The Atsuta Matsuri is one of the major festivals of Nagoya and the Chubu Region of Central Japan and is held at the famous Atsuta Jingu Shrine. The festival is held every June 5th and is also known as Shobu-sai or Annual Celebration of Atsuta Jingu Shrine.
Atsuta Jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in the Atsuta-ku area of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. The shrine is hidden among 1,000 year old cypress trees and has been revered since ancient times in Japan. It is regarded as one of Japan’s most sacred shrines behind only Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture.
The shrine is around 1,900 years old and is believed to be the home of the Sacred Sword Kusanagi of the Emperor, one of the three Imperial regalia.
The Atsuta Matsuri gives you the chance to see various traditional Japanese performances such as Kyudo (Japanese style archery), Atsuta Kagura (Shinto dance with music), Taiko (Japanese drumming), Kendo, Sumo and various forms of Martial Arts.
Atsuta Kagura is particularly interesting as a traditional form of local dance in the area that is performed with Japanese flutes and drums. It has been performed at Atsuta Shrine by the locals for close to 1,800 years now.
The beautiful performances are held on the large precincts of the shrine during the day. The festivities start off from 10:00 am with a special ceremony in front of the main shrine. The Emperor’s Messenger along with the shrine’s priests perform a special ceremony dedicated to the gods and goddesses of the shrine.
The festival is also fun in the evening with night stalls, beautiful lanterns, and an impressive fireworks display at Jingu Koen Park to close the festival.
The highlight of the festival is the five Kento Makiwara, which are huge floats decorated by 365 lanterns. They are displayed at the three torii gate entrances to the shrine and are lit from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Location: Atsuta Jingu Shrine
Address: 1-1-1 Jingu-Nishi, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya
When: June 5th
Time: Festival starts from around 10 am with the Kento Makiwara 6 pm to 9 pm and Fireworks 7:50 pm to 9 pm
Atsuta Jingu Shrine can be reached via the JR Tokaido Line from Nagoya Station to Atsuta Station, Meitetsu Nagoya Line from Nagoya Station to Jingumae Station, or subway on the Meijo Subway Line.