Last additions - Hyozu Matsuri Festival 兵主祭
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My YouTube video of the Ayame mikoshi girls at Hyozu Matsuri in 2010.Jun 06, 2010
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My YouTube video of Hyozu Matsuri in 2010.Jun 06, 2010
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After the festival is over, the path is deserted. I had to take a taxi back to Yasu Station. No buses running.May 30, 2010
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The mikoshi head home from Hyozu Taisha. That's Mt. Mikami in the background.May 30, 2010
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He thanked the girls and asked them to help clean up. He also gave away the iris flowers.May 30, 2010
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Also see my video at YouTube.May 30, 2010
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Approaching Hyozu Taisha.May 30, 2010
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Ayame girls at Hyozu Matsuri in Yasu.May 30, 2010
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The Ayame taiko girls turn back for the last time and head for the shrine.May 30, 2010
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Also see my video at YouTube.May 30, 2010
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They are so photogenic.May 30, 2010
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Ayame taiko girls.May 30, 2010
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Shrine maidens.May 30, 2010
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The children's mikoshi start to leave Hyozu Shrine as the festival winds down.May 30, 2010
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Meanwhile a Shinto ceremony is held in the shrine hall.May 30, 2010
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Festival crowd head for the shrine to pray.May 30, 2010
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A priest blesses each children's mikoshi.May 30, 2010
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The children's mikoshi are parked along this path in front of the shrine.May 30, 2010
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Hyozu Matsuri Festival 兵主祭May 30, 2010
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The Ayame mikoshi girls head for the shrine.May 30, 2010
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Ayame mikoshi girls at Hyozu Matsuri Festival, Shiga. 兵主祭May 30, 2010
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I often see foreigners participating in Shiga festivals.May 30, 2010
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Nice to see a few foreigners too. Local English teachers perhaps.May 30, 2010
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The Ayame girls return.May 30, 2010
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The big Omiya mikoshi.May 30, 2010
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Almost got run over by this one.May 30, 2010
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The drummer really has to move quickly with the rest of the boys as they move unpredictably.May 30, 2010
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The lost mikoshi.May 30, 2010
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All that gravel can make it quite dusty.May 30, 2010
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They come one after another, big and small.May 30, 2010
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Also see my video at YouTube.May 30, 2010
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A unique thing about this festival is that the mikoshi rider pulls out and raises the mikoshi's top ornament (usually a phoenix). 鵜の息抜きMay 30, 2010
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Looking toward Hyozu Taisha Shrine.May 30, 2010
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One feature of this festival is that someone rides on the mikoshi and detaches and raised the phoenix ornament at the top of the mikoshi.May 30, 2010
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At this end of the pine tree path, there is the Taikobashi Bridge and the red torii. This is where the crowd is concentrated to see the mikoshi being raised and the phoenix atop the mikoshi pulled out and raised by the mikoshi rider..May 30, 2010
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One mikoshi was missing. Maybe it was lost.May 30, 2010
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They shout "Choitosa!" while carrying the mikoshi. チョイトサMay 30, 2010
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Many of the mikoshi are for children. The mikoshi come from smaller shrines in the area related to Hyozu Taisha.May 30, 2010
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There are several large mikoshi carried by men. All the mikoshi and taiko drums have a name.May 30, 2010
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A set routine is lowering and raising the mikoshi.May 30, 2010
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They leave here and proceed along the pine tree path to the first torii. Then they will come back here and go back and forth a few times during the festival.May 30, 2010
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They crossed over the Taikobashi Bridge. あやめ神輿May 30, 2010
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After the taiko drum, a second group of girls start carrying the Ayame mikoshi. May 30, 2010
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It was a beautiful festival day on May 5, 2010. The Ayame girls wore colorful happi coats which really added color to the festival.May 30, 2010
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Also see my video at YouTube.May 30, 2010
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At the festival start time, the Ayame girls start carrying the taiko drum and mikoshi from this gate.May 30, 2010
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Ayame girls at Hyozu Matsuri.May 30, 2010
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A Shinto ceremony is held at the shrine in the morning. Then by noon or so, over 30 portable shrines and taiko drums gather here on this path for the annual Hyozu Matsuri on May 5.May 30, 2010
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Ayame girls rehearsing their festival call.May 30, 2010
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"Ayame" means iris flower, in reference to women. Out of the 30+ portable shrines (mikoshi) and taiko drums to be paraded during the festival, two of them, called Ayame, are carried only by women. These women will carry the Ayame mikoshi and taiMay 30, 2010
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When I arrived, the Ayame girls were rehearsing their routine for the festival in front of this red Romon Gate. This gate was said to have been donated by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji in the 14th century. 楼門May 30, 2010
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At the end of the pine tree path, the second torii is red, right after the Taikobashi Bridge.May 30, 2010
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The Hyozu Matsuri is held at Hyozu Taisha Shrine during May 3-6, but the 5th is the climax with the mikoshi parade. This is the shrine's first torii. This is at the front end of a 300-meter pine tree-lined path. Infrequent buses go to the shrine from Yasu Station (North exit). So infrequent that you might need to take a taxi. 一の鳥居May 30, 2010
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When I visited this shrine before, I wondered what these stone markers were for. Now I know. They have the name of a portable shrine, indicating the place where the respective portable shrines can be parked along this path during the festival.May 30, 2010
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There is the 300-meter, pine tree-lined gravel path to the shrine from the first torii. MAPMay 30, 2010
 
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