Oguni Kotamagawa Kumamatsuri 小国・小玉川「熊まつり」 Yamagata (May)
Oguni Kotamagawa Kumamatsuri is a memorial ceremony for hunted bears, and for giving thanks to the mountain deity for the blessings it brings. It has a history of over 300 years, and is held at the beginning of May, when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. On the day of the matsuri, a traditional Shinto ritual and an exciting imitation demonstration of bear hunting are held. Over 90% of Oguni-machi is covered by forest, and even today, the customs of hunters called Matagi and their archaic hunting methods remain.
The car park of Kokuminshukusha Iidekairagiso, Kotamagawa, Oguni-machi, Nishiokitama-gun, Yamagata
From Yonezawa station, go to Oguni station on the JR Yonezaka line Sakamachi direction (approx. 1hr. 30 min.), then take the local bus to Iidekairagiso (45 min.), and get off at Iidekairagiso bus stop.
Short walk from the bus stop.
From Fukushimaiizaka interchange on the Tohoku Expressway, take the National Route 13, then 287, then 113, then Prefectural Route 15, then 260 (approx. 2hr. 30 min.)