Photo:Kentaro Ohno on flickr
Nikko Toshogu holds two festivals a year. One of two, held in autumn offers Shinto rituals including the performance of “Yabusame”, a competition for the combination of horseback riding skills and archery skills, and the “Hyakumono-Zoroe Sennin Gyoretsu”, a parade featuring people dressed in samurai costumes are worth seeing.
The Nikko Toshogu Shukitaisai Festival, or the autumn festival, is annually held for two days on October 16th and 17th , and “Yabusame” performance is held on the first day of the festival.
“Hyakumono-Zoroe Sennin Gyoretsu” parade is held on the second day. This is a reenactment of funeral ceremony for Tokugawa Ieyasu, in which transferring his spirit from Mt. Kuno in Sunpu to Nikko. This procession is called Togyo-sai Festival.
The procession includes a Mikoshi, a portable shrine, and Yoinari-sai Festival is also held.
Yoroi Gyoretsu parade, a parade of people dressed in reproduced full armors from that era. The scenery, which is not readily available in the modern day Japan, will be one of your most valuable memories.
You can also see horses in procession when they enter the Yabusame ground at the time of Yabusame performance.
Nikko also offers viewing spots for splendid views of autumn leaves, so please go visit Nikko to enjoy both sightseeing and autumn leaf viewing.