In Fukushima-shi, Fukushima Prefecture, the “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” (Straw-sandals Festival) is held every two days in early August every year, and approximately 260,000 visitors come every year. On the first day, the large Waraji with the length of 12 meters and the weight of 2 tons will be dedicated.
There are lively events such as “Waraji Dance”, “Dancing Soda Night”, “Waraji competition”.
Fukushima Waraji Matsuri derives from “Akatsuki Mairi”. “Akatsuki Mairi” seems to have started dedicating the large straw-sandals that were made according to the size of the statue of Nio (two Deva kings) who was placed in “Shinobu Sanzan Haguro Jinja Shrine” in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture.
Therefore, it came to dedicate straw sandals to the healthy legs and safety prayers when people travel on long trips.
This is the festival called “Akatsuki Mairi” held in February every year.
After that, based on the origin of Akatsuki Mairi, Fukushima City came to hold “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” in August every year in order to have many people enjoy the Tohoku (Northeast area of Japan) Summer Festival, while keeping the tradition of the biggest straw-sandals in Japan. It began to hold. This festival is counted as one of the Tohoku 6 great festivals.
On the first day, after dedicating the biggest straw-sandals in Japan to the venue, the women in a yukata-style, men in happi coat (a workman’s livery coat), dance gently according to “Heisei Waraji Ondo” (A Folk Song of Straw-sandals for a Dance). Continuously, “Dancing Soda Night” is held on the rhythm of hip-hop, various groups will show off a splendid dance with hot and various costumes.
|Name:||Fukushima Waraji Matsuri (Straw-sandals Festival)|
|Address:||Okitamacho Fukushima, Fukushima 960-8034 Japan|
|Access:||JR Ouu-honsen Line “Fukushima-eki Station” (5 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 24-536-5511 (Fukushima Waraji Festival Executive Committee)|