The Yayoi Festival Nikko symoblizes the beginning of spring. Yayoi means March on the ancient 24 season Japanese calendar.
The festival, which has been around for 1,200 years, celebrates the coming of spring and hopes for good fortune in the year.
The shrine can be accessed by bus or an uphill 25-minute walk from Tobu-Nikko and Nikko (JR) stations.
The World Heritage bus is also available from Nikko (JR) Station or Tobu Nikko Station and takes about 10 minutes to Shinkyo Bridge.
The festival is decorated in pink, representing cherry blossoms, which is the main theme of the event.
The Yayoi festival is a traditional event held every year from April 13 to 17; (main event being 16th & 17th) at the Futarasan-jinja Shrine in Nikko. Although the festival has modernized somewhat, the traditional rules and customs are still closely followed.
Portable shrines will be moved with much effort up the slope Omotesando street from Shinkyo bridge to Futarasan shrine.
It is hoped that with such effort the reward of good fortune for the coming year will be plentiful. It is a beautiful festival with so much spring color.
Visitors can expect to see a variety of traditional Japanese performances, such as Kagura (a Shinto theatrical dance).
The festival is a great way to experience Japanese culture and traditions. It is a time to appreciate the beauty of the world around us and to celebrate the start of a new season.
Some of the shrines will let you help push the shrines as they be getting tired and drunk on sake in the barrels at the back of some of the portable shrines.
There is no fee to attend, but do bring cash for the food stalls.