The City of Water, Yanagawa
"Tastes of JAPAN by ANA" is a regional vitalization project that collaborates with the different prefectures in Japan to present the Land of the Rising Sun in all of its diverse glory.
Go to the water town, Yanagawa’s two major events!
Yanagawa has many lively festivals and events to enjoy the flowers of the four seasons, as well as buildings that retain the atmosphere of days gone by. Enjoy the beauty of the flowers, participate in the festivals, or bask in the historical charms of the town. Come to Yanagawa to enjoy its many different faces.
A rite of autumn, the "Hakushu Festival and Parade on Water"
Commemorating the anniversary of the great poet, Kitahara Hakushu, who was a native of Yanagawa, a night-time parade down the river takes place over three nights (from November 1st, the eve of his death, to November 3rd). Families living along the canal greet the parade from their houses and other residents from the bridges. Stages are set up in 20 places along the route, where performances of Hakushu’s poems and local traditional performing arts are given to entertain the invited guests on the boats as they sail down the river at night. After a firework display, the festival reaches its finale with an offering of sake in the Hakushu Stone Monument Garden. The sight of about 60 boats parading down the river each night has an other-worldly feel.
For inquiries about boarding one of the boats, contact the Yanagawa City Tourist Information Center (TEL:0944-74-0891).
Kitahara Hakushu, one of modern Japan’s most representative poets, gave the world many poems and tanka, as well as well-known Japanese children’s songs such as "Amefuri", "Machiboke", and "Karatachi no Hana". Kitahara Hakushu (real name: Kitahara Ryukichi) was born and raised as the eldest son of the Kitahara family, which operated a sake brewery in Okinohata-machi, Yanagawa. The fact that he spent the most sensitive years of his childhood here in Yanagawa had a major influence on the style of his works. The Kitahara Hakushu Memorial Museum today is housed in the restored main building of the house in which he was born, the only building to remain after a major fire destroyed the compound. Inside the house, many artifacts are on display, including Hakushu’s publications and personal effects. There is also a memorial hall inside the compound, featuring exhibits on Hakushu and the history and folk culture of Yanagawa.
Admission fees are ¥500 per adult. Other fees apply for other age groups. Open 9:00 – 17:00. Closed December 30 – January 1.
For inquiries, contact Foundation Hakushu Kitahara Birthplace Memorial Foundation (TEL:0944-72-9587).
The colorful spring festival, "Hina Festival and Sagemon Tour"
This is a festival for girls held between February 11 and April 3 every year.
Since olden times, the Yanagawa region has had a tradition in which, for the first Girl’s Festival after a girl is born, as well as the usual display of hina dolls, colorful hanging decorations called "Sagemon" are put on display and a grand celebration is held to pray for the child’s healthy growth.
These "Sagemon" decorations are a combination of cloth figurines of lucky symbols such as cranes, rabbits, chicks, and crawling baby dolls and "Yanagawa mari", decorative balls made with brightly colored thread. Altogether 51 of these Sagemon decorations are hung on display in the home. The significance of the number 51 is that, in an era when people lived only until fifty years of age, the child’s mother, grandmother, and relatives would imbue the decorations with their wish for the child to live even one year longer and to be happy.
The start of the event is heralded by the "Ohinasama Commencement Festival" on February 11, and the "Floating Doll Festival" takes place in late March. The town’s young girls dressed in their festival finery make a gorgeous sight.
For inquiries about events, contact the Yanagawa City Tourist Information Center (TEL:0944-74-0891).
Savor "Unagi Seiromushi (steamed eel)"
"Unagi Seiromushi" (steamed eel), Yanagawa’s most famous local dish featuring unagi eel. This is a Yanagawa delicacy that draws tourists to Yanagawa from all over Japan and around the world to savor its delicious taste. There are 20 or more restaurants that serve unagi eel in the town. Some of them are long-established places that have been around since the Edo Period, while others have opened only recently. Each establishment has its own taste, so you will have trouble deciding which one to choose. Find your favorite, or conquer them all. When you come to Yanagawa, be sure to try its unique cuisine, "Unagi Seiromushi".
|Name||The City of Water, Yanagawa|
|Address||35 Okinohata-machi, Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture|
|Access||49 minutes by train from Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station to Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station, then about 10 minutes by car from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station.|
|Business Hours||9:30 - 17:00 (different times during events)|