One old tradition, one new one, and one borrowed from overseas: ’tis springtime in Togura Kamiyamada Onsen. Three upcoming events for your consideration:
Chishiki-Ji Temple Spring Festival
Sunday 17-April 10am-Noon, Chishiki-Ji, Kamiyamada, Chikuma City
A simple, local festival featuring the airing-out of the temple’s ancient scrolls. Several monks give a solemn chant as, along with local dignitaries, they ceremonially air-out the Buddhist scrolls. This is the one time of the year that the sacred 11-Faced Goddess image is openly displayed for public viewing. A sishi-lion dance performance by the Kamiyamada Okagura Preservation troupe will also take place (with Yours Truly on the flute).
Chishiki-Ji Temple, on Nagano Prefectural Route 55 approximately 2km (25 min. walk) from Togura Kamiyamada Onsen. Nearest train station is Togura Station on the Shinano Railway Line.
Sunday April 24th 1:30-3:30pm at the Togura Kamiyamada Onsen fountain park along the Chikuma River
If you would like to see 100 kids’ smiling faces, and perhaps share a bit of Western culture, come check out Togura Kamiyamada Onsen’s Easter Egg Festival. It’s held at the fountain park in front of the onsen town on the bank of the Chikuma River. There will be a massive, 1000-egg hunt as well as games, egg coloring, egg omelets (courtesy of the ryokan chefs), horse buggy rides, and free onsen bath passes (courtesy of the Togura Kamiyamada Ryokan Association).
To RSVP, contact the Chikuma Int’l Exchange Assoc. tel/fax 026-274-3150, firstname.lastname@example.org Access: 20 minute walk from Togura Station on the Shinano Railway Line.
30th Annual Pulled by an Ox to Zenkoji Walk
Thursday May 5th, Starts 7:30am from the Togura Kamiyamada Onsen fountain park along the Chikuma River
In commemmoration of the legend about an old lady getting pulled to the esteemed Zenkoji Tempe in Nagano City, our onsen holds an annual 30km walk from Togura Kamiyamada to Zenkoji. Many participants dress in feudal-era pilgrim outfits for the walk, complete with straw sandals. While you can wear your sneakers instead, you do have to RSVP by April 20th to the Chikuma City Tourism Bureau.