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:
● Well-controlled movement of one hundred men.
● Fantastic large Chinese characters and pictures of samurai figures.
● Overwhelming heroic performance by fishermen.
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 Issaki Hoto Festival is held on the 1st Saturday of August each year. Be prepared to park away from the actual festival site.
"Ishizaki, located in Nanao City, is a vibrant fishing town on Nanao Bay, where the exciting Hôtô Festival is held annually on the first Saturday in August. The Hôtô Festival was once a summer festival of Issaki Hachiman Shrine, in which floats in the style of Kyoto’s Gion Festival were paraded through the town. However, the floats were burned repeatedly in big fires, and the festival was stopped for many years. The town was revitalized in the middle of the Meiji period and given a lantern float from the town of Ushitsu in northern Noto, and the festival was restarted as a festival to pray for a huge harvest and a good catch of fish, as well as a ritual for extinguishing fires. Subsequently, lantern floats were carried around the town as a festival ritual, and the event took on its modern-day form.
The lantern floats are 15 m/49 ft high and 3 m/10 ft wide, and weigh 2 tons; they are the largest carrying lanterns in Japan. A hundred people wearing headbands, white cloth belly bands and white tabi (split-toe socks) carry the floats while shouting energetically.
Children in yukata (summer cotton kimono) and braided straw hats decorated with flowers play bamboo flutes, drums and gongs. Floats are marched vigorously along the narrow streets accompanied by the music. The well-controlled, lively movement of the floats is the highlight of the festival.
In the evening, six floats gather in Dômae Square, a resting place for the lantern floats and the portable shrine. After the parade, the festival reaches its climax at dusk. A float with large characters and dynamic pictures of samurais appears in the dark. When a drum is hit once, the lanterns are raised, and a competitive performance begins along with music. The dynamic performance is derived from the power of men who are skilled in navigating the rough sea of Noto. During the performance of lantern floats, fireworks light up the summer night sky, creating great excitement among the float carriers and the audience."
Source: "Kiriko Festivals in Noto"
This festival (#01) 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.