Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival
In the “Yu-kake Matsuri” (“Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival”), five mikoshi (portable shrines) parade the streets of the hot springs section of Yugawara for two kilometers. They start at Fudo Waterfall on the Fujiki River, continue past the upper stream of the Chitose River (which flows along the border between Kanagawa Prefecture and Atami City), and travel all the way to Izumi Park, being doused with onsen water every step of the way. One of the portable shrines is carried by a group of geigi (geishas), and ahead of it is another carried by women participating in the Women’s Mikoshi Experience Tour. The remaining three are from local mikoshi societies.
Barrels full of onsen water (1,000 barrels, about 60 tons of water total) are placed alongside the roads, with spectators invited to vigorously splash the passing mikoshis.
In the square in front of Manyo Park’s Genkan Terrace, which is the main venue, and Izumi Park, the portable shrines parade to lively music, and hot spring water is flung about on an even more grand and boisterous scale, creating quite an energetic and powerful spectacle.
The origin of the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival
This festival has its roots in a legend that, because of the powerful effects of Yugawara’s onsen water, it was packed in barrels and presented to feudal lords’ families and imperial villas during the Edo era.
In those days, before the departure of the mikoshi for presenting the onsen water to the aristocracy, there was a ritual in which it was purified by splashing hot spring water over it and praying for a safe journey. This ritual has been reproduced in the form of the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival, with people along the route being asked to toss hot spring water, imbued with their feelings of gratitude, at the passing portable shrines.
At the same time as the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival, the “Chopsticks Festival,” in which thousands of chopsticks are burned, is also held as an old Shinto ritual to pray for sound health and bountiful harvests.
|Date||Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 (cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic)|
|Time||Mikoshi parade: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Chopsticks Festival Lighting Ceremony: 7:00 p.m. (at the square in front of Manyo Park's Genkan Terrace)
|Mikoshi parade route||Fudo Waterfall (departure at 7:00 p.m.) - Genkan Terrace (after 8:00 p.m.) - Izumi Park (arrival at around 9:00 p.m.)|
|Access||Take the bus for Oku-Yugawara/Fudodaki from Yugawara Station, and get off at Ochiai-bashi (about a 10-minute ride).|
|Inquiries||Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association
Info on bus transit times during the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival
|Destination||Due to the mikoshi parade, there will be changes in the bus operation schedule of the following buses. We ask for your understanding and cooperation.|
|Yugawara Station → Oku-Yugawara/Fudodaki|| ◎The 6:18 p.m. and earlier buses for Oku-Yugawara/Fudodaki will be operating normally.
◎From 6:33 p.m. – 9:15 p.m., buses will shuttle back and forth between Yugawara Station and Risokyo Bus Stop.
◎The 9:33 p.m. bus for Fudodaki and later ones will be operating normally.
◎The operation of the 9:48 p.m. bus for Fudodaki will be extended to include Oku-Yugawara.
| ◎The 6:28 p.m. bus (leaving Oku-Yugawara) and earlier ones will be operating normally.
◎The 6:43 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. buses leaving Oku-Yugawara will be out of service.
（The 6:46 p.m. – 8:52 p.m. buses leaving Fudodaki will be out of service.）
◎The 9:15 p.m. bus (leaving Oku-Yugawara) will have a time adjustment at Fudodaki.
◎The 9:40 p.m. bus (leaving Fudodaki) and later ones will be operating normally.
Parking is extremely limited, so it is recommended that visitors utilize public transportation whenever possible.
Come join us for the Women's Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival Mikoshi Experience Tour!
We are currently recruiting participants for the Women’s Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival Mikoshi Experience Tour! We hope that many women will have unforgettable experiences carrying a mikoshi during the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival.
This tour culminates in an overnight stay, in which the participants’ sweat from enthusiastically carrying the mikoshi is washed away while leisurely enjoying an onsen bath together in a relaxed environment. It is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, and has been very popular each time it has been held.
Even if you have never carried a mikoshi before, don’t worry! Members of the local mikoshi societies will teach you how. The Women’s Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival Mikoshi Experience Tour is unique to Yugawara, and cannot be found in any other onsen resorts. We look forward to your participation.
|Date|| Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 ＊This is an overnight tour.
(Due to concerns over the spread of Coronavirus, we regretfully announce the cancellation of the Women’s Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival Mikoshi Experience Tour.)
|Schedule|| May 23th (Sat.)
3:00 p.m.: explanatory meeting, training for carrying a mikoshi
4:00 p.m.: check in at the inn
5:00 p.m.: dinner
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: joining in the mikoshi parade
May 24th (Sun.): breakfast at the inn, check out
|Recruiting requirement|| Only women accepted, in groups of two or more.
※Men’s applications are not accepted.
|Charges|| Overnight stay with 2 meals: 10,000 JPY and up / person
(Participation & lodging costs included, as well as a present of the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival’s original hanten short coat）
|Number of participants accepted||Up to 100 people on a first-come, first-serve basis|
|Inquiries and application|| Documents with details about the event can be requested by phone or FAX and will be sent out between late March and early April. Please make reservations using the form for inquiries and other documents.
Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association