Kifune Festival held in Manazuru-cho, Ashigara-shimo-gun, Kanagawa pref. is counted as one of Japan’s three largest marine festivals and a designated National Significant Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. The origin of the festival is dated back to the middle of the 17th century, when people began to put Mikoshi (portable shrine) on a ship to pray for purification of fishing boats and stone carrying boats in the harbor and then carried it around the village. This old, traditional and pious festival is held on July 27th to 28th, filling the whole town of Manazuru with air of excitement. As the festival is composed of a lot of exciting spectacles such as the colorfully carved Kobaya-bune boat, Manazuru-bayashi (traditional band playing music) livelily cheering up the town, reverent Kashima-odori dance, and flower floats and Kaidenma (the towing boat) for which masculine strength is fully expressed, a lot of tourists from all over the country visit the town of Manazuru, longing for a glance at the festival. On these two days, the citizens of Manazuru all pull together to make this festival a great success.
- Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture, 259-2000
- Manazuru-machi Tourist Association