Hamayumi-sai: shooting a 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 fight's winner 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 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.