little.

But, some people who gathered in front of the stairs were still there, so, I decided to wait for something to come.

I moved to another place since the first place was not a good position.

After a while, people in white, traditional clothes came to gather.

Gathering people in white clothes
Gathering people in white clothes

Oh, something is gonna be held.

Still I waiting, those who  and went to the main shrine at first in the traditional clothes came down the stairs.

People going down the stairs.
People going down the stairs.

Then, the people in white clothes carries the portable shrine!!

A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 1
A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 1
A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 2
A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 2
A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 3
A portable shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 3

OMG!!

Seems to be heavy… Keep it up!!

There are three portals shrines in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Emperor Ojin, Empress Jingu and Himegami (I am sorry, I don’t know which portable shrine is for which deity).

Apparently, they go to Ni no Torii and return from it ( I didn’t see it though).

Coincidently, I bumped into Shinko-sai which is a part of Reitai-sai.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Ni no Torii
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Ni no Torii

Impression

It was a very divine festival.

In my mind, Japanese festival is held by citisens like Sanja Matsuri Festival in Asakusa, but this festival is completely different from it.  So, it is interesting.

After going back to home, I found the festival is very historic, reserching things related to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu and Reitai-sai.  Though it is, it was not so crowded if I think about it now. (I cannot declare it because I am not used to usual Kamakura city.)

Anyway, I was very lucky☆

Information

See Tsurugaoka Hachmangu Reviews
TripAdvisor

Click following link if you are looking for accommodation in Kamakura
Hotels.com

Click the follwoing link if you are looking for your flight from overseas to Japan
Expedia