Soma Nomaoi Festival is the biggest horse festival in Japan held in July every year in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture. Its braveness and vigorous mastery is an unusual event nationwide to attract viewers. It is proud of the tradition of more than 1,000 years and is also designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country.
Even if you do not like horses, you get so excited the powerful Shinto Ritual, as if you can be wrapped with a spectacle time-slipped to 1,000 years ago.
The Soma Nomaoi Festival is the festival of three shrines, Soma Nakamura-jinja Shrine, Soma Ota-jinja Shrine, Soma Odaka-jinja Shrine.
It was designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country in 1952, and it is regarded as one of the Tohoku region (Northeast area of Japan) six major Festivals. It is also said to be the forerunner of the summer festival in the Tohoku region, and is widely loved by citizens as a festival telling the arrival of summer in the Tohoku region.
When the war-drum sounds in the summer sky with the roaring fireworks signaling, the warriors of about 500 cadres in total proceed in orderly horses.
Commanding general, Strategist, Samurai-Daisho (commander of warriors), Kumigashira (head of the group), etc., its organization is the same as the old cavalry army.
The formation will commemorate about 3 km to the ceremonial place of Soma Nomaoi Festival in Hibarigahara.
It seems that the appearance, which everyone is wearing armor, showing a sword, letting the ancestral flag blown in the wind, and it marches in a majestic manner, is as if watching luxurious Sengokui picture scrolls.
The formation can be viewed free of charge in downtown areas, but you can not watch competition between armored horse races and god flags without entering the ceremonial place of Hibarigahara. The purchase of a ticket is required for the entrance to the ceremonial place.
|Name:||Soma Nomaoi Festival|
|Address:||Haramachikuhashimotocho 4-13-27 Minamisoma, Fukushima 975-0006 Japan|
|Access:||JR Joban-sen Line “Haranomachi-eki Station” (8 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 244-22-3064 (Minamisoma City Sightseeing Interchange Section Soma Nomaoi Executive Committee)|
|Price:||*Seats without reservation
840 yen (Adult)
Free (Junior High School Students or Under)