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Held on the last weekend of Oct., Dedara Matsuri is a two-day festival held on a large plot of land that used to be Nissan's vehicle assembly plant. Short bus ride from JR Tachikawa Station.From JR Tachikawa Station’s Kitaguchi North exit, go to Bus Stop 1. Board any bus and get off at O-minami Itchome (大南一丁目). About 15 min. ride. From the bus stop, 1 min. walk to entrance.
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Musashi-Murayama (pop. 70,000) is an obscure city in western Tokyo with no train stations, but it is near JR Tachikawa Station in neighboring Tachikawa.
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The festival site occupies an area of a much larger plot of land that was the site of Nissan's auto factory. Along with a few other factories, Nissan closed its vehicle assembly plant here in 2001.I was told that it also had a test track here, which explains why it's so huge. Interesting that Nissan had a policy of keeping all its affected workers who were transferred to other jobs or offered early retirement. The city itself did not suffer much tax loss since Nissan didn't have taxable profits while operating in the red at the time. But local businesses such as taxi drivers, restaurants, and shops must've suffered.
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The festival is highlighted by this Nebuta float depicting Dedara-botchi (also called Daidara-botchi 大多羅法師) who was a legendary, giant man whose head was above the clouds.
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Dedara-botchi is famous for creating lakes and wells with his footprints and creating and carrying mountains.
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In Muasashi-Murayama, the giant Dedara-botchi was carrying Mt. Jodo (浄土山) strapped to his back with vines. One of his footprints created a local well (still there).
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The Dedara-botchi giant man is common in Japan appearing in nation-building legends. For example, where he dug up the earth to create Mt. Fuji (Japan's highest mountain) became Lake Biwa (Japan's largest lake).
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Since it was windy, a crane and cable secured the float.
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Dedara giant Nebuta float is made of a wooden frame covered with washi paper and lit up on the inside powered by power generator.s
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The float was lit up as it got dark.
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The festival site includes many food booths. It's a local festival started in 2006 and not a traditional matsuri (i.e. not held by a shrine or temple). But it's the city's largest festival. Not famous though.
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Food booth
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Curry booth with a curry rice humanoid sculpture.
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Festival headquarters.
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The festival site's ground is rough with large pebbles.
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Local dancers perform near the Dedara Nebuta float.
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Since the festival was on the site of the former Nissan car factory where they manufactured some of Nissan's most famous models, a classic car group displayed their classic Nissan cars.
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Beautifully restored 1961 Nissan Prince Skyline.
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Fins on a beautifully restored 1961 Nissan Prince Skyline.
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1963 Datsun Fairlady (predecessor to the 240Z) still undergoing restoration.
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1963 Datsun Fairlady (predecessor to the 240Z) still undergoing restoration.
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Toyota Corolla
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Watching the stage entertainment was a good way to kill time until 7 pm when the Dedara Nebuta float parade would start.
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Local lion dance called Yokonakaba shishimai (横中馬獅子舞) dating from 300 years ago.
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Musashi-Murayama lion dance called Yokonakaba shishimai (横中馬獅子舞) dating from 300 years ago.
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Dedara Nebuta float lit up.
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Dedara Nebuta float lit up. It remained stationary.
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The festival climax was this evening parade of small Nebuta floats. After parading in city streets in the late afternoon, they entered the festival site and paraded within the festival grounds while passing by the stationary Dedara Nebuta float.
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Murayama-to float (武士団・村山党) was flanked by people dressed as samurai and ninja. Murayama-to was one of seven samurai groups in this region.
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Murayama-to float with ninja.
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Murayama-to Nebuta float.
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Murayama-to Nebuta float and other floats were displayed before the start of the evening parade at 7 pm.
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This small Nebuta shows a Dedara building an extension of the nearby monorail (from Tachikawa) to the city.
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They really want the monorail to be extended to their city so they can finally have a rail station in their city.
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This Nebuta float (慈王波亜来) was from Mutsu, Aomori.
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The rosary was made of foam balls.
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Back of Nebuta float (慈王波亜来) from Mutsu, Aomori.
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High school taiko drummers (南多摩高校).
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First time to see a taiko drummer in yukata.
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Taiko drummer in yukata.
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Evening parade started at 7 pm with some dancers.
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Floats and dancers paraded by the Dedara Nebuta float.
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Evening parade at 7 pm to 8 pm along the perimeter of the festival site. The parade did not leave the festival site.
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The man in the middle is the city's mayor.
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Buses back to JR Tachikawa Station are numerous until 11:18 pmFestival pamphlet: http://www.dedara.com/files/148/puroguramuura.pdf

https://www.facebook.com/DedaraMusamura
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