Omikoshi

Omikoshi

Shinto Shrine Parade

For most of the year, the spirits of Japan’s Shinto temples reside quietly. On special occasions, however, a Shinto portable shrine—the omikoshi—houses the spirits and is paraded through the temple neighborhood. Omikoshi means a “litter of the gods,” and is an elaborate wooden structure adorned with a lacquered gable roof, carried on long beams inserted into its base.

The shinto parade of the omikoshi is a boisterous affair. Fortified by copious amounts of sake, the carriers chant energetically and bear their sacred burden in a rolling, rocking gait. As the parade sways through the streets, the crowd applauds as the omikoshi dips and tilts during the procession. At the close of the festival the omikoshi is returned to its temple in the ritual of kami-okuri, ensuring the spirits are safely home once again.Omikoshi carriers customarily wear hanten or happi, waist-length jackets emblazoned with daimon, designs that incorporate the logos of town associations or companies.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
Climatron/Spink Pavilion