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:
● Mysterious beauty of the lanterns lining up at Ogi Port at night.
● Dynamic carrying of the lanterns up to the shrine.
● Maneuvers in the fight between the lanterns and the portable shrine.
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 Ogi-sode Kiriko Festival is held on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday of September each year.
"The Ogi area of Noto Town is known for squid fishing. In the autumn festival of Mifune Shrine, “sleeve-kiriko” floats, which resemble kites in the shape of footman of olden times, are carried around the town.
On the first day of the festival, the lanterns gather at Shozaki (on the east side of the port), parade along the shore, and make a stop at Nishimachi Beach (on the west side of the port). The lights of the nine lanterns lined up along the beach are reflected on the sea, producing a fantastic atmosphere.
The highlight of the first day of the festival is the parade of lanterns carried up the steep steps to Mifune Shrine. At ten o’clock in the evening, to the dynamic sound of flutes and drums, the lanterns proceed up the stone steps to the shrine. People pull the lanterns with ropes at the front, push them at the back, and insert logs under them when they stop. The lanterns are raised little by little to the rhythm of cheerful calls.
After a purification ceremony, the lanterns are lowered. Triangular logs are placed on the steps to close the gaps between them when the lanterns are raised; the logs are removed when the lanterns go down. The wheels at the bottom of the lanterns make loud noises at every step. People synchronize their breathing, and lower the lanterns slowly, step by step. Their fighting spirit excites the audience, who call out in chorus.
On the next day, the lanterns are paraded through the town with a portable shrine. At five o’clock in the evening, the magnificent view of the lantern parade can be enjoyed at the port. At the end of the festival, people try to prevent the portable shrine from going back to the shrine by blocking its way with the lanterns. This is another highlight of the festival."
Source: "Kiriko Festivals in Noto"
This festival (#26) 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.