Musket shooting festival! 火縄銃祭

Japan is a country that really knows how to host and enjoy a festival.  Summer time is the main festival season, but you can enjoy festivals throughout the year.  In the summer, most cities will at least hold a firework festival and most also have some sort of flower or nature worshipping festival and other cultural festivals too.  I’ve been to a lot of festivals in my eight years, but today I thought I’d introduce you to one that isn’t mainstream and you may not even know it exists: the musket shooting festival!

The Musket shooting festival is held in different locations on different dates in Saitama.  Last year, 2007, we attended at the Nanbata Castle park.   As far as festivals go it is quite short, but the park itself is very interesting as it is a time-slip village.  The shooters parade through the crowd ceremoniously in their Samurai gear.  They position themselves in front of the crowds and shoot the muskets in to the air.  This is done a handful of times. Afterwards, the men in the warrior costumes, complete with Kabuto (warrior helmets), are available for photographs!

The address of the park is 568-1 Shimonanbata, Fujimi.  For more information on the park in Japanese: