Sawara's proud grand float festival with 300 years of history 

The Sawara Grand Festival

Chiba・Katori city 

 

Sawara's proud grand float festival with 300 years of history since the Edo era

The Sawara Grand Festival

Sarawa Grand Festivals (UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage) are the general name given to the two festivals, the Yasaka-jinja (shrine) Gion Festival held on first Friday to Sunday after July 10th and the Suwa-jinja (shrine) Autumn Festival held on Friday to Sunday in the second week of October every year. It is called one of 3 float festivals in Greater Tokyo area with and has a tradition of about 300 years.
 
The sounds of the Sawara Hayashi, one of Japan's three most famous festival music, are echoed throughout the town, while walking through the streets called Koedo (preservation districts for a group of important national historical buildings). The float march is reminiscent of the scene from Edo era.(last Samurai period)
 
The strongest point of Sawara’s festival floats is to have a big figure settled on top of each float, nearly 5m tall. Most of these figures were made by exquisite artisans. the floats are made of 100% Keyaki trees and decorated with heavy Japanese beautiful carvings in the Kanto style.
 
In 2004, the "Sahara float event" was designated as an important intangible folk cultural property. In 2016, the "33 Mountain, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals including the Sahara Grand festival was registered on UNESCO’s representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
 

Name

The Sawar Grand Festival

Date

Canceled in 2020

Time

10:00~22:00 (rain or shine)

※Floats will be covered with plastic shees if it rains.

Audience

【AUT Fes】90,000

Place

【AUT Fes】near Sawara station 

The nearest station

 Sawara Sta.(JR Narita line)

Language support

English translater available at tourist information center. 

Contact

Katori city, Commerce and Tourism department

Email

Organizer

SUIGO-SAWARA Tourist Association

HP

Katori city

SUIGO-SAWARA Tourist Association


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Recommend

Sawara Hayashi, Japan's top three festival musics

The Sawara Hayashi is an emotional and unique festival music played in Sawara. This festival music is called "Ge-za"(theater music), and bamboo flutes, thick drums, small drums, big drums, or ”Suri-gane”(ash tray-shaped metal percussion instruments) are used to play.   There are more than 40 tunes classified into 3 groups, “ Dan-mono” (lightning bolts, nests, sardines, etc.) tunes composed in harmony with the slow movement of floats, “ Hana-mono” (popular tunes, such as folk songs popular sings in each era and fast-paced songs), and “ Yaku-mono” (supplementary and ritualistic melodies played when the floats begin to move). Every music is played in harmony with the mood of the floats and atmosphere of the streets where the floats are walking through.

 

A splendid float parade decorated with Japan's largest figures

One of the main characteristics of Sahara's floats is big figures over 5 meter high settled on the top of each float. You must see beautifully sculpted floats with big figures made by master craftsmen during Edo era and those move “No-no-ji-mawashi”, a move turning floats clockwise tracing the Japanese character of “No(の)”.  
In the evening, the lanterns are lit and the scenery of Sarawa is worth visiting.

 

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