AreaSendai

Dontosai Festival

January 14, 2020

どんと祭 | Dontosai Festival

Unique winter purification ritual held only in Miyagi

  • The Dontosai Festival is a ritual unique to Miyagi and takes place at various shrines throughout the prefecture on January 14. The largest one is held at Osaki Hachimangu Shrine in Sendai City. Every year, attendees gather their New Year’s decorations from the previous year and toss them into a bonfire as a prayer for health and good fortune in the coming year. Perhaps the most famous spectacle is the hadaka-mairi (naked pilgrimage), where large groups of pilgrims clad only in traditional loincloths and torso wraps brave the cold and march silently through the streets to pay their respects at the shrine.

    Casual visitors needn't only spectate—they too are invited to pray at the shrine and participate in the bonfire ritual. After ringing in the new year with a prayer, visitors can buy a fortune from the shrine that divulges what the coming year holds in store for them. Numerous food and drink stalls line the sidewalks and shrine grounds, selling modern and traditional Japanese fare: oyaki (steamed buns stuffed with various fillings), ramen, amazake (a sweet rice-based beverage), and more.
  • Sendai

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Details

MAIN LOCATION

Osaki Hachimangu Shrine

ADDRESS

4 Chome-6-1 Hachiman, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi-ken 980-0871

ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

By shuttle bus: departs from International Center Subway Station every 15–20 min. from 12:00

ADMISSION

Free

OFFICIAL URL

http://www.oosaki-hachiman.or.jp/index.html

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