The main hall of Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine, a shrine famed for its kagura which is a national intangible folk cultural property of Japan

The Kagura of Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine is a designated intangible folk cultural property of both Saitama Prefecture and Japan. On February 23rd each year, they dedicate the first of three annual kagura performances at the shrine. Kagura is a type of ritual Shinto dance dedicated to the Gods. Historically, Shinto priests performed it, but since the Meiji Period local volunteers perform the kagura at Sumiyoshi shrine.

The Kagura of Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine

If you are a regular reader or follow the In Saitama Facebook page, you might recognize the name Sumiyoshi. It is the area of Sakado where kawazuzakura only bloom once every four years. Unfortunately, 2023 is not there year, but there is always a chance they will bloom and maybe even in time for this special Kagura event. I have a snippet about Sumiyoshi shrine in an article about what there is to see and do in the area (here).

The Kagura stage at Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine in Sakado City
The Kagura stage at Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine ©

Kagura is performed three times a year at Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine. The first one of the New Year is on February 23rd annually. February 23rd is a public holiday in Japan in celebration of the Emperor’s birthday. They carry out the other two performances on the first Sunday of April and November 23rd.

There are about 20 performers that perform 12 different stories using about two dozen kagura masks at the Sumiyoshi shrine! The performers are a troupe of volunteer actors and musicians, who play the traditional music comprising the flute and drums. One of the stories is about Uganomitama (Ukanomitama) no mikoto, who is the mythological God/ess of rice as featured in both the “Kojiki” Record of Anicent Matters and the “Nihonshoki” Chronicles of Japan.


Event: Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine Kagura 坂戸の大宮住吉神楽

Date: February 23rd annually

Time: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm

Cost: free

Venue: Omiya Sumiyoshi Shrine, 254 Tsukagoshi, Sakado, Saitama 350-0209. View on Google Maps.


The Sakado City “Kacchi wagon” Miyoshi route loop bus stops at the shrine. The stop is called Sumiyoshi Shrine (i.e. without the Omiya). From Wakaba Station on the Tobu Tojo Line get a bus bound for Hachiman Danchi and alight at Sumiyoshi Shrine bus stop. The shrine is about a 7 minute walk from the bus stop.

>>Check out what else is in the area here<<

There is a parking lot beside the shrine, but the last four times I was at the shrine, the parking lot was sealed off! Presumably they will open it for the Kagura event, but there isn’t a lot of space so its best advised to come by public transport where possible. The parking lot at the nearby Sumiyoshi Sakura no Sato has also been inaccessible for years (since 2017) so you can’t park there either.

Official page on the Sakado City website.

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