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 one kilometers. They start aYugawara Museum of Art Parking and travel all the way to Izumi Park, being doused with onsen water by onlookers every step of the way. Three mikoshi parade through the hot spring town.
One thousand barrels full of onsen water (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.
|Saturday, May 25nd, 2024
|Mikoshi parade: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Chopsticks Festival Lighting Ceremony: 7:00 p.m. (at the square in front of Manyo Park's Genkan Terrace)
|Mikoshi parade route
|Yugawara Museum of Art Parking (departure at 7:30 p.m.) - Genkan Terrace (after 8:00 p.m.) - Izumi Park (arrival at around 9:00 p.m.)
|Take the bus for Oku-Yugawara/Fudodaki from Yugawara Station, and get off at Ochiai-bashi (about a 10-minute ride).
|Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association
Info on bus transit times during the Hot Spring Water Splashing Festival
|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 6:50 p.m. and earlier buses for Oku-Yugawara/Fudodaki will be operating normally.
◎From 7:05 p.m. – 8:28 p.m., buses will shuttle back and forth between Yugawara Station and Risokyo Bus Stop.
◎The 8:55 p.m. bus for oku-yugawara will be operating normally.
| ◎The 6:50p.m. bus (leaving Oku-Yugawara) and earlier ones will be operating normally.
◎The 7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. buses leaving Oku-Yugawara will be out of service.
◎The 8:53 p.m. bus (leaving oku-yugawara) and later ones will be operating normally.
Parking is extremely limited, so it is recommended that visitors utilize public transportation whenever possible.