Kiryu Yagibushi Festival
This is Kiryu's largest summer festival surrounded with heat and excitement
The largest summer festival in Gunma Prefecture
Kiryu Yagibushi Festival is held in central Kiryu City (Hocho Dori, Suehirocho Dori, Nishikicho Dori) for three days from the first Friday to Sunday in August every year as the largest summer festival in Gunma Prefecture. This festival was previously held as the "Kiryu Gion Festival," a festival held in honor of the deity Gozu-Tenno, but it became known by its current name incorporating the name of Yagibushi after it was integrated with various events related to folk songs and Yagibushi dance from the Ryomo area.
The biggest feature of this festival is that it is "super-participatory." During the festival, yagura towers are set up in several places throughout the city which echo with the refrain of Yagibushi music. You can see the numerous rings of people doing the Yagibushi dance grow larger not only with local residents but also the general public jumping into the rows of dancing people. Even if you don't know the dance, it's okay just to look at others and imitate them. The ease of joining in and the freedom of dancing is the most attractive point. The program includes a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by both children and adults, such as the "Jumbo Parade" where teams of volunteers parade in various costumes, the "All Japan Yagibushi Contest" which is a competition to be the best in Japan for Yagibushi dancing as well as "Dance Yagibushi." At the same time, you can experience the traditions of Japan such as the Mikoshi-Togyo and the Hoko-Jungyo during the "Kiryu Gion Festival" and view a procession of floats that will capture both your eyes and your heart. The excitement and heat culminate on the final day. All participants come together on the last day to create a grand finale.
During the festival period, about 2.5 km centered around the main streets are closed off to traffic to create a pedestrian's paradise. Also, special trains will operate on the Watarase Keikoku Railway and the Jomo Electric Railway as this is a festival for the entire city, with 500,000 participants over three days. This is particularly surprising since this is 4-5 times the population of about 110,000 people in Kiryu City. Such is the "hottest three days in Kiryu." Finally, "Yagibushi" is something you can listen to or dance to, and it is something that you should definitely experience for yourself.
- (Hon Dori, Suehirocho Dori and Nishikicho Dori) Kiryu City center area, Gunma
- 0277-46-1111 (Kiryu City Tourism Exchange Section)
- <First Friday, Saturday, Sunday in August> 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- No Charge
- Easily accessible on foot from either Kiryu Station (JR Ryomo Line) or Nishi-Kiryu Station (Jomo Electric Railway). About 15 minutes by bus from Shin-kiryu Station (Tobu Kiryu Line).
- Official website
- Official website (English)