• Culture
  • Fukushima

Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival

Light up the red paper lanterns with the bonfire of Nihonmatsu Shrine, and let the festival begin!

On the first Saturday, Sunday and Monday of October every year, Nihonmatsu Shrine’s annual festival is held, which has a tradition of more than 350 years. The main attraction is the 3,000 brightly glowing red paper lanterns. On the eve of the festival, seven large floats called Taikodai are gathered from neighboring towns, and a ceremony is held to light the sacred flame of Nihonmatsu Shrine to the red paper lanterns. The 11-meter tall Taikodai are each decorated with 300 lanterns, and they parade through the Nihonmatsu city center with chants by energetic Wakaren (young paraders) and spirited ohayashi music.

Skillful handling of the Taikodai floats

All of the Taikodai's movements and turning of directions are done by human power, handled by men called Wakaren. Watch them powerfully move around the Taikodai and skillfully light the lanterns. The festive drum and bell music are actually different according to each of the seven towns. The cadence changes depending on the scene, such as a lively rhythm when climbing uphill or turning, relaxed rhythm when gliding downhill and jaunty rhythm when going down a flat road. Be sure to listen to the different music and their changes as you enjoy the festivities!


Name Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival
Website (In Japanese) http://www.city.nihonmatsu.lg.jp/page/page000417.html
Address 1-61 Motomachi, Nihonmatsu-shi, Fukushima
Access Approximately 5 minutes' walk from Nihonmatsu Station on the JR Tohoku Line
Approximately 5 minutes' drive from the Nihonmatsu IC on the Tohoku Expressway
Inquiries TEL: 0243-55-5122

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