Each year in September, the streets of Morioka come alive to celebrate the arrival of Autumn. The Morioka Aki Matsuri of the Morioka Hachimangu Shrine features a parade of 10 Dashi (beautifully decorated and colored floats) and Mikoshi (small portable shrines) pulled along by as many as 200 people. Each float parades through the streets of Morioka to the sound of Taiko drums and flutes. As the floats pass by, people from the accompanying crowd, usually children, hold a fan in their right hand and sing a chant for admiring the deity or explaining the decoration of the float.
The parade is held annually from the 14th until the 16th. The first day starts at 13:00 from the Morioka Hachimangu Shrine and continues through the streets of Morioka until sunset. The second day the parade starts from the Morioka Castle Site Park at 18:00. The festival finishes up with Yabusame (horseback archery) at the Morioka Hachinmangu Shrine at 13:00. If you're in Morioka in Autumn, be sure to check it out!
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