Ishiage Matsuri
(Ishiage Festival)

1st Sunday of August

Sengen Jinja (Shrine)

Starting up the rocky hill Rock piled at the top of Mt. Owari-Fuji
photo by Amy

Sengen Shrine is located at the foot of Mt.Owari-Fuji (277.0m), in the southern part of Inuyama City.

It is said that Ishiage Matsuri is one of the three strange festivals of the Owari region.
The origin of this festival is from a folk tale about height competition
between Mt. Owari-Fuji (Owari-Fuji/xm) and its Southern neighbor Mt. Honguu (Honguu-san/{{R).

Long time ago. a nun who lived in Goromaru village in Inuyama, climbed up Mt. Owari-Fuji
to stay and train at Owari-Sengen Shrine.
One night, the enshrined Goddess, Konohanasakuyahime-no-mikoto, appeared in his dream.
She complained about that Mt. Owari-Fuji is shorter than Mt. Hongu, the neighbor mountain.
She also told him that anyone who pile up stones and make it higher, she will make their wish come true.
People in the village heard this story.
Between 1834 to 1837 a mighty famine called "Tempou no kikin" striked Japan.
Then people offered big stones in the Kiso River to the goddess to pray
for rich harvest, long life, prosperity of their posterity, etc.
It is said that this was the beginning of this festival.

Men carring rock before the steep mountain Torii or shrine gate to Owari Sengen Jinja (shrine) View from the mountainside
A group carrying a fist size rock View from the top
photo by Amy

Stones are offered by groups organized individually....
People who live in a area, students, colleagues, etc.
After people were purified at Sengen Shrine, they carry up stones,
which are decorated with five colored cloth, to the top of the mountain.
From 8:00a.m. to 8:00p.m. approximately 500 groups carry stones to the top of the mountain.

Ceremony for the men who just
carried the rock
photo by Amy

Night Festival is also epic and good to see.
They make bonfires at 108 points and hold shinto ritual called "Hiburi-no-shinji"

Sengen Jinja (shrine)
TEL: 0568-67-0037

Get off at Inuyama sta. on the Meitetsu Inuyama line.
Take bus bound for Meijimura, and get off at Owari-Fuji stop.