Enchanting lights dance at the Kumaryu Shrine Festival
Here is an overview of the Kumaryu Shrine Festival in Nishitama District, Hinohara Village, Tokyo.
- Address: 7076 Kazuma, Hinohara Village, Nishitama District, Tokyo
- Phone Number: 042-598-6135
- Access: Take the Nishi Tokyo Bus from Musashi五日市 Station on the JR五日市 Line for 60 minutes and get off at the “Kazuma” bus stop. It is a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.
- Festival Days: Second Sunday of September
Main Events and Attractions of the Festival
The Kumaryu Shrine Festival is a vibrant and lively event that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nishitama District, Hinohara Village. Here are some of the main events and attractions that visitors can enjoy during the festival:
One of the highlights of the festival is the Mikoshi Procession, where a portable shrine, or mikoshi, is carried through the streets of Kazuma by local residents. The mikoshi is elaborately decorated with colorful tapestries and ornaments, and it is believed that carrying it brings good luck and prosperity to the community.
Taiko Drum Performances
The festival also features energetic and captivating Taiko drum performances. Taiko drums are traditional Japanese drums that produce a powerful and resonant sound. During the festival, skilled drummers perform rhythmic and dynamic beats that fill the air with excitement and energy.
Another popular attraction at the festival is the Kagura Dance, a sacred Shinto dance performed by shrine maidens. The dancers wear colorful and elaborate costumes and perform graceful and symbolic movements to the accompaniment of traditional music. The Kagura Dance is believed to bring purification and blessings to the community.
Food Stalls and Games
The festival also offers a variety of food stalls selling delicious Japanese treats and snacks. Visitors can indulge in a wide selection of traditional and modern dishes, including yakitori, takoyaki, and kakigori. There are also various games and activities for children and adults to enjoy, such as goldfish scooping and ring toss.
Blessings and Deities
The Kumaryu Shrine is dedicated to the deity known as Kuzuryu Okami, a powerful dragon god revered for its ability to bestow blessings and protection. Kuzuryu Okami is believed to have a benevolent and compassionate nature, and it is said that those who pray to the deity with a sincere heart will receive divine guidance and support in various aspects of their lives, including health, wealth, and relationships.
- Deity: Kuzuryu Okami (Dragon God)
- Blessings: Protection, guidance, support, health, wealth, relationships
Origin and History
The origins of the Kumaryu Shrine are shrouded in mystery and legend. According to some accounts, the shrine was founded in the year 1545 by a local samurai named Nakamura Ise no Kami Fujiyoshi, who enshrined Kuzuryu Okami as the guardian deity of his clan. Over the centuries, the shrine has undergone several renovations and expansions, and it has become a beloved place of worship for the people of Nishitama District and beyond.
- Founded: 1545
- Founder: Nakamura Ise no Kami Fujiyoshi
- History: Renovations and expansions over the centuries
Tips and Notes for Visitors
If you plan to visit the Kumaryu Shrine Festival, here are a few tips and notes to make your experience more enjoyable:
- Dress respectfully: As with any religious site in Japan, it is important to dress respectfully when visiting the Kumaryu Shrine. Avoid wearing shorts, tank tops, or other casual clothing.
- Observe proper etiquette: When entering the shrine grounds, be sure to purify your hands and mouth at the chozuya (water purification basin) before approaching the main shrine building.
- Make an offering: It is customary to make a small offering of money to the shrine before praying. The offering box is usually located near the main shrine building.
- Write a wish: If you have a specific wish or prayer, you can write it on a wooden ema (votive tablet) and hang it on the designated rack.
- Enjoy the festival atmosphere: The Kumaryu Shrine Festival is a lively and festive event, so be sure to take some time to enjoy the atmosphere and participate in the various activities and performances.
There is limited parking available at the Kumaryu Shrine, so it is recommended to use public transportation or park at a nearby parking lot and walk to the shrine. Here are some parking options:
- Shrine Parking Lot: There are a few parking spaces available at the shrine, but they are usually filled on festival days.
- Nearby Parking Lots: There are several parking lots located within walking distance of the shrine. You can find these parking lots by using a map app or asking for directions from a local.
- Public Transportation: The Kumaryu Shrine is accessible by public transportation. You can take the Nishi Tokyo Bus from Musashi五日市 Station on the JR五日市 Line and get off at the “Kazuma” bus stop. The shrine is a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.
Popular Stalls and Food Carts in Recent Years
|Type of Stall
|A staple at Japanese festivals. Characterized by a crispy outside and a creamy inside.
|A simple yet popular snack of hot potatoes lavishly topped with melted butter.
|Small castella cakes, sweet and fluffy treats enjoyed by children and adults alike.
|Grilled Ayu with Salt
|Fresh ayu fish grilled whole with salt, a savory taste of Japanese summer.
|A unique gourmet item influenced by foreign cuisine, with a chewy skin wrapping the filling.
|A Japanese grilled dish where you often choose your own ingredients for a personalized flavor.
|A fluffy, sweet snack that’s extremely popular with children.
|A banana coated in chocolate, a fun and visually appealing dessert.
|Various types of ingredients skewered and grilled, an easy-to-enjoy snack.
|Fried noodles mixed with a special sauce, a fast food favorite in Japan.