Things to do / Traditional festivals

Kumamoto: Hamayumi-sai (Matobakai)

Hamayumi-sai - shooting three arrows to commence the ceremony.
Matobakai - loin-clothed youths scrambling for a round straw mat, 60 cm in diameter and 6 kg in weight.
The fight for obtaining the mat is continued on Kaigan-dori street and finally in the water of Ariake Sea. The winner of this fight is believed to be saved from misfortune and blessed with good luck for the year.

Schedule & Key events:
from 11 a.m.: Hamayumi-sai
from 11:50 a.m.: Taiko, Japanese drumming performance
from 1 p.m.: Matobakai in the shrine precincts

Location: Shioji-jinja Shrine, Kaigan-dori Street, Ariake Sea, Nagasu-machi, Kumamoto

JR Kagoshima Honsen Line to Nagasu Sta., and then walk 20 min.

Festival information compiled in cooperation with the Tourist Information Center of the Japan National Tourist Organization. (Shin-Tokyo Bldg. 1F, 3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3201-3331). Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.