Murakami Festival to be held on July 6th & 7th
June 26, 2019
Niigata Prefecture has as many as 4,933 shrines, which is the largest number in Japan, far more than the second, Hyogo prefecture. One of the shrines, Senami-Haguro shrine located in Haguro machi of Murakami city, the northernmost city of Niigata, holds a yearly festival called ‘Murakami Taisai’ on July 6th and 7th, which has continued since 1633.
‘Murakami Taisai’ is famous for its 19 floats (nickname: Oshagiri) touring around the towns.
On the 6th eve of festival, the 19 floats that the local towns own each parade mainly within their local towns. On the 7th Taisai (Festival), wooden horses (Arauma) and all floats gather at Haguro shrine early in the morning. Then the floats start to tour around the old domain following the leading drams, 14 wooden horses and three portable shrines (Mikoshi) carrying the Holy Spirits. The view of the 19 floats parading through the towns to the festival music is spectacular.
The festival was designated an important intangible folk cultural property in March 2018. Additionally, Murakami city has a connection to Japan’s New Empress Masako that her paternal ancestor used to live in Murakami as a clansman of Murakami Domain. These things will surely help Murakami city and the festival draw more attention than ever.
Murakami also boasts their local food such as their salmon and beef. And we should not miss their local sake. There are two good sake breweries, MIYAO SHUZO_SHIMEHARITSURU and TAIYO SHUZO_TAIYOZAKARI. The former has continued to brew sake for 200 years keeping quality-first-production as their motto. The latter now attracts growing attention by making and selling a special sake, ‘Junmai Ginjo Sekkako Taiyozakari’ brewed with a flower ‘Hamanasu’ yeast to commemorate Crown Princess Masako becoming the New Empress.
We recommend you take a trip to the traditional city to enjoy the festival and their local sake this summer.
For official website for Murakami Festival https://www.sake3.com/en/index.html
For more information of the breweries:
MIYAO SHUZO_SHIMEHARITSURU http://www.shimeharitsuru.co.jp/
TAIYO SHUZO_TAIYOZAKARI http://www.taiyo-sake.co.jp/