Shirakawago Doburoku festival

A harvest festival Japanese style! Prayers to the mountain gods are aided by singing, dancing and copious amounts of home brew.

The World Heritage village of Shirakawago deep in the heart of the Hakusan National Park is one of Japan's classic sites to visit with its large number of original gasho zukkuri houses and old Japan atmosphere. Tourism and farming are the main industries here and with hundreds of thousands of visitors (mostly day-trippers) every year there is little time to sit back and relax.

However, between 14th and 19th October each year, the residents of the villages that make up Shirakawago let their hair down to offer their thanks and prayers to the mountain god for safety and a good harvest. Production of home-brewed alcoholic drinks is banned in Japan but the people of Shirakawa are given special permission to produce "limited quantities" of Doburoku, unrefined sake, for the festival. Although this thick, sweet, porridge-like drink is first offered to the gods, there is certainly plenty left over for the local residents and certainly aides the songs, dance and niwaka (improvised buffoonery) that accompany the festival. The Shishimai Dragon Dance is certainly one of the events not to miss here.

Doburoku Matsuri is a great chance to enjoy a day of harvest festival Japanese style!

When to go: Doburoku Matsuri takes place between 14th and 19th October each year. The main celebrations are on 14th and 15th, centred around Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine in the Ogimachi district.

Shirakawago Doburoku festival

located in Shirakawago

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