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白浜神社例大祭 火達祭 Shirahama-jinja-reitaisai Hitachi-sai Hitachi Festival at Shizuoka Shirahama Shrine

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Shirahama Shrine, or Ikonahime no Mikoto Shrine, located in Shimoda City at the southernmost end of Izu Peninsula is the oldest shrine in the Izu area. The enshrined deities are Ikonahime no Mikoto and Mishima Daimyojin with the accompanying deities of Mime, Wakamiya and Tsurugi no Miko.

According to the legend, the shrine was founded 2400 years ago by Mishima Daimyojin himself. When he traveled on Kuroshio Current and landed on Izu Peninsula, he adopted an advice from his attendants, Mime, Wakamiya and Tsurugi no Miko, and decided to reside in Shirahama and got married to Ikonahime no Mikoto, the princess of Kamo Shrine.

At Hitachi Festival held at the end of October, the shrine priests set fire on the torches placed on the beach to let all the deities on Izu Seven Islands know of the start of the biggest event of the year. After offering a branch of a sacred tree to the gods, fireworks are shot up into the sky. When all the torches are going to burn out, big fireworks are displayed. On the next day, the precinct is bustled with visitors and stall venders. The dedications of the Shirahama Daiko drum performance and the Sanbaso Dance (an intangible cultural property of Shimoda City) are open to the public on this day.
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