Daimyo procession was held on 3 November in Hakone. This tourist event held on Culture Day (a national holiday) is organized every year at Yumoto area in Hakone. A procession of a total of 170 people dressed up as samurai warriors and princesses parades over a distance of 6 km. It’s very spectatular and popular event among locals and tourists as well.
This year, 3 November in Hakone was very shiny and warm day. When I got into the train to Hakone, almost everyone around me talked about upcoming parade and was very excited about it. The procession is reproduced in the style of the Daimyo Gyoretsu (feudal lord’s procession) of Edo Period (17-19 century). The suite of retainers, each assigned with his role, and armed with spear, bow and arrow, or gun, march on as they carry their lord in the palanquin to the words, ‘Down! Down! The Lord comes!’ voiced aloud by those leading the procession. Except of daimyo, in parade took part women dressed in geisha’s costumes. Their kimono costumes, haistyles and perfectly done make-up mainly attracted attention of female part of spectators.
Procession started at 10 o’clock in the morning and finished about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. During the slowly walk, they stopped sometimes and gave a short performance. They presented some kind of dance of specific steps and flipped over the flags. The flags were very big and heavy, but daimyo had no problem to hand it over to each other. Participants dreesed up as daimyo and geisha were elder and younger people as well. Every time, I watch event like this, I’m really impressed by Japanese taking care of tradiotional and cultural heritage. When in Poland everyone forgot about traditional costumes nad customes, in Japan most of the people want to continue it.
Procession goes around the various places in Hakone, then you can choose the most convenient one to watch it. It’s really great opportunity to feel the atmosphere of traditional Japanese culture. If you are planning trip to Hakone in November, you should deffinietly come to watch it!
|Title||Hakone Daimyo Procession|
|Location||Kanagawa Prefecture Hakone-machi Yumoto Onsen|
|Opening hours||3 November 9.45-14:30|
|Access||From Odawara Station, take Hakone Tozan Line and get off at Hakone Yumoto Station|