Yamaga Lantern Festival

2014 / 08 / 15 ~ 17

Yamaga Lantern Festival is a historic summer festival of the Omiya Shrine located in Yamaga City, Kumamoto, which takes place on August 15-17 every year.

The festival was originated in the legend of the villagers who greeted the arrival of the Emperor Keikou and his group with pine torches in order to light up their path around the Kikuchi River in a foggy weather.

It is said that the villagers continued to worship the Emperor since then, and started to dedicate pine torches to the Emperor every year.

During the festival, various events take place including Hono Toro, a decoration of lanterns in shapes of famous shrines or castles, a fireworks performance and Taimatsu Traditional Parade.

Amongst all the events, however, Sennin Toro Odori should not be missed the most.

With the slow tempo of the music of Yoheho-bushi, a thousand women wearing yukata (traditional summer clothing) dance with the lanterns called Kana Toro carrying on their heads. Kana Toro are only made of golden and silver papers.

The gentle lights of numerous swinging lanterns intoxicate spectators with their romantic atmosphere.