This festival at the Fuji Omuro Sengen Jinga near Shimoyoshida Station is a Equestrian Archery(Yabusame) Festival (held annually in September) The Yabusame Festival is a unique horseback archery and divining event unique to Fujiyoshida. Local men gallop horses down a narrow, dirt street firing at woven targets, and hanging on as tight as they can. Following them is a procession of special priests called urabito who read the hoofprints which tell the fortune of the coming year. The first day of the event is a lively mix of purification, drumming, dancing, and the like while the second day’s highlight is the riding, shooting, and reading.
The festival is held in Shimoyoshida’s Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine close to Shimoyoshida Station, which is actually older than the better-known Fuji Sengen Shrine at the start of the Yoshidaguchi climbing trail.
Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine is the Mt. Fuji’s oldest shrine. The festival celebrates coming of spring in the shrine where Takeda Shingen worshiped. There are a lot of food and shopping stands in the shrine for the festivals. And you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom in a truly ancient setting.
Yabusame ritual at Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine (Jinja) 5221 Shimoyoshida, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture 403-0004, Japan Phone: 0555-22-1025
Yabusame Festival Website: http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/div/english/html/yabusame.html
The Japan Equestrian Archery Association(Dainihon kyubakai): http://www.yabusame.or.jp/english/
Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine Annual Spring Festival on April 25th: http://www.fujisan.ne.jp/event/info_e.php?srch_flag=1&srch_str=&ca_id=3&…
Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine Website: http://www.fgo.jp/~yabusame/