(The precincts of Amatsu Shinmei Shrine)

The City of Amatsu, Kamogawa loves the festival at the shrine where Boshu Ise is enshrined.

Amatsu Shinmei Shrine is located in the southeastern part of Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. It is also called “Boshu Ise-no miya,” or the shrine of Boshu Ise. It originated during the time when Minamotono Yoritomo visited from Ise Grand Shrine. The people of Amatsu Kamogawa love festivals and it’s common for them to take days off to celebrate and drink sake during the three day summer festival in July.

(The summer festival in the Amatsu area

The summer that only comes once every 20 years has arrived! The Shikinen-Tori-Gi-Hikisai festival.

This year is especially meaningful to those who live in Amatsu, because they hold a festival called “Shikinen-Torii-Gi-Hikisai” in order to rebuild the Tori gate once every 20 years, following the same schedule as the Ise Grand shrine. This festival started last December and continues until this October. The climax of the event is “Shikinen-Torii-Gi-Hikisai,” when a large, holy tree is paraded around town.

(The holy tree that will be used in this year’s festival.)

 (Last December, the ritual to remove the tree)

The main act is the large tree that enshrines the holy spirits of Mt. Seicho.

The festival began in December last year by removing a carefully selected cedar tree. It must be taller than 50 meters and over 120 centimeters in diameter, so it’s always a tree that is at least 100 years old. There will be new spirits enshrined in the old tree, transforming it into a sacred tree on Mt. Seicho, where mountain worship is rooted in. The holy tree’s skin is neatly peeled and polished by a parishioner prior to it’s use in the festival.

The last “Shikinen-Torii-Gi-Hikisai,” in 1995
Provided by Kamogawa city

 The last “Shikinen-Torii-Gi-Hikisai,” in 1995

At the climax of the event, the large, holy tree is paraded around town.

From August 22nd, three large, holy trees are paraded around town for three days. There will also be Mikoshi, and the people in town will celebrate this rare festival that takes place once every 20 years. In the Amatsu area, an old fishing village, about 3200 residents reside in narrow residential areas. The roads here are only single lane, about as wide as a car, so I am curious as to how they will parade these trees throughout the neighborhoods. I would expect to only see traditional, old world techniques for this task.


2950, Amatsu, Kamogawa, Chiba Pref.

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shima yoshida

shima yoshida

Writer / Translator

I was born in Okayama Prefecture, Japan and lived in New Zealand when I was a student. I now live in Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture located on the Boso Peninsula. I really want to offer information about Japan in hopes that many more people will come to love and appreciate JAPAN!


Address 2950, Amatsu, Kamogawa, Chiba Pref.
Access 15min by walk from Awa-Amatsu station
Website http://sin.to/ja/torii27/