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Festival

Iizaka Fighting Festival

This is one of the three major fighting festivals in Japan and has a tradition three hundred years in the making. This festival is so vibrant that throughout the town you can hear the beat of Japanese drums like an earthquake as huge floats crash together in battle.

The Soma Nomaoi

This traditional culture entertainment by horse has been performed in America and
Britain before. Soma Nomaoi originated in the old days, some one thousand odd
years ago. Horses were trained in the field for military training and the chased
horses were dedicated to a shrine as gods.
People can enjoy heroic and gorgeous warring states period through solemn Kickoff
rally, equestrian warriors’ marching with dignity, armor horse racing like a gale, God flag competition exactly like a battle, and Nomakake, the event conveying the scene of Nomaoi ancient time.
Except during the period of the festival, visitors can know about the history and the transition of Soma Nomaoi at diorama at “Minamisoma City Museum”.

Fukushima Waraji Festival

This is the festival which was also demonstrated in Taiwan Lantern Festival in February, 2014. Every year, a friendship group from Taiwan participates in Fukushima Waraji Festival and such a participation strengthens friendship between the two countries, performing Ryumai (a traditional Taiwanese dragon dance).
The big waraji(a straw sandal), whose length is 12m and weight is 2t, is regarded as the biggest one in Japan. Every February since ancient times, this is dedicated to Haguro Shrine, praying for good walker at “Akatsukimairi”.
Fukushima Waraji Festival is derived from the “Akatsukimairi” and people parade along Route 13 carrying a big waraji. Every August this festival is done to provide Fukushima citizens and tourists with the opportunity of rest so that people can maintain the biggest waraji in Japan, love their hometown and enjoy the hotter climate of Fukushima.

Sukagawa Shakadogawa Fireworks Festival

One of the largest scale events in the prefecture, this features double rings 500m wide, the hanabi-e-maki performance contest which combines music and fireworks, and a performance in which fireworks created by masters from throughout Japan compete. In total, approximately 10,000 impressive fireworks including a panorama fire, extra-large star mines, and the "Niagara" light up the night sky. We hope you enjoy the splendor of the 90 minute long fireworks show.

Aizu Festival

The Aizu Festival is one of the largest fall events in the Aizu Area. The main feature of the festival is the Aizu Hanko Gyoretsu, a procession of Aizu Domain Lords. Headed by flag bearers holding the flags of the successive feudal lords of the Aizu Domain, the procession is attended by participants representing well-known feudal lords such as Lord Uesugi, Lord Hoshina, and Lord Matsudaira and by a rank of people wearing garments and carrying tools associated with each of these lords. Each year, some 500 people parade through downtown Aizu in an event that magnificently recreates the world of samurai. Before the procession starts off, there is a kick-off ceremony at Tsurugajo Castle. Visitors can enjoy watching the sword dancing of the Byakkotai worriors and sword fight performances given by professional actors, with the castle keep of Tsurugajo in the background.

Taimatsu Akashi

With a history stretching back over 400 years, the Taimatsu Akashi is one of the three major fire festivals in Japan. As the night grows darker and the bonfires flare brightly here and there around the venue, groups of local junior high and senior high school students march through the town carrying 30 8-meter-long wooden torches called Hon-taimatsu, which they created by themselves, followed by a group of young men carrying the huge wooden torch called the Dai-taimatsu (10 meters long and weighing about 3 tons), and a group of women carrying a smaller wooden torch called the Hime-taimatsu (6 meters long and weighing 1 ton). These torches are carried to the top of Mt. Gorozan. There is also a wooden frame depicting Sukagawa Castle and a group of samurai warriors. As the drummers from Oushu Sukagawa Taimatsu-Daiko Hozonkai powerfully beat their Taimatsu-Daiko drums, the torches and the wooden frame are lit with a sacred fire carried up by a group of runners from Nikaido Shrine. The whole mountain looks as if it is on fire. The combination of fire and the beating of the drums is reminiscent of the days in the Warring States period. In recent years, this traditional event has become well known as a participatory festival, allowing neighborhood associations, local elementary school pupils, and tourists to join the parade to Mt. Gorozan, each carrying a thin torchwood called a Sho-taimatsu (10 centimeters in diameter).

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