Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

Akita, Tohoku

A fantastic world appearing on a snow country evening.
Chatting with children in rooms made of snow.

A room made by carving out a mound of snow is called a kamakura. In Yokote City, more than 100 kamakura and countless miniature kamakura are made. The candle lights of these snow white kamakura produce a quiet, beautiful spectacle against the darkness. This 400 year old festival is said to have its origins in the traditional event of returning New Year decorations to the gods by burning them, and also in the custom of children chasing away birds damaging crops. Inside the kamakura, an altar is set up to honor the water gods and to pray for plenty of clear water, while sake and rice cakes are offered to the gods. Passers-by are invited by the children, in Akita dialect, to come inside the kamakura and drink some sweet fermented rice brew. Everyone has a good time chatting while eating rice cakes and sweets, which is the conventional way of spending time in kamakura. On the other hand, numerous rows of tiny kamakura stand in the grounds of the Yokote Minami Primary School in the city, with the lights shining from within creating a very romantic scene.

Prior to the above festival, the Kamakura Matsuri is held in Akita Furusatomura, where you can experience stepping inside a kamakura. From the end of January to the end of February, famous festivals of Akita Prefecture are represented here, where you can learn about winter in Akita.

At the Yokote Fureai-Center Kamakura House, kamakura displays can be seen all year round.

Information

Address
Akita
Notes
From Akita:[Rail]From Akita Station, take the JR Ou Line to Yokote Station, from where there is a shuttle bus service.
Location
Doro Koen Park in front of Yokote City Hall
Dates
February 15th-16th
Dates and functions are subjects to change without notice. Be sure to check the latest information in advance.
City
Yokote City, Akita Prefecture
Directions
From Akita:
[Rail] From Akita Station, take the JR Ou Line to Yokote Station, from where there is a shuttle bus service.

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