Travel Guide of Kagoshima Japan

Yagoro-Don Festival – Dynamic Marching of Legendary Giant – (Soo City)

弥五郎どん祭り

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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

higashi kyushu expressway

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.

 

Many Crowd

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.

crossroad of Soo City

I walked to Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine.

patrol car of soo city

I happened to see a patrol car which was decorated specially for Yagoro-don festival.

crowd of 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.

crowd of Yagoro-don festival

 

What is Yagoro-don?

traffic signal of 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.

 

Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine

shrine gate of Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine

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 waiting for Yagoro-don's appearance

TV cameras are waiting for Yagoro-don’s appearance, too.

Luckily I could stand just in front of the shrine gate.

yagoro-don under 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 festival

Yagoro-don moves forward very slowly while many audiences watches him.

yagoro-don festival

 

pb030087

He passed under bridge safely!

 

Festival Video

I took the video of Yagoro-don’s festival.

The marching is very impressive. Please watch and enjoy!

 

Yagoro-don’s Festival Information

Access

About 1.5 hours from Kagoshima City via Higashi Kyushu Expressway. Please park your car at designated places.

Festival Date

3rd November

Procession Time(2016)

13:00(depart Iwakawa-Hachima Shrine)- 15:45(Come back to the shrine)

Map

My location
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Related Articles

I visited Iwakawa-Hachiman Shrine after watching Yagoro-don’s procession.

「岩川八幡神社」を参拝!~弥五郎どん伝説の郷(曽於市大隅町)~

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I am Sho, born and bred in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Kagoshima is the wonderful place to enjoy great scenery, delicious food and warm-hearted people. I would be happy if you get interested in Kagoshima through this blog. Please send me e-mail if you have any questions about Kagoshima Trip.

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