Kishiwada Danjiri Festival
Come on ride the shrine, and ride it... At the most dangerous festival in Kansai!
- 2019 Dates: Sept. 14 to Sept. 15
- 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- The parade starts in front of Kishiwada Station on the first day while the festivities are centered around Kishiwada Castle from 9 a.m. on the second day.
There have been various accidents, some even fatal, caused by this tradition.
The festival is the biggest and most famous Danjiri Festival in Japan. A danjiri is a traditional Japanese wooden float decorated with various ornaments and elaborate carvings. In the past, people have died from riding on top of these mini shrines, which are around 14 meters tall and weigh four tons. Yeah, that part about it being a dangerous festival wasn’t an exaggeration!
Local carpenters who make the portable shrines to pray for a successful autumn harvest are the ones riding on the top.
To raise the danger level even higher, the carpenter on the roof of the shrine showcases an acrobatic dance. The dance isn’t ritualistic in nature, but all of the carpenters’ movements take on a similar style.
Luckily, there haven’t been any deadly accidents in recent years, but people riding and dancing on the shrines still often fall down, especially when riding through a curve. If you want to enjoy the parade safely, watch out when the shrine comes blazing around a sharp corner.
After the parade ends, take a walk through the city until the evening when the shrines are illuminated by lanterns. Nearby Kishiwada Castle is definitely worth a visit.
If you can’t read Japanese, then you might miss out on some of the historical info, but the stunning view of the town overlooking the ocean can be appreciated by all. Just relax and enjoy the unusual view of the ocean.
A visit to Kishiwada during this lively spectacle will reshape any Japanese festival experience you’ve already had!