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January 2, 2018
Dates and times are subjects to change without notice. Check with the official organizers before making travel arrangements.
The Ball Catching Festival ("Tamaseseri" 玉せせり in Japanese) is where Half-naked men in loin clothes (fundoshi 褌) scramble for a lucky 8-kg ball in a shower of cold water in order to predict a bumper crop and good catch for the year! If you get the ball, it is believed to bring good fortune upon the person who can lift it over his head. The men are divided into two teams, the Land Team made up of farmers who mainly work on the land and the Sea Team who are fishermen and work at sea. Whichever team brings the ball to the Shinto priest, wins! This is one of the three biggest festivals of Kyushu. With a long running history of over 500 years, its origins are said to lie in the legend of the dragon god (ryujin) offering two balls to Empress Jingu (170-269). Plan on getting wet if your nearbye the action, this festival is exciting and lots of fun!
Hakozaki Shrine Website (Sorry, no English)
Location: Hakozaki Shrine
Address: 1-22-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka. 812-0053
Roppongi and Tokyo Tower Day walk
Day trip to Kururi Castle
Sleeping at a Kyoto Japanese Inn (Ryokan)