Despite being a festival to commemorate the dead, Okuribon Matsuri is most known for its violent climax reached on the evening of August 16. Around 15 boats made of thatch and wood gather from all over, are blessed, and do battle for right of way. All of this is effectively intensified by the sustained aggressive drumming, traditional flute playing, and fireworks display.

Unfortunately the power of the festival might not be as overwhelming as it was before because the bridge where the boats are smashing into each other is roped off for safety reasons. A few people have actually died during this boat battle, so they had to tone things down a bit to prevent any further loss of life. The festival has its origin a massive famine that occurred in 1732.

When: From around 6:00 p.m.on August 16.

Where: Janosaki Bridge, Yokote City (Akita)

Access: 15 mins walk from JR Yokote Station (Yokote, Akita)

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