Morotabune Ritual in Matsue City

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Matsue City
December 3

Mihonoseki is a district of Matsue City that is situated on a peninsula along the Japan Sea coast. This area is famous for its, lighthouse, shrine and slate-covered lanes. The town harbor faces lovely Miho Bay and is a natural gathering place for celebrations.

This annual boat race ritual is held on December 3rd and depicts an episode of Shinto mythology where messengers from the heavens were sent on a special task by the sun goddess.

The men in the boats represent the messengers on their way to see the smiling god Ebisu, patron of fortune and bounty. According to the myth, his father, the Shinto god of land, wanted him to relinquish some of his territory.

Ebisu, who is one of the few Shinto gods considered to be of Japanese origin, was thought to reside in Mihonoseki. To this day, Miho Shrine is regarded as his principal home.

The event, which takes place in Mihonoseki Harbor, is undertaken by eighteen participants dressed in ceremonial clothing. They row two boats through the water side by side with the rowers sometimes lifting their oars to splash water on members of the rival vessel. Due to the fact that the vessels sit so low in the water, there are occasions when they come close to overturning in all the excitement.


About the Area

Matsue is the vibrant capital city of Shimane Prefecture that has been shaped by its feudal heritage as a castle town and its unique location on Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the Japan Sea. The city center is dominated by the presence of Matsue Castle and its surrounding canals. This area is also a cultural zone as it is home to museums and historic quarters. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the city is from the water and there are several cruise companies that make this possible.


Access: Take the Yakumo Super Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Yonago Station. Take the JR Sakai line from JR Yonago Station to JR Sakaiminato Station. Take the bus from Sakaiminato Station to Miho Shrine-Mae bus stop.


Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee