Arai Festival is a large annual festival that is held each year in the beginning of August. Summer is festival season in Japan and Myoko City has many festivals that are held during the summer heat. Arai Festival is the largest and over 4,000 local people participate in the festival.
The festival starts from the afternoon at around 1PM. Between 1PM and 3PM there are performances by the local school marching bands.
The Festival starts to get into full swing at 3:30PM which is when the traditional rope carrying begins.
This is a large heavy rope that is carried around one of the city blocks by hundreds of local volunteers. This is an amazing spectacle to see. Carrying the large traditional rope around the city block takes over one and half hours and there are several breaks where the rope is laid down, so the volunteers can rest, drink and be soaked in water.
From 6:30 the dancing parade starts. This is participated in by over 4,000 local residents. They pull their homemade floats and dance along the streets in fancy dress.
There are small food and drink stalls at the festival where you can buy food such as yakitori (grilled chicken), crepes and other small festival food. Public toilets are also available nearby and the city hall.
The easiest way to get to the festival is actually by train. The festival area is directly in front of the train station. To check train times to and from Arai please click HERE.