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Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival

This spring festival is held April 13th to 15th every year and is not only a quintessiantial festival of Kumano but intimately associated with the pilgrimage to Kumano and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.

April 13th: Yunobori-shinji, hot water purification and pilgrimage ritual

Yunobori-shinji-rnd_0.jpgOn April 13th fathers and their young sons purify themselves in the sacred waters of Yunomine Onsenbefore walking over the Dainichi-goe section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to Oyunohara wearing traditional costumes. The young boys have the character for big written on their forehead and are forbidden to touch the ground.

 

April 15th: Portable Shrine Procession

Yamabushi_Oyunohara.jpgOn April 15th the Kumano Deities are invoked to temporarily take up residence a portable mikoshi shrine and returned to their original site of descend, Oyunohara. It is carried with great pomp and circumstance on the shoulders of 20 to 30 people. It’s an exciting event as the mikoshi is spun and tossed in the air as it makes its rounds purifying the village. At Oyunohara various rituals and celebrations take place, including fire rituals and mochi rice cake scramble. The atmosphere is serene, traditional, authentic and inspiring. Yamabushi mountian ascetics also perform a fire ritual. If you are interested in experiencing a traditional festival in the quiet, spiritual mountains of Kumano this is the festival for you.

Schedule

April 13

~ 9:00 Ceremony Kumano Hongu Taisha and short procession through town
13:00 Ceremony at Yunomine-oji shrine in Yunomine Onsen
Procession on Dainichi-goe route to Hongu
~ 14:30 Arrive in Hongu

April 15 (Main day)

8:00 Ceremony at Kumano Hongu Taisha
13:00 Procession from Kumano Hongu Taisha to Oyunohara
~14:00 Arrive in Oyunohara
Ceremonies and events.
Shugendo Bonfire Ritual
~16:00 Procession to Kumano
17:00 Final ceremony at Kumano Hongu Taisha


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