Good afternoon from the Itoigawa Global Geopark! It’s warm and calm here in Itoigawa. Now that it is finally spring, we can look forward to beautiful cherry blossoms and spring festivals.
In particular, next Thursday (April 10th) is Amatsu Shrine’s Grand Spring Festival, better known as the Kenka Matsuri, or Fighting Festival.
The Itoigawa Kenka Matsuri is an centuries old festival in which two teams from neighboring districts run circles around the shrine grounds while carrying large omikoshi, portable shrines carried on poles. They then ram these shrines together in a simulated fight. Traditionally, this festival was done to ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming year.
Today, work is underway to prepare the shrine grounds for the annual event. The grounds are cleaned and readied, and stands are built on the side to accommodate the crowds that will gather to witness the spectacle.
The festival will be held on April 10th. Be sure to arrive before 10 am to fully enjoy the festival before the fighting begins. Hope to see you there!