Nagashi-bina Festival in Yakage Town

yakage town, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura
Yakage Town
Late March

Nagashi-bina literally means “flowing dolls” and is a ceremony that has long been practiced throughout Japan. Unfortunately, this traditional ceremony has begun to disappear.  Luckily, the Nagashi-bina Festival is still celebrated with great fervor in Yakage Town. It is meant to guard against negativity and illness, especially regarding children.

It has been argued that this festival explains the origin of the Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), which takes place in early March. During that event, beautifully adorned dolls are placed in a symbolic arrangement within the home in hopes of prosperity and health for the girls of the household.

In late March, traditional dolls made of paper are set afloat at the culmination of a festival where a procession of beautifully-dressed maidens makes their way to the Oda River. The entire affair begins in the town shopping district at 10:30am and reaches its height at around 1pm at the river.

About the Area

Yakage is is often referred to as a “post town”, meaning it was one of the designated stops on the road to Edo (the former name of today’s Tokyo). During the feudal era, regional lords from around Japan were required to make the trip to pay homage to the country’s central ruler.

Lords from West Japan would have traveled along a set route with the halfway point to Edo being Osaka. In Yakage, the Daimyo or lord, attended by his retinue, would have acquired food and lodging for a reserved period of time.

 

Access: Take the Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Kiyone Station.  Walk along the platform and transfer to the Ibara Railway Ibara Line. Take the Ibara Railway Ibara Line from Kiyone Station to Ibara Railway Yakage Station. It is about a 10-minute walk from Ibara Railway Yakage Station to the Yakage Shopping Street.

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.
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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
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