Kotohira-gu is the most famous Shinto shrine in Kagawa prefecture and through October 9th to 11th it hosts the biggest festival. This festival is the most important festival at the Kotohira-gu shrine.
The whole festival is divided in several small sub-events, “Yoimiya-sai (Meaning small pre festival)”, “Reisai (The actual annual celebration)” and “Omikoshi-togyo (Carrying of the miniature shrine)” with lots of locals and tourists attending it.
You can experience the procession of the priests the same way it has been for hundreds of years on the evening of the 10th.
It starts at the main shrine from 16:00 on October 9th. This is the small pre-festival for the actual event the next day. Shrine maidens are performing the traditional “Yaotome-mai” dance.
This is the actual main festival and most ceremonial annual festival at the shrine. The Kotohira-gu holds the festival October 10th every year . A ceremony and dance “Yamato-mai” are performed.
Omikoshi means miniature shrine in Japanese and Togyo means to “leave the house”, and is only used for the imperial family or shrines. So in this event the miniature shrine is “leaving the house’’.
After the Reisai the procession will go down the mountain.
This is so meaningful because the god that is enshrined in the Kotohira-gu comes down from his shrine to the town that lies at the foot of the mountain and prays for the people there.
There will be hundreds people in traditional clothing so it’s definitely worth a visit!
The next day after some events at the town the same procession goes back to the main shrine again to bring the god back to Kotohira-gu.
This shrine’s event is quite festive and a perfect opportunity for you to experience an important part of Japanese culture.
- DATE：October 9th ~ October 11th
- ADDRESS： 〒766-8501 香川県仲多度郡琴平町892-1