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Tobata Gion Matsuri

Tobata Gion Matsuri:1

One of the “Three Great Summer Festivals of Fukuoka Prefecture” along with the Hakata Gion Yamakasa and the Kokura Gion Matsuri,the three-day Tobata Gion Matsuri is held on the fourth Saturday of July and the immediately preceding and following days,with people visiting from all over the country. It has over 200 years of history,and the best sight to see at the festival is the Tobata Gion Matsuri Competition held on Saturday evening. At night,the flag-like decorations from earlier in the day are removed,pyramid-like square scaffolding is constructed over the base of the float,and 309 glowing lanterns are placed to decorate the 12 steps of the floats. The tremendous size of these floats is the largest in Japan at a total of approximately 10m. Accompanied by the voices of young people,the oyamagasa floats and kowake-yamagasa floats (smaller versions carried by young people such as junior high school students) form an exciting and resplendent display covering Kuyakusho-mae Park. The splendid swaying of the deep red floats is a masterpiece of scale and impact. While conveying the value of the lights of traditional Japan,this intensely brave competition fascinates those in attendance,and tourists will want to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime special nighttime festival experience.

Approximately a 20-minute walk from JR Tobata Station.