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Shimoichi Hatsuichi Festival

An annual celebration at Nara's Shimoichi Town

Venue: Shimoichi, Yoshino District, Nara, Japan When: Mid Feb 2025

Supermarkets, malls, and convenience stores are modern-day conveniences, but back in the day the hatsuichi (first market) was the place to shop right after the Lunar New Year at many shrines across the country. The tradition continues in Nara's Shimoichi Town, with their hatsuichi event taking place on February 12th each year.

The event takes place along a 700 meter stretch of National Route 309, which is closed to vehicle traffic on the day. Along with the wide variety of stalls set up on either side of the route, visitors can also enjoy traditional music and dance performances, a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade, and local mascot appearances from Shimoichi, Yoshino, and Oyodo Towns.

Photo: Shimoichi Town

There is no admission fee to enjoy the atmosphere of the event, but bring yen if you plan on making purchases.

Getting there

The event area can be accessed in around 7 minutes on foot from Shimoichiguchi Station, which is served by the Kintetsu Railway's Yoshino Line.

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