Kanagawa this month
Latest Tourist Information of Kanagawa
The January number 2006

Kanagawa Prefecture updates “The Latest Festival & Event News
at Kanagawa” every month. We will be happy if our information
would be able to help your travel around Kanagawa and Japan.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ January 1st 2006 send Contents ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Kamakura “Ebisu” Deity of Prosperity
* “Sagicho” Festival
* “Fude-Kuyo” Memorial Service for Writing Brushes
* Manpuku-ji Temple “Hibuse-matsuri” Festival
* Chinese New Year “Chun Jie” 2006

* Kamakura “Ebisu” Deity of Prosperity

Date: Sunday January 1 – Tuesday January 3
Location: Honkaku-ji Temple, Komachi, Kamakura City
Access: Approximately 5-minute walk from Kamakura station (JR Yokosuka Line).

“Fuku-Musume” fortune maidens in beautiful traditional costume sell “Fuku-Zasa” lucky bamboo ornaments during the “Ebisu-Ichi” market from January 1 to January 3 at the Honkaku-ji Temple of the Ebisu Deity. Tuesday January 10 is the day of the main “Ebisu-Taisai” festival, with the New Year “Fuku-Mochi” lucky rice cake making ritual performed from noon following the “Hon-Ebisu” Buddhist prayer service from 11:00 a.m.

For details, contact Honkaku-ji Temple (Tel 0467-22-0490).

*”Sagicho” Festival

Date: Saturday January 14
Location: Oiso Beach, Oiso Town
Access: Approximately 5-minute walk from Oiso station (JR Tokaido Line).

New Year ornaments and lucky charms are piled up to 7 – 8 meters (23 – 26 feet) high to create nine votive bonfires around bamboo poles erected on the beach, and the bonfires are all set alight at approximately 7:00 p.m. following sunset. People then roast “Dango” dumplings on sticks and eat them to pray for good health. The festival also features a tug of war called “Yannagokko” between fishermen divided into two groups, “Hamakata” and “Okakata”. This festival, also called “Dondo-Yaki”, is a traditional ceremony held during the “Ko-Shogatsu” period between January 14 and January 16, and takes place at different locations in Japan. The “Sagicho” festival at Oiso Town is one of the largest, however, and is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan. A “Dango” roasting set including a bamboo stick and red and white dumplings (500 yen each; supply is limited to 200 sets) to participate in this festival will be sold from 1:30 p.m. on the festival day at the tourist information center in front of Oiso station.

For details, contact Oiso Town Tourist Association (Tel 0463-61-3300).

* “Fude-Kuyo” Memorial Service for Writing Brushes

Date: Wednesday January 25
Location: Egara-tenjinja Shrine, Nikaido, Kamakura City Access: Approximately 7-minute bus ride from Kamakura station (JR Yokosuka Line); take the bus for Otonomiya and get off at Tenjin-mae stop.

Egara-tenjinja is dedicated to the memory of Sugawara-Michizane, a prominent 9th century Japanese politician and poet venerated as a patron deity of scholarship. A memorial service for writing brushes will be held at the shrine on the “Hatsu-en-nichi” first memorial service day. Following Shinto rituals, worn out writing brushes and pencils are burned in appreciation of their usefulness, and believers pray for their further academic achievements. Time: From 10:30 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m. It is also the best viewing period for Japanese plum blossom in the precinct where numerous wooden Shinto tablets called “Ema” inscribed with wishes hang on the walls of the shrine.

For details, contact Egara-tenjinja (Tel 0467-25-1772).

* Manpuku-ji Temple “Hibuse-matsuri” Festival

Date: Saturday January 28 Location: Manpuku-ji Temple, Nakazato, Odawara City Access: Approximately 15-minute walk from Kamonomiya station (JR Tokaido Line), or approximately 7-minute walk from Nakazato bus stop (take the bus for Kouzu station).

Following a sacred “Goma-taki” burning ritual in the main building at noon, stylized conversations between a master and apprentice called “Yamabushi-Mondo” and a “Yudate” purification ritual are performed from 1:00 p.m. A pile of sacred “Ofuda” cards and New Year “Shime-kazari” ornaments is then set on fire in the precinct, and “Yamabushi” monks and general worshippers walk across the smoldering embers barefoot while monks chant sutras in the “Hi-watari” fire crossing ritual. The ritual ends at approximately 3:00 p.m.

For details, contact Manpuku-ji Temple (Tel 0465-42-1235)

* Chinese New Year “Chun Jie” 2006

Date: Saturday January 28 – Sunday January 29, Saturday February 4, and Saturday February 11 – Sunday February 12Location: Yokohama Chinatown, Yamashita Town, Naka Ward, Yokohama City Access: Approximately 5-minute walk from Ishikawa-cho station (JR Negishi Line) North Exit, or get off at Motomachi-Chukagai station (Minatomirai Line).

This is a grand festival in Yokohama Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year¡Çs Eve – January 28: The New Year countdown ceremony takes place with a dedication lion dance performed at midnight (in the schoolyard of Yokohama Overseas Chinese School).

Chinese New Year¡Çs Day – January 29: Chun Jie celebration parade takes place; lion and dragon dancers and people wearing traditional clothes walk in procession through Chinatown (approximately 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

February 4: A traditional celebratory lion dance ritual called “Cai Qing” takes place throughout Chinatown, and lion dancers visit the shops to collect donations hung under the frontage and to pray for business prosperity (approximately 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).

February 11: The highest level “Mei Hua Chun” acrobatic lion dance on the top of decorated iron poles, “Chun,” is performed throughout Chinatown (3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).

February 12: “Yuan Xiao Jie” lantern festival is held at Guan Di Miao (Kanteibyo), and lotus lantern message candles with people¡Çs wishes and dreams inscribed on them are offered to the temple (starting at 6:00 p.m.).

And much more.

For details, contact Yokohama Chinatown Development Association
(Tel 045-662-1252).

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