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きくち夏祭り2018 (Kikuchi Summer Festival)

In summer, people get so excited and energetic about 夏祭り(natsu matsuri means summer festival).


Source : https://www.photo-ac.com


There are many summer festivals all around Japan which have been related to local customs or history.


When it comes to summer festival in Kumamoto, many people think of 藤崎八旛宮秋季例大祭(Fujisaki hachimangu shuki reitaisai)which is in September, おてもやん祭り(Otemoyan festival) which is in August and 八代花火大会(Yatsushiro firework competition) in November.


This time, me and my friends joined きくち夏祭り(Kikuchi natsu matsuri) in Kikuchi-city.


This festival is held on the first Saturday in August every year.



The origin of the festival is based on the old tale of 白龍(hakuryu means white dragons).


The tale is called 白龍伝説(Hakuryu densetsu which means ‘The legend of White dragons’).


There are some old tales which are considered to be the origin of the festival but here I’m going to introduce one of them.


In the past, there was an old man living in Kikuchi-city.
When he was standing on the hill, out of the blue, one white dragon climbed up to the top.


At the time of seeing the dragon, he said ‘I haven’t seen such a beautiful dragon before(of course with Kumamoto dialect!)’.


He noticed that a beautiful lady was standing just beside him.


She told that ’The dragon you just saw is a parent. Can you see  his children?’ And she pointed out to one direction.


He looked at the place and saw many child dragons were in the steam and found out where the hot spring was.



Main attractions of Kikuchi summer festival are the performance of two white dragons and 3000 of fireworks.


We were so excited to capture beautiful moments.


Since we spent whole day exploring around Yamaga-City on the very hot day(I’ll introduce it later!) , we were so overwhelmed when we arrived at the venue of the festival.


There were already so many people who were enjoying exploring around the street which was full of 屋台(yatai means stalls).


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Food liike かき氷(kakigoori means shaved ice with syrup), 焼き鳥(yakitori means skewed grilled chicken), はし巻き(hashimaki means rolled okonomiyaki with a stick), いか焼き(ikayaki means grilled squid), りんごあめ(ringo ame means apples coated with candy) etc which were being sold and people enjoyed trying them.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Tanima @tanima1990


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


One of the most fun part of going to a summer festival is wearing yukata.


As I’ve already explained about yukata in this article(http://untappedkumamoto.com/2018/08/01/chique-昭和レトロカフェshowa-retro-cafe/), yukata is the symbol of summer.


It’s so nice to see people wearing yukata and doing their hair lovely.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Even though young people don’t follow tradition these days, still they love wearing special clothing on special occasions, which I like a lot.


When we were enjoying taking a stroll on the street, we heard the shout somewhere and unexpectedly, we bumped into the march of the white dragon!


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Men were carrying the dragon and shouting.


One guy was on the top of the dragon and gave others a direction.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


After marching along the street, they went back to the main venue and showed the dragons to the public until the main performance so that we could see them closely which was very exciting.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


Some people were closing their head to the mouth of the dragon and taking photos pretending like they were almost eaten by the dragon!


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


The dragon was very impressive and powerful so I was just overwhelmed by it.


There are two white dragons in the performance and one is carried by adult men and the other is carried by younger men.


Both has strong presence and I just loved them.


The performance started from 8pm and as soon as it finished, fireworks started from 8:30 pm.


Many people went to the venue early and spared the good place to watch the show.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto

The good thing about the firework of Kikuchi summer festival is that we can admire them with the statue of Takemitsu Kikuchi.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


You can see many photographers securing the best spot!


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


The performance was stunning and spectacular!


We felt that our heart had been beating so fast during the show!!





Because we didn’t know the two dragons will perform together in the centre of the venue, we could only capture one dragon which was carried by the adult but still, we enjoyed it a lot and were satisfied with it.


Photo credit : Tanima @tanima1990


As soon as the performance finished, we moved to the center venue of fireworks.


My friend was so eager to take photos of them, we moved there very quickly and she tried to set her tripod.


Photo credit : Tanima @tanima1990


The 3000 fireworks were launched.


The shape, colors and impressive power of these fireworks attracted huge crowds.


Photo credit : Tanima @tanima1990


My friend succeeded to capture fireworks very well and seemed so satisfied with it.


We enjoyed fireworks at most and it was the perfect ending of the summer festival.


I have to tell you that you need to be a little patient about the crowd of people and cars but I’m sure joining the festival would be worth to survive it!


Photo credit : Tanima @tanima1990





The venue of Kikuchi summer festival is 菊池市民広場(Kikuchi shimin hiroba, means Kikuchi citizen square).


Please check the location below.

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