Let's go to the Otsu-matsuri festival
in Otsu city together!
|The Otsu Matsuri (festival) of Tenson Jinjya (shrine)
is held every year on the two days before Physical Education Day in October.
Thirteen Hiki-Yama (festival floats) are paraded
with playing Ohayashi (festival music) on the floats.
People are playing rhythmic music by traditional gongs, drums and flutes.
Each float has luxurious Goblin tapestries and
a unique Karakuri doll (a mechanical marionette)
that entertains visitors on the streets.
Enjoy looking at moving art museums and Karakuri performances on the streets.
The festival invites you to the old times!!
||11th of October 2015 (a half day)
|Meeting place + time :
||JR Kyoto station at 9 am
|| in front of the clock ”toki no akari” on the 2nd floor
|Transportation fee :
||400 yen (JR round tickets 400 yen per person)
|How to apply :
||contact us by e-mail
|For more information about click here
Historical Otsu town is located on the biggest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa which
provides water to Kyoto and Osaka. It is also located on the Osaka-yama-goe
（or Kozeki-goe) road to Kyoto. In previous times this area flourished because
water and land transportation routes were developed to the capital (Kyoto)
in the 16th century, and the town grew in importance. As a result merchants became
wealthier and built gorgeous floats in the early 17th century (Edo period.)
The people of Otsu are proud of this traditional festival that has continued
from generation to generation. The floats represent the wealth and prosperity
of Otsu town in the early 17th century.
In 1596, a salt vender, Shioya Jihei, performed a dance with a Tanuki
(a raccoon dog) mask in the Tenson shrine festival. The people greatly were enjoyed
his dance. The next year people made a bamboo float and Jihei danced on the float.
This tradition continued for many years. When he couldn't dance any more due
to old age, a Tanuki marionette was constructed on the float and carried around the town.
In the early 17th century (Edo period), thirteen gorgeous floats were built
by wealthy merchants. These floats represent not only the prosperity of Otsu,
but also the enduring spirit of their ancestors that has been passed down through
We've been showing guests from overseas around Kyoto, Nara and Shiga as English-speaking volunteer guides since 2004.
It will give you a great opportunity to see Japanese historical and cultural
places. We would be very happy to help your understanding of Japan and
to enjoy the time here.