What is Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is considered as most extravagant danjiri float festival in Japan that attracts 500,000 visitors each year. It is a procession of 100-plus men pushing and pulling immaculately the handcrafted danjiri floats. Men are on top of the floats shouting enthusiastically as they bounce back and forth. It may sound dangerous but the 300 years of the festival’s tradition takes precedent over safety concerns.
History of Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
The festival’s origin goes back in 1703 when Lord Okabe Nagayasu, the ruler of Kishiwada-han at the time, ordered an Inari Matsuri prayer for good harvest. Since then, the festival’s skill & craft has been continued by the natives for over 300 years now.
Check the official city website for an updated schedule. If you are unable to make it during the festival, Kishiwada Castle is still a worthwhile visit on its own.
What to expect Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
What you’re about to see are the traditional danjiri float. It is an embellished wooden structures with detailed carvings of ancient battles and myths that weighs around four tons. There are 35 floats that parades around at the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival from each neighborhood in the city of Kishiwada. Residents spend the year working on the floats and preparing for the event.
During the festival, the whole neighborhood brings out carved wooden floats into the streets with a lively drum, bells, and shouts. There are 35 participating teams with their floats that pull their floats to race with each other on the streets of the neighborhood. At least 500 team from all ages are open to join the festival. The Danjiri festival is a show of strength, endurance and community bonding.
When is it held
The festival is annually held on the weekend before “keiro no hi” or “Respect for the Elderly” day in mid-September.
Where is it held
1-10 Miyamot-ocho, Kishiwada-shi, Osaka-fu
The festival takes place around Kishiwada Castle. From Namba Station, take the Nankai Line to Kishiwada Station and walk 15 minutes north to arrive at the castle.