This festival is one of 29 Noto Kiriko Matsuri ("Float Festivals") held each year in the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, the most for any area of Japan.
This festival can/should be combined/customized with one or more other driving itineraries in Ishikawa. You can conveniently access this festival from various "gateways" in Ishikawa Prefecture: the Kanazawa JR Station if arriving by train, or either the Komatsu or Noto Satoyama Airports if arriving by air. All three gateways have multiple rental car outlets.
Due to crowds for the festival, be prepared to park away from the actual festival site. There are normally local people directing traffic near the site(s) so allow a little extra time to park and walk to the site.
Highlights of this festival:
● The solemn Shinto ritual of meeting and taking the deity on a boat.
● Powerful people carrying kiriko lanterns up a steep hill.
● Scary demon masks and loud sound of Gojinjo drums.
For background and historical details click the link to the festival website above.
The Noto Satoyama Airport is centrally located in the Noto Peninsula. As of early 2019 there were 2 daily round trip flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport via All Nippon Airways. There are several rental car companies with offices at the airport. Airport code is NTQ.
The Nafune Grand Festival is held on July 31st and August 1st each year.
"Nafune-machi, Wajima City is known for its Gojinjo drum performance. Legend has it that when the army of the lord of Echigo, Kenshin Uesugi, attacked Noto, it was driven away by masked fishermen of Nafune Village beating their drums. People thanked the deity Okutsuhime of Hegura Island for this blessing, and started to play the drums at the festival of Okutsuhime Shrine.
The first highlight of the festival starts at 9:00 pm on the first evening of the festival. The kiriko lanterns gather at Hakusan Shrine, a detached worship place of Okutsuhime Shrine. Hakusan Shrine is located on a steep cliff. The people carrying the lanterns climb the hill carefully so as not to fall, and are encouraged by the cheers of the audience. After that, the kiriko lanterns and the portable shrine are carried to Nafune Beach. The portable shrine is carried on a boat to the torii gate in the sea to meet the deity of Okutsuhime Shrine on Hegura Island. After the portable shrine returns to the beach, the performance of Gojinjo drums starts. The fearful masks and dynamic sound of the drums are impressive. After 11 o’clock at night, the portable shrine and kiriko lanterns are paraded through the town, and a kiriko performance takes place in the square.
At the main festival on the second day, the portable shrine is carried to the beach. Gojinjo drums on carts lead the portable shrine to purify the streets with their sound. The portable shrine is carried on a boat to the torii gate in the sea to take the deity back to the island. At the square on the beach, a performance of Gojinjo drums takes place, and the festival reaches its climax. The dynamic sound of drums lingers with the festival atmosphere under the summer sky."
Source: "Kiriko Festivals in Noto"
This festival (#07) is one of 29 Noto Kiriko Matsuri ("Float Festivals") held each year in the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture, the most for any area of Japan.
For additional background and historical details click the link to the festival website above.
Peak times: 1st Day - 22:30; 2nd Day - 15:00. Recommended arrival times: 1st Day - 21:00; 2nd Day - 14:30. Recommended parking: Nafune Fishing Port parking - MapCode: 552 647 509*71.