The Ogi area of Noto Town is known for squid fishing. In the autumn festival of Mifune Shrine, “sleeve-kiriko” floats, which resemble kites in the shape of footman of olden times, are carried around the town.
On the first day of the festival, the lanterns gather at Shozaki (on the east side of the port), parade along the shore, and make a stop at Nishimachi Beach (on the west side of the port). The lights of the nine lanterns lined up along the beach are reflected on the sea, producing a fantastic atmosphere.
The highlight of the first day of the festival is the parade of lanterns carried up the steep steps to Mifune Shrine. At ten o’clock in the evening, to the dynamic sound of flutes and drums, the lanterns proceed up the stone steps to the shrine. People pull the lanterns with ropes at the front, push them at the back, and insert logs under them when they stop. The lanterns are raised little by little to the rhythm of cheerful calls.
After a purification ceremony, the lanterns are lowered. Triangular logs are placed on the steps to close the gaps between them when the lanterns are raised; the logs are removed when the lanterns go down. The wheels at the bottom of the lanterns make loud noises at every step. People synchronize their breathing, and lower the lanterns slowly, step by step. Their fighting spirit excites the audience, who call out in chorus.
On the next day, the lanterns are paraded through the town with a portable shrine. At five o’clock in the evening, the magnificent view of the lantern parade can be enjoyed at the port. At the end of the festival, people try to prevent the portable shrine from going back to the shrine by blocking its way with the lanterns. This is another highlight of the festival.
●Mysterious beauty of the lanterns lining up at Ogi Port at night.
●Dynamic carrying of the lanterns up to the shrine.
●Maneuvers in the fight between the lanterns and the portable shrine.
Day: 3rd Saturday and Sunday of September
Location: Ogi Area, Noto Town
Inquiries: Noto Town Furusato Promotion Section (Tel: 0768-62-8532)