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Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival

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

On April 13th fathers and their young sons purify themselves in the sacred waters of Yunomine Onsen before 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.

Yunobori-shinji

April 15th

Portable Shrine Procession.

Portable Shrine Procession

On 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

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

April 15 (Main day)

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

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