Sep. 20, 2019 UPDATE
Zuiki Matsuri Festival- ずいき祭 -
Simple English brochures are available at “Shamu-sho”, a shrine office. It is a bit difficult to access Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, but once you get off the bus, you can easily find the shrine.
Simple English brochures are available
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PeriodOctober 1st - 5th, every year
VenueKitano Tenmangu Shrine
Story & Recommendation
Autumn harvest festival with unique Mikoshi decorated with vegetables
Established in 947, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine enshrines Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar, litterateur and politician in the beginning of Heian Era (lived from 845 to 903). It is the headquarter of more than 12,000 Tenmangu, shrines dedicated to Sugawara Michizane’s spirit, all over Japan and is affectionately called “Tenjin san” among local people and believers. There are many various kinds of seasonal highlights in this shrine such as Ume tree blossoms, colorful maple tree leaves and crops festival in autumn. Zuiki Matsuri is a festival with Mikoshi, portable shrines, for thanking the bumper crops of the year. Zuiki is a stem of taro and this festival is originated in the ritual to offer the new crops, vegetables and fruits before the altar. After the ritual to move the spirit into the portable shrine from the shrine, three Horen (imperial carriages) and Matsu-hoko (long-handled spears) will leave the shrine, and parade around the shrine area with about 350 priests and shrine parishioners. On the first and last days of the festival, primary school girls chosen from the shrine area will offer a dance called Yaotomemai. As this festival lasts for 5 days, please enjoy the festival atmosphere in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine! ▼Click here for Writer's Blog http://sharing-kyoto.com/Blog/b_zuiiki_matsuri_festival/
Zuiki Mikoshi, the portable shrine, decorated with the stem of taro
This Mikoshi, the portable shrine, decorated with the stem of taro and dried vegetables will be carried and parading on October 4th. The custom of the Mikoshi decoration came from Kitano Matsuri Festival (Reisai Festival) that people used to decorate Mikoshi with vegetables that were offered before the altar. The roof was made of the stem of taro and every part was decorated with crops and dried goods such as green vegetables, Yuba (dried bean curd) and wheat bran. Zuiki Mikoshi will be displayed in Otabisho from October 1st to 4th, so please check out this unique Mikoshi!
Let’s join to watch a dance offered by primary school girls
On the first and last days of the festival, primary school girls chosen from the shrine area will offer a dance called Yaotomemai. After the Shinto ritual, they offer a dance with bells in Haiden, the main shrine. Please enjoy the beautiful costumes and elegant dance!
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not bring or eat any food as it is considered impolite to eat in shrine precinct. Please also note that you cannot enter the main shrine called Honden.