The 55th Hell Festival Report

This year’s three-day Hell Festival, the 55th time we have celebrated it, is finished. More than 58,000 people joined the celebrations this year. Excessive rain continued most of the time and resulted in the cancellation of some events. However, the weather on the last day was perfect!

Here are a few scenes from the event.

First of all, our drum group – Hokkai Ideyu Daiko – performed wonderfully on the second day even as little rain fell. Many guests also came to hear their powerful performance.

After that…

Came the Ogre Mikoshi procession! Young men and women carried the red demon mikoshi (portable shrine) on their shoulders as they wove their way through the streets. The mikoshi weighs upwards of one ton, so they sing and shout as they go and have a lot of fun, too!

Well, the last day…

Was wonderfully sunny and bright! It was a perfect day for a festival. The temperature was a little bit chilly at first, but then it rose dramatically as the day progressed. Many people came dressed for summer!

On this day, one unusual thing was created.

We made a Spa Slider, a water slide using the luxuriously warm onsen water! It was popular and crowded with many children. (Please note that we have made some modifications to the image above.)

On the main street, the Children’s Demon Dance took place. Although it is a small version of the evening demon dance, you can see that children of all ages and from all over the world joined in the fun! We were also joined by the guardian Yukjin, a hot spring spirit, who enjoyed the fun with us!

Even after sunset, the festival continued.

Enma the Great then arrived in a grand procession.

And the excitement of the Great Demon Dance and Masquerade Dance Contest ensured! Members of the Dai-ichi Takimotokan staff donned bright red yukata (summer kimono) and joined our guests to dance in the rain.

Although this is a little bit long, we hope you enjoyed this report on the 55th Hell Festival.

What is your favorite memory? Please tell us!

If you could not join us this year, we hope to see you here next year to dance and try the slide!