Yahiko Toro Matsuri 弥彦燈籠まつり Niigata (July)
Yahiko Toro Matsuri is a ritual held at Yahiko Shrine to pray for protection from plagues and for a bumper harvest. It is one of Japan’s three main toro (lantern) matsuri, and is one of Yahiko Shrine’s liveliest events. Its origins are not clear, however, it is said to have started after Gion-e, a matsuri at Gion Shrine in Kyoto, became known. In May, 1978, it became a nationally designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property, along with Daidai Kagura and Sho Kagura, sacred dances which are performed as an act of worship.
Around Yahiko Jinja, Yahiko-mura, Nishi-kanbara-gun, Niigata
Approx. 5 min. walk from Yahiko station on the JR Yahiko line
Exit Hokuriku Expressway at the Sanjo-tsubame interchange, and take National Route 289 (approx. 25 min.)