Official

Izumo Iwai Shrine's Yabusame Festival

The dignified figure of a boy shooting arrows from a horse and his gorgeous costume are amazing to see.

Festivals and Events

Yabusame (archery on horseback), a Shinto ritual at Izumo-Iwai Shrine, is a traditional event that has been passed down for over 950 years and continues to this day. It is said that it started when Minamoto no Yoshiie dedicated yabusame (archery on horseback) here after he had conquered Oshu.

It is currently held twice a year, in spring (second Sunday in March) and autumn (November 3). It is one of the few yabusame (horseback archery) events in Japan that is held in a riding ground at the shrine in both spring and autumn.

The autumn Yabusame (archery on horseback) is held on the day of the main festival and is dedicated to three horses: the first horse, the second horse, and the third horse. The archers, called Noriko (riders), are chosen from elementary and junior high school students in the town, and they repeatedly practice until the day of the festival to prepare for the yabusame event. The arrow target is about 200 meters long, and it is a dignified sight to see a young boy shooting an arrow from a running horse at great speed. It is a unique event at Izumo Iwai Shrine that the archers are children. One of the highlights of the festival is the gorgeous costumes and the many horseback riding tricks.

Highlights

  • A traditional event that has been handed down for over 950 years and continues to this day.
  • It is unique to Izumo Iwai Shrine that children are the archers.
  • The gallant figure of a young boy shooting arrows from a horse running at great speed.
  • You can enjoy the beautiful horseback riding skills of the riders and the horses up close.
  • One of the highlights is the gorgeous costumes.

Photos

  • The first, second, and third horses line up for the dedication.

    The first, second, and third horses line up for the dedication.

  • A dignified boy shooting arrows from a horseback.

    A dignified boy shooting arrows from a horseback.

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Details

Name in Japanese
出雲伊波比神社の流鏑馬まつり
Postal Code
350-0465
Address
5-17-1 Iwai-nishi, Moroyama-cho, Iruma-gun, Saitama Prefecture (and surrounding areas)
Telephone
049-295-2112 (Moroyama Town Industrial Promotion Division)
Access
5 minutes by walk from Moro Station on the JR Hachiko Line, 10 minutes by walk from Higashi-moro Station on the Tobu Ogose Line
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)