Imagine Your Traveling as Feudal Lord in Edo Period of Japan. - Yakage -
Yakage is a former post town which has inns for feudal lords traveling to their hometown or Edo, current Tokyo, in a procession every year, court nobles, and government officials of the Edo shogunate. It flourished from the 18 century to the 19th century in the Edo Period. An officially appointed inn called honjin, the Ishii Family Residence, is on the west side of the row of houses along Yakage Shopping Street, and a subsidiary inn for chief retainers called waki-honjin, the Takakusa Family Residence, located 400 meters, or 437 yards, east of the Ishii Family Residence. The Ishii Family took the position in the early 17th century and the Takakura Family in the last years of the Edo Period. They are designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan with some traces of its former grandeur as a typical post town.
The procession of a feudal lord is reenacted in Yakage Shukuba Festival on the second Sunday of November. Over 80 local people, including international residents and workers in Yakage, participate in the procession for two and a half hours including breaks, accompanying chants "Shita-hi! Shita-ni!" and making an impressive scene in the samurai world.
There are some other annual festive events, including Yakage Nagashi-bina Festival, or a festival of floating paper dolls, held on the fourth Sunday of March. At the festival, participants dressed in traditional costumes parade through Yakage Shopping Street slowly, and classical dancing to music with a slow tempo are performed at some points. Finally, paper dolls with wishes are floated down the Oda River after a Buddhist priest's prayer and dancing on a nearby riverbed.
Getting here: 25 min. from Okayama Station to Kiyone Station on JR Hakubi Line, 20 min. to Yakage Station on Ibara Line and 8 min. on foot
Rental bicycles available at Yakage Station and Yakage Machiya Kouryukan souvenir shop.
Free Wi-Fi service available in Yakage Station, Yakage Folk Museum, and Yakage Shopping Street.