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:
● Dynamic scene of nine kiriko floats lined up in Mioroshino-hama Square.
● Beautiful reflection of samurai pictures on the river when kiriko floats cross Ukawa Ohashi Bridge.
● Powerful dancing of kiriko floats that continues through the night, expressing wishes for the safety of 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 Niwaka Festival is held on Aug 7 each year. Be prepared to park away from the actual festival site.
"Niwaka Festival in the Ukawa area of Noto Town is known for its characteristic sleeve-kiriko floats. In the olden days, when there was a succession of bad catches or marine accidents, people presented lanterns with pictures of strong samurai warriors to Umise Shrine, which enshrines Benzaiten, the Goddess of the Sea, and prayed for a big catch and safe fishing. Since then, local fishermen have been placing sacred paper strips and samurai pictures that have been used for the festival on their boats and on Shinto altars as talismans.
The name of the festival, “Niwaka,” which means “instant,” comes from the fact that people made a sleeve-kiriko float instantly to entertain the 13th lord of the Kaga Clan, Nariyasu Maeda, when he visited Noto. The kiriko has a unique shape; its height is 7 m/23 ft and its width is 5.4 m/18 ft. In contrast to kiriko floats of other areas, which follow a portable shrine, this kiriko has sacred paper strips attached to it as symbols of the deity. At dusk on the first day of the festival, nine floats gather at the square near the beach, and start to parade in the town upon the signal of fireworks. The parade crosses Ukawa Ohashi Bridge and arrives at the shrine late at night. To the dynamic sound of drums and gongs, the young men carrying the floats run around the precincts until dawn. Both locals and visitors enjoy commenting on the gorgeous samurai pictures, which differ according to the area they are from."
Source: "Kiriko Festivals in Noto"
This festival (#27) 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.