Praying for a bountiful harvest, safety, and peace in the village, offerings of doburoku are made to the gods
In Shirakawa-go, offerings are made to the gods of the mountain from the end of September into mid-October in the form of the fabulous Doburoku Festival. Sacred processions are conducted at shrines all over the village of Shirakawa along with lion dances, as well as traditional folk singing and dancing that celebrate the history and tradition of the village. And of course, as the name of the festival would suggest, offerings of doburoku, an unrefined sake with a very pulpy texture, are made to the gods.
The Doburoku Festival is held at multiple shrines throughout the village on different dates, but the three major events are as follows:
Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine: October 14-15
Hatogaya Hachiman Shrine: October 16-17
Iijima Hachiman Shrine: October 18-19
Festival days are very lively, with activities happening from 8 in the morning all the way until late at night! The schedule may differ slightly depending on the location, but the general outline is as follows:
8:00: Shinto rituals and preparation for the festival conducted at shrine.
9:00: Divine procession is held; parade held in surrounding area.
15:00: Doburoku ritual is conducted on shrine grounds.
15:30 – 17:00: Doburoku distributed to visitors; folk singing on shrine grounds.
19:00: Lion dance on shrine grounds.
20:00: Local folk entertainment.