Tarai-bune, also known as "tub boats," are traditional Japanese wooden boats which were traditionally used for fishing. The Matsukawa Tarai Race is an event that has taken place along the Matsukawa River since 1956, and instead of fishing the boats are used for fun!
The unique competition involves competitors riding in a tarai-bune spanning about one meter in diameter, and rowing with a small paddle not much bigger than a rice scoop to compete for speed. The course is 400 meters in length, and runs from Ideyu Bridge to Matsukawa Wisteria Square.
There are a number of different categories for the races, too, which include a group event, a tourist race (limited to those wearing yukata from hotels in the Ito City area), and a children's race (4th to 6th grade elementary students only). For anyone planning to take part, entries are required by June 11th, with participation applications available on the official event website.