Hachioji Festival 2016
5 – 7 August 2016
Since the Edo period, Hachioji flourished as a “shukuba” (a relay station where goods and letters transit and travellers could stay over) established along the Koshu Kaido (one of the Five Routes developed by the shogunate, extending from the capital Edo). Hachioji also developed into a textile production centre since then.
A reminiscence of the town’s prosperity, the Hachioji Festival today is one of the best known festivals with decorated floats (called “dashi”) in the Kanto region. The festival mobilized more than 770,000 spectators last year.
Nineteen floats belonging to the town’s communities will be taken to the historical route of Koshu Kaido. Here and there, the floats deliberately collide with one another (the act is called “buttsuke”) and compete in festive music tunes (“o-hayashi”). In the evening, the lanterns attached to the floats are dimly lit, emitting a flickering pale yellow glow and providing a magical scene to delight spectators.
Partygoers may like to join the “min’yo nagashi”, dance parading to the tune of min’yo, Japanese folk music (Saturday 6 August). By joining, you might help them break the Guinness World Record of “the largest Bon Dance”. The challenge is organized in preparation for the next year’s centenary celebration of the Municipality of Hachioji, a major city in Greater Tokyo today.
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