2021.02.09

Aizu Tajima Gion Festival (Gionsai) 会津田島祇園祭

One of the three best Gion festivals in Japan, it has over 800 years of history. Held every year for the three days between July 22nd and 24th. The highlight of the festival is procession of women dressed in beautiful traditional Japanese bridal wear. This festival has been designated a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.

 

 

The Nanahokai Procession 七行器行列
The “Nanahokai” (七行器) means Seven Sacred Vessels, which be placed offerings such as sake, rice and fish. The purpose of this procession is to bring offerings to present to god of local shrines, is the most important Shinto ritual of the festival.
The annual procession is held in the early morning on July 23rd, and is a long line with women dressed in gorgeous traditional Japanese bridal wear, is also known as the “Bridal procession”, making it one of the most popular events of the festival.

Carrying seven offerings in Sacred Vessels.

 

Children’s Kabuki 屋台歌舞伎 & The Yatai 大屋台運行
This is kabuki performed by children on four big floats in the evening of July 22nd and July 23rd. These “float”, called “yatai”(屋台) ,and each four yatai called “Nishi yatai”, “Ue yatai”,”Naka yatai”and “Hon yatai”. Each yatai move within their section of the street until the end of each kabuki program. Children performance about 8 minutes at a place, then yatai move to another place and continue the Kabuki performing, and then the same thing to do over and over to the end of the story.
Child audiences can ride in a yatai when move. Locals pull and move the yatai with the enthusiasm through the crowds, yatai are rushing each other as if to fight. Therefor full of excited little children.

Children’s Kabuki had disappeared, but it was revived in 1994.

Little children shout of “Onsan Yarikakero” in the Yatai.

 

Mikoshi Procession(神輿渡御)
Thanks to be placed seven sacred offerings of the Nanahokai, God move into the “mikoshi”(神輿), or portable shrine, and the mikoshi procession goes through the town to get rid of illness and bad luck for peoples.
People dress in “Kamishimo”裃, or Samurai Ceremonical wear.

“Chigo gyoretsu”稚児行列 , or a procession of small children.

 

 

 

 

 

Otouya Osendo (お党屋お千度)

Held annually on January 15th.

Daidai Okagura(太々御神楽)

Held ritual ceremony of "Kagura ", or sacred music and dancing performed at Tadeuga shrine(田出宇賀神社) annual on July 24th.

Urayasu-no- mai Dance(浦安の舞)

It's a type of "Kagura", or sacred music and dancing performed at shrine.
July 22nd and July24th

交通アクセス 【Access】
・From Asakusa Station(Tokyo) :Take the Revaty Train to Aizu Tajima Station.(Takes around 3hr.15min)
・From Aizu-Wakamatsu :Take the Aizu Railway Line from Aizu Wakamatsu Station to Aizu Tajima Station.(Takes around 1hr.15min)

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