Shimura Kumano Shrine: A Millennia-Old Shrine Steeped in History and Tradition
- Address: Access: 6-minute walk from Shimura-sanchome Station on the Toei Mita Line
- Festival Days: September 16th (Sat) and 17th (Sun), 2024
Main Events and Attractions of the Festival
The Kumano Jinja Shimura Festival is a vibrant and lively event that offers a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. Some of the main highlights include:
One of the central events of the festival is the mikoshi procession, where a portable shrine is carried through the streets by local residents. The mikoshi is believed to house the spirit of the deity enshrined at Kumano Jinja, and the procession is a way to pay respects and seek blessings.
During the festival, there are various traditional performances that showcase Japanese culture and arts. These performances may include taiko drumming,獅子舞 (shishimai) lion dances, and kagura sacred dances. These performances add to the festive atmosphere and provide a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage.
No Japanese festival is complete without delicious food! At the Kumano Jinja Shimura Festival, there are numerous food stalls offering a wide variety of local specialties and festival favorites. From classic dishes like yakisoba and takoyaki to unique regional delicacies, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Games and Activities
The festival also features a variety of games and activities for children and adults alike. These may include traditional games like ring toss and goldfish scooping, as well as more modern attractions like bouncy castles and face painting. These activities add to the lively and festive atmosphere of the festival.
Blessings and Deities
Kumano Jinja is dedicated to three deities: Izanagi-no-Mikoto, Izanami-no-Mikoto, and Koto-no-Masakatsu-no-Kami. These deities are associated with creation, fertility, and protection, and are believed to bestow blessings of good fortune, prosperity, and happiness upon those who worship them.
- Izanagi-no-Mikoto: God of creation and life
- Izanami-no-Mikoto: Goddess of creation and death
- Koto-no-Masakatsu-no-Kami: God of truth and sincerity
Origin and History
The origins of Kumano Jinja can be traced back to the 11th century, when a local chieftain named Shimura Shogen is said to have enshrined three deities from Kumano Shrine in Wakayama Prefecture. The shrine was initially located on a hilltop, but it was later moved to its current location in the 17th century.
- 11th century: Founded by Shimura Shogen
- 17th century: Moved to current location
Tips and Notes for Visitors
If you plan to visit Kumano Jinja during the festival, here are a few tips to make the most of your experience:
- Arrive early to avoid crowds, especially if you want to see the mikoshi procession.
- Wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring cash as some food stalls and vendors may not accept credit cards.
- Be respectful of the shrine and its customs. For example, avoid wearing revealing clothing or making loud noises.
There is limited parking available at the shrine, so it is recommended to use public transportation or park in a nearby parking lot and walk to the festival.
- Limited parking available at the shrine
- Use public transportation or park in a nearby parking lot
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.