Calm snow festival – ‘kamakura’
Snow keeps falling silently. Accumulated snow turns into a ‘kamakura (snow hut)’ in which water deities are enshrined and people spend time by tasting ‘amazake (sweet fermented rice drink)’ or baked rice cakes. In Yokote of a heavy snowfall area, a kamakura is place for all to fully enjoy winter slowly.
On Valentine’s Day, a ‘love♥kamakura’ will be put into place to envelope a couple in love.
Active snow festival – ‘bonden’
Beautifully decorated ‘bonden’ are created for deities. Praying for the productiveness of grain, wishing for the safety of town and prosperous business, people compete to be the first to reach the Asahiokayama Shrine and dedicate their ‘bonden’ of 5-meter long and a weight of 30 kg. Jostling and shoving between a group going forward to the shrine and people trying to be against it is impressively powerful. That’s an active snow festival in Yokote.
Yokote Snow Festival
■Date & Time: Fri., February 14 to Mon., February 17, 2014
(Kamakura on the 15th and 16th, bonden on the 16th and 17th, and love♥kamakura on the 14th)
■Website of Yokote City Tourism Association：http://www.yokotekamakura.com/