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Yokote Kamakura Festival 2021

An extraordinary winter event will make your eyes sparkle

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check directly with event organizers for the latest updates.

The Yokote Kamakura Festival or Yokote no Yuki Matsuri is around a 450-year-old event. It takes place every February around the Kamakura Museum in the city of Yokote in Akita Prefecture. The festival presents numerous kamakura—igloo-like snow houses built at different locations around the city

Each kamakura contains a snow altar dedicated to the deity of water, to whom people pray for plentiful water. There, you will also find a charcoal brazier to grill rice cakes and, of course, to provide warmth. In the evenings, children usually attract festival guests into their kamakura and give them rice cakes and amazake, a warm rice wine with no alcohol in it. In return, the visitors make a gift to the water deity at the altar.

The festival area stretches from Yokote Castle to the east of Yokote Station. Right from the station, you have a chance to enjoy an unhurried stroll along the streets of the town and appreciate the view of kamakura constructed beside houses. You can also participate in kamakura making at Komyoji Park.

The Kamakurakan Hall keeps several kamakura all year round in a low degree Celsius room, which makes it possible to witness these snow dwellings even during warmer months. During the Yokote Kamakura Festival, many snow sculptures, kamakura, and festival food stalls can be found next to the hall.

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