Bamboo Lantern Festival in Wakayama Castle Park, 2023

“Taketoya (竹燈夜) which is held every year on the night of the first week of November, was held again this year, in which the inside of Wakayama Castle Park is decorated with bamboo lanterns.

Many people visited this year as well to see the fantastical appearance of Wakayama Castle, which is completely different from the usual.

Aoba Festival was held at Mt. Koya to celebrate the 1250th anniversary of Kukai’s birth

On June 15, 2023, the “Aoba Festival” was held in Koya Town, Wakayama Prefecture to celebrate the birth of Kobo Daishi, Kukai. The Aoba Festival is held every year on June 15th, the day Kukai was born, and this year marks the 1250th anniversary of his birth.

In the morning, a memorial service called “Gotan-e” was held at Kongobu-ji Temple of Mt. Koya to celebrate the birth of a great monk, and about 100 people, including monks, chanted sutras. In addition, believers and tourists from all over the country poured sweet tea on the statue of Kobo Daishi’s child.


Four New Tumulis Excavated at Kiifudoki-no-oka

Wakayama Prefectural Kiifudoki-no-oka has been conducting excavations of the Iwase Senzuka tumulus group since July 2021 in conjunction with the construction of the Prefectural Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (tentative).

The survey uncovered four new tombs, one of which is presumed to belong to a local authority. On March 26, a public information meeting was held for that tomb and another one.

Maeyama B370(tentative)
Maeyama B370(tentative)

Iwase Senzuka Tumulus Group consists of approximately 900 burial mounds which are built from around the end of the 4th century to the middle of the 7th century, on hills ranging from 80 to 150 meters above sea level.

Maeyama B370(tentative)
Maeyama B369(tentative)

Of the tombs discovered this time, the stone chamber of Maeyama B370 (tentative) is presumed to be an Iwase-type side-hole tomb, a 16-20 meter round burial mound, and experts believe that it was the tomb of an influential local person based on the secondary burial goods and its size.

The smaller Mayama B369 (tentative) is about 3 meters long and has a T-shaped stone chamber. This tomb is presumed to be a one-man burial mound.

Kiifudoki-no-oka plans to backfill and preserve these newly discovered tombs.

The farmhouse in Kiifudoki-no oka

Nagashi-bina Event of Awashima Shrine

March 3rd is the Doll’s Festival, Japanese people display a set of dolls and pray for the sound growth of girls in the family.

On this day, the “Nagashi-biina” event is held at Awashima Shrine in Wakayama City, where hina dolls delivered from all over Japan are put on a boat and floated out to sea.

Originally, there was a Chinese custom of going to the waterfront on March 3, or the Peach Festival, to hold an exorcism ceremony, which was then introduced to Japan.

The shrine is also famous as a women’s power spot, offering prayers for women’s health, easy childbirth, and the fulfillment of love.