Jan 10, 2011

Jan 15(sat),16(sun) Tondo Festivals

Tondo Festivals

If you're driving or biking along the rivers that run through town or in the countryside around the middle of January you may well see groups of people gathered around large bonfires, eating and drinking. This is the tondo matsuri, which is held on or around koshogatsu - literally means "small new year", and is celebrated at lunar New Year.

Local communities gather at the site of their bonfire and burn the New Year decorations, roast mochi and warm sake over the flames, and fan the smoke from the burnt decorations for good luck.

The large Gokoku Shrine, located in the city next to the castle will hold its tondo matsuri on Jan 15th from 10am. You can get an idea of the event from the video below.

There is also a tondo on the banks of the river next to Kintaikyo Bridge in Iwakuni on January, 16 from 5pm to 7pm.

Follow the smoke plumes to the festivals at other shrines, schools and parks.

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