Hidakagawa-cho town of central Wakayama where peaceful scenery spreads surrounded by the rice field and the mandarin orange field. Normally, a quiet town changes completely a big crowd, it is time for the annual festival of the Nyu-jinja Shrine. It is commonly known as “Laughter Festival” and is also famous as a strange festival.
It is the famous festival in which “Ringing the Bell” who painted white face and applied red letters “Laugh” on the face cheeks walking through the town.
Originally, the festival that was separately held at each shrine in the four districts of Ekawa, Sanya, Matsuse, Wasa of the former Nyu village became one with the integration of the shrine. That is why traditional art in each district can be seen as a characteristic of the festival.
This festival is designated as intangible folk performing arts in Wakayama prefecture. It is said that this festival began with the villagers concerned about the life of Niutsuhime who fell asleep over the gathering of the god of Izumo and encouraged her to comfort “smiley and laugh”.
And it can be said that it is the symbol of this festival is “Ringing the Bell” who paints the face white, and wears flashy costumes and saying “smile, laugh”. Along with “Ringing the Bell”, there is a mikoshi, a festival car in the four districts, and a crowd holding banner flags in the line leading by “Masu Mochi”. A long line of about 500 people walks about 1 km from Otabijo (temporary shrine) to the shrine.
In addition, this region has become famous worldwide, as it has become “one of the most happiest place of the world”, chosen by the world’s leading travel guidebook publisher, Lonely Planet.
|Name:||Nyu Matsuri Festival (Laughter Festival)|
|Address:||Ekawa Hidakagun Hidakagawacho, Wakayama 649-1442 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kisei-honsen Line “Wasa-eki Station” (15 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 738-22-2041 (Hidakagawa Tourism Association)|