There are many festivals in Japan; every festival has its historical background and meaning. Today, this post will introduce you to, one of the main festival in Hakata – Hojoya Festival. It is based on the concept originating from the Buddhist teaching, “quit killing”, hence some Japanese Shinto followers also practice this teaching. During the festival, it also celebrates the harvest and gratitude, it is usually held in spring and autumn in most temples nationwide and Hachimangu.
Hojoya Festival has a 1000 years of history, it is usually held between the 12th to the of 18th September, there are different activities held each day, every year it attracts more than 1 million participants. The Dontaku Festival is held in the Hakozaki Shrine in Hakata, together with Hakata Dontaku and Hakata GionYamakasa it is one of the three most important festivals in the area. These two festivals are held in UsaJingu and IwashimizuHachimangū in the Ōita Prefecture. It can be reached by the Fukuoka subway, the JR Kagoshima Line, the Nishitetsu Bus and JR Kyushu Bus, only a few minutes walking distance it is very convenient.
The Hojoya festival is said to have originated in the year 720 at the UsaHachiman-gu Shinto Shrine in Oita to commemorate those who died in the war. Since then, the festival has been an event honoring the living. It is held in Fukuoka every year from September 12 – 18 at the Hakozakigu Shinto Shrine in Higashi Ward. The main path of the shrine is lined with open air stalls, and it is well known for being the only time that the Hakata champon is sold at Hakozakigu.
On the first day of the festival, you can already see many stalls from afar!
Approximately 700 stalls along the festival street offer all kinds of food, such as chocolate banana, yakitori, tepanyaki, fried chicken, fried noodles, steam bun, butter potato…
One of the best thing in summer has to be shaved ice!
There are too many options to go for, hence I asked my Japanese friend what the must-eat-food in the festival was. She said, for her and most of her friends, shaved ice is a must! Even though it was topped with many different fruit juices, it didn’t taste special, but she said the best part is when the ice numbs your mouth (smile).
Besides eating, there is also gold fishing, haunted houses, small games and etc.
There is alsoan exhibition on チャンポン (Chapon) and おはじき (Ohajiki).
チャンポンis a glass handcraft from the late Edo-period where most of theチャンポン in the Hojoya Festival were handmade by witches.
おはじきis a type of Japanese marbles, it is flat in shape, about the size of a 10 Yen. In the Hojoya Festival, theおはじきis made from pottery.
For those who have an interest in Japanese festival, you must not miss the Hojoya Festival!