Waraji Festival, Fukushima Japan

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Fukushima Prefecture, situated north-east of the Honshu island in Japan,

offers some of the most glamorous and historical festivals.

The Waraji (straw sandal) festival dates back to some 400 years prodigious history to the Shinobu-Sanzan Akatsuki-Mairi festival.

Today, the Waraji festival is the largest straw sandal festival in the entire country.

It is an impressive view to see about 100 men carrying a 12-meter long straw sandal weighing about 4000-pounds.

Playfully, these men parade this mammoth-sized sandal across the ends of the Shinobu Street in Fukushima City.

Thousands of people gather on both sides of this street to celebrate this prevalent and most significant festival of Fukushima city.

Surprisingly, this festival has no entrenched significance to the city.

It was born out of a mere need for a cultural event, as was common amongst other cities across Japan.

The ice was broken in 1970 when the city officials took inspiration from the Akatsuki-Mairi tradition of Haguro Shrine,

a prayer offered to deities for strength and wellness in walking long distances on foot wearing the waraji.

This became the foundation on which Waraji – the straw sandal festival of Fukushima city came to existence.

The festival features many other entertaining visuals, such as a racing event with the Waraji’s, Waraji Odori dance, and other modern dance on hip-hop music.

The festival is held every summer on the first weekend in August.

Address: Shinobu Street, Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture Map: https://goo.gl/maps/XthWCQKurJi9rGZ67

English Website: https://fukushima-guide.jp/event/waraji-matsuri/ Access: About 5-min walk from JR Fukushima station.

Fukushima station can be accessed via Tohoku Shinkansen line from Tokyo.

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