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I went to a famous festival “Yagoro-don Festival” at Soo City of Osumi Peninsula. The festival is held from 3rd to 5th November every year.
Drive from Kagoshima City to Soo City
I departed Kagoshima City at 10::00.
I drove route 10 from Kagoshima City to Kajiki. Then I took Higashi Kyushu Expressway from Kajiki IC to Soo City.
The expressway was easy to drive. I enjoyed the scenery on my way to Soo City. The autumn sky was beautiful.
The festival is held at the surrounding area of Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine, which is from 10 minutes away from Soo-Yagoro IC of Higashi Kyushu Expressway.
I arrived at the festival site at around 12:00. The marching of Yagoro-don starts at 13:00.
Huge crowds of visitor to the festival surprised me. It was hard to find a parking lot because of too many people. Luckily I managed to park my car at the parking lot of Japan Agriculture.
I walked to Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine.
I happened to see a patrol car which was decorated specially for Yagoro-don festival.
There are many street vendors along the road to Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine. Many people filled the road.
It is hard to go through the crowd.
I didn’t take my wife and baby here today, but I thought it was right choice. It is almost impossible to bring a baby car into this crowd.
What is Yagoro-don?
The traffic lights along the road are Yagoro-don. Parts of the lights look like a sword.
Yagoro-don has large eyes. His face is a bit scary but somewhat cute.
Yagoro-don is the legendary giant who is said to live in the region.
He was powerful but gentle to local people. Sometimes he saved people from natural disasters such as floods.
His popularity is similar to Mr. Saigo Takamori who is the historical hero from Kagoshima Prefecture.
I managed to came to the shrine gate of Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine.
Soon huge Yagoro-don is coming out of the shrine gate.
Many people are waiting for his appearance.
TV cameras are waiting for Yagoro-don’s appearance, too.
Luckily I could stand just in front of the shrine gate.
At 13:00, Yagoro-don finally made his appearance!
His height is 4.85 m. He has two swords on waists. Long sword is 4.85 m and short sword is 2.85 m.
Most Exciting Moment of Festival
Big Yagoro-don gets through under bridge. This moment is the most exciting in the festival.
I could took the video and picture of the moment.
Yagoro-don moves forward very slowly while many audiences watches him.
He passed under bridge safely!
I took the video of Yagoro-don’s festival.
The marching is very impressive. Please watch and enjoy!
Yagoro-don’s Festival Information
About 1.5 hours from Kagoshima City via Higashi Kyushu Expressway. Please park your car at designated places.
13:00（depart Iwakawa-Hachima Shrine）- 15:45（Come back to the shrine）
I visited Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine after watching Yagoro-don’s procession.