Matsushiro Autumn Sanada Clan Jumangoku Festival
The second of two annual festivals in Matsushiro – along with the Spring Cherry Blossom Festival – the Matsushiro Autumn Sanada Clan Jumangoku Festival is an elaborate celebration of the town’s samurai heritage over two days each autumn. Centred around the grounds of Matsushiro Castle Park, the first day – Saturday – is full of traditional music and dance performances with people of local food vendors selling tasty snacks and drinks.
On the second day – Sunday – the festival really comes to life with a day of traditional artillery displays, taiko and dance performances in the morning, followed by the ceremonial parade of samurai and their attendants in full regalia in the early afternoon. The main parade departs the castle around 12:45 and moves around the town for around 2 hours before returning to the castle around 14:30. Local participants are dressed in various authentic costumes including the distinctive red armour worn by the samurai among them – a truly impressive sight as they parade around town with attendants and under the famous ‘rokumonsen’ flags of the Sanada clan.