英語・弥彦秋冬

▼Chrysanthemum Festival

■Date: November 1 – 24 of every year
■Place: Yahiko Shrine

A festival that embellishes Yahiko Shrine on late-autumn days that are perfect for chrysanthemum viewing.The Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival is held from November 1 through 24 every year in the precincts of Yahiko Shrine, the supreme shrine of Echigo Province. The event is Japan’s largest chrysanthemum exhibition in terms of the numbers of participants and exhibits. The exhibition is divided into several categories, such as large-sized chrysanthemums, which produce hundreds of flowers per stem, mid-sized classical chrysanthemums, Kengai (cascade style) small-sized chrysanthemums, and bonsai. A contest is held in each category, and the exhibited chrysanthemums are examined in terms of their radiance, exquisiteness, dynamism and so forth. The event livens up Yahiko in the autumn just as the leaves are changing color. Especially spectacular is a flowerbed in which 30,000 chrysanthemums create a large-scale landscape, the theme of which changes every year. It is the main feature of the festival that attracts many chrysanthemum aficionados.
Come and see the Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival – a signature autumn event of Yahiko!

●Flowerbed in which 30,000 chrysanthemums create a large-scale landscape
whose theme changes every year.

▼Landscape Flowerbed in 2007 “Kenroku-en Park”

▼Landscape Flowerbed in 2006 “Kami-Kochi”

▼Landscape Flowerbed in 2005 “Hang In There, Yamakoshi!”

▼Landscape Flowerbed in 2004 “Ama no Hashi-date”

▼Landscape Flowerbed in 2003 “Oze”

▼2Landscape Flowerbed in 2002 “Imperial House”

▼Autumn Tints

■Peak: Late October – Mid-November of every year
■Place: Yahiko Park, Mt. Yahiko, etc.

Autumn colors in the Momiji-dani Valley of Yahiko
The Momiji-dani Valley of the Yahiko Park in the outer garden of Yahiko Shrine offers a magnificent view with scarlet-leaved maple trees and the red Kangetsu-kyo Bridge. With the arrival of the autumn, when the park’s beauty reaches a peak, the place becomes a popular spot to visit.
Besides Yahiko Park, Mt. Yahiko is also marvelous in that the leaves of the maple trees glow in a flaming red. Take the Yahiko-yama Ropeway for beautiful mountain views.
Another attraction is the Kangetsu-kyo Bridge and its surroundings, which are lit up from late afternoon during the peak period.

●Best Shots of Colored Leaves in the Momiji-dani Valley of Yahiko Park

▼Mt. Yahiko Hill Climbing Contest

■Date: Late September of every year
■Place: Mt. Yahiko

This is a time trial cycling race. Participants can climb the Yahiko-yama Skyline, which is usually closed to bicycles, while enjoying superb views of the Echigo Plain and the Sea of Japan. Come and cheer the cyclists as they race along the Yahiko-yama Skyline.

▼Ninen-mode and Hatsu-mode (First Shrine Visit of the Year)

■Date: December 31 – Mid-January of every year
■Place: Yahiko Shrine

Every New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Yahiko Shrine is crowded all day long with people coming to pay their first visit of the year to the shrine, with lines of worshippers forming in and around the shrine. Yahiko Shrine is visited by the largest number of people in Niigata Prefecture. Why not come to Yahiko Village and make your wish for the New Year at Yahiko Shrine?

▼Yumi Hajime Shinto Ritual

■Date: January 7 of every year
■Place: Yahiko Shrine

On January 7, the Yumi Hajime Shinto ritual, an annual New Year event, is performed at Yahiko Shrine. This is an ancient Shinto ritual for expelling evil and praying for good luck and bumper crops in the coming year. The ritual begins with priests putting seven kinds of food, such as rice gruel, kelp and carrot, on the altar in the main hall of the shrine to wish for bumper crops and other bounties. After that, the “Meigen no Gi” ceremony is held, in which evil is expelled by making a sound with the string of the Hama-yumi bow. This is followed by another unique ceremony, called “Hyakusha no Gi”, in which priests fire a total of 100 arrows at a special target range set up in the shrine precincts. In the afternoon, amateur archery lovers get the chance to fire their arrows. Every time an arrow hits the mark, applause and cheering well up from the crowd.

▼Kayuura Sumioki Shinto Ritual

■Date: January 15 and 16 of every year
■Place: Yahiko Shrine

This is a mysterious Shinto ritual that is nowadays held only by this shrine. It is conducted at the beginning of the year in the hope of finding an oracle, praying for bumper crops and forecasting the weather conditions for the year. First, the “XX-sai” ceremony is held in the evening of January 15. On the following day – the 16th – the “Shinsen no Gi” ceremony is performed before dawn in a special building called the “Meshi-dono”. While the ritual is not open to the public, farmers have profound faith in the results of the fortune telling, which are not only posted in the shrine precincts but also printed and then distributed to 20,000 Hatsuho-ko group members around the prefecture.



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(PDF)
The simple pamphlet
for printing