Nishibiwajima Matsuri is a festival held on the first Saturday and Sunday in June in Kiyosu City, which is right next to Nagoya. Our ward that we live in touches Kiyosu in multiple places. My dentist, who is the mother of one of the preschool students, gave us a flyer about it so we could go see it.
Nishibiwajima Matsuri is a small festival that involves parading five portable shrines through narrow neighborhood streets. These shrines have wooden wheels that are incapable of turning, so anytime they need to turn, all the men have to bounce the shrine up and down off of the ground and turn it little by little. These shrines weigh 1-2 tons each, and are 2-3 stories tall. They were constructed in the Edo period. The floats also have puppets, puppeteers, power-line movers, musicians, and other riding on them.
This float is being pulled backwards. Usually at these type of festivals, you are kept pretty far back from the floats. At this one, the police walked alongside the floats holding a rope. You basically could have reached out and touched the floats.
Here the men are turning the float.
A little boy riding on one of the floats.
The puppets on the first float we saw.
Colorful chocolate bananas.
Roasted corn. We got some, and it was delicious.
This float had a bunch of really cute little kids.
Another shot of the children’s float.
These are basically risen cheese doughnuts on a stick. They are delicious.
The children yelling a festival chant.
Two of the floats had these really creepy tiger pelts.
Another shot of the tiger pelt.
These floats are so big, that some of the rider’s job is to use these sticks to push the power lines over top of the float.
Here is a closeup of the puppets.
At Japanese festivals, you can win goldfish, tiny turtles, or beetles as prizes.
I liked this angry octopus takoyaki banner.
One of the chocolate banana places had funny banana art.
A nearby shrine had these really cool, Edo period lanterns on display.
Another shot of the lanterns.
Well, that’s all for the festival!