The 400th Anniversary of Spring Festival In Nikko

This year 2015 is a special year for Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮). The enshrined deity, Ieyasu Tokugawa, a founder of Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period passed away on May 17th, 1615. Nikko was originally developed by Monk Shodo (勝道) in 766 AD but today Nikko locals as well as Tokugawa relatives celebrate 400 year anniversary for Ieyasu's death in Toshogu shrine. Based on his last will, his spirit was transferred from Kuno-zan (久能山) to Nikko. The procession called "1000 warriors" represents the process of his spirit transfer. 

Fortunately the first day hit on Sunday this year and, because of that, lots of tourists- Japanese and foreigners- were there under the beautiful blue sky and we had a terrific traffic jam!!! It took me about an hour to get from JR Nikko station to Shinkyo bridge (around 2 km) that corresponds to the same time as I spent to get from my hometown (Utsunomiya city) to JR Nikko station (around 42 km).


Yabusame performance started at 14:30 and finished around 15:15.

Bingo 2!!

I assume there are 4 archers shooting targets. Some but not all are very skilled!

Am I beautiful?

The little boy is called Chigo (稚児), local elementary school boys dressed in a traditional kimono and make-ups.

Whoops! Did I kill photographers???

There are three targets along Omote sando (表参道/main street to Toshogu first torii gate) and only  one or two archers could manage to shoot them all.

BTW, it was also a special day for me as I launched a new lens, M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO. All the images in this entry are taken by this!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yabusame is both exciting and colourful and you seem to have caught the essence of this and I would like to see more. Great photos


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