Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hiraoka Fall Festival


Hiraoka Shrine is a large, mountain-side shrine in Higashi Osaka which has a large fall festival in mid October.
The two-day festival features a large number of food/festival stalls lining the nearby streets and the shrine property.
The main feature of the festival is the showing of the futon daiko, which are ornate parade floats with a middle compartment filled with drum/bell playing children, a top compartment with a crows nest and a frame which is carried by dozens of volunteers.
The shrine has a long walkway from the outer to inner gates, a large courtyard, many statues, a waterfall (with a waterfall bathing / takigyo area), a plum tree orchard (recently devastated by a tree virus). There is also an extensive hiking trail nearby which leads into the mountains; connecting Hiraoka to Mt. Nukata or Mt. Ikoma.
Hiraoka Shrine also has an interesting Laughing Festival (Warai Matsuri) around Christmas Day (the morning of the winter solstice).
Crowds gather along the path up to Hiraoka Shrine.
A nice mix of light and shadow in this picture with a colorful futon daiko.
Elaborate wood carvings on a danjiri.
The parade carrying the futon daiko is held up as a train passes.
People passing on the Kintetsu line get a good look at the festival.
The futon daiko line up in front of the shrine steps at the end of the festival.
People gather in the courtyard as the futon daiko are carried in.
Teams carry the futon daiko and lift it in unison when signaled.
Hiraoka Shrine. You can see a mikoshi resting inside.
Outside you can see the lanterns, imperial kikumon seal and a large enma with a monkey, which was the animal of the year for 2016.
Futon daiko with battery powered lamps being paraded at night.
Large crowds gathered for the festival.
The narrow local streets do not accomodate the many people and food stalls very well.
Wooden scaffolds are used to protect the stone lanterns from parade collisions.
A wooden carving of a tengu used to decorate a futon daiko.
Futon daiko parked after the parade so shrine visitors can admire them with their lights on.
A line up lit futon daiko under the moon light.
Futon daiko entering the shrine during the day.
Professional cameramen and many smartphones record as another futon daiko enters the shrine.
Note the purple banners which represent on the groups that cares for the futon daiko.
This futon daiko has golden dragon and tiger emblems on the sides.
A children's group carries a smaller futon daiko.
Note the surcoats that denote the various teams.
This is the Toyo team.
A full-size futon daiko carries a drum and several people in the lower compartment and has space for more people in the padded upper compartment.
The shrine is just across the street from Hiraoka station.
A team of kids carry a smaller futon daiko.
A human chain makes a path for the futon daiko to pass through the crowds.
The tassels on the futon daiko sway as the futon daiko moves.