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Wild Horse Racing

Event Dates

July 24, 2019

July 25, 2019

July 26, 2019

(Last Sat., Sun and Mon. of July)

Dates and times are subjects to change without notice. Check with the official organizers before making travel arrangements.

category: Festivals
Major City: Sendai
Event is: Free

The "Wild Horse Racing" and Warlord Era Parade (in Japanese; "Soma Nomaoi" 相馬野馬追) takes place in Fukushima Prefecture near the major city of Soma in the town town of Haranomachi. Haranomachi station is about an hour from Sendai on a limited express train. From Haranomachi there are shuttle buses to the event at Higashigaoka Park, specifically the Hibarigahara field 雲雀ヶ原祭場地 (See Google Map below or view "Image Map" to the right) within that park; 4 Chome-13-27 Haramachi-ku, Hashimoto-cho, Minamisoma, Fukushima. There are plenty of hotels and Japanese Inns around this area so this festival makes a great "destination" spot to stay, visit and experience a wonderful Japanese festival.

This extremely exciting, 1000 year old festival shows off the horse riding Samurai! Wild horses are raced and participants are decked out in Warlord Era garb.  This area is known for horse-breeding therefore the event. The festival is organized by three shrines, Ota Shrine and Odaka Shrine in Minami-Soma City and Nakamura-Shrine in Soma City. There is much to see during this three day event but highlights include, 1.) the Koshiki Kacchu Keiba, in which twelve samurai horsemen clad in armor and helmets, and carrying katana swords all race over a distance of 1,000 meters and 2.) the Shinki Sodatsusen, hundreds samurai horsemen compete for 40 shrine flags shot into the air with fireworks. Both take place on the vast Hibarigahara field on the 24th. There is an "Opening Ceremony" on the 23rd which starts with a hand made conch shell horn and then on the 24th Taiko War Drums.

It's quite a festival and all participants take it very seriously. Expect to see some really incredible Samurai Costumes and authentic action!

Official Website

Location: Hibarigahara field

Address: Haranomachi, Fukushima.

Event Images

Soma Nomaoi Event Map

Soma Nomaoi Event Map

Event Videos

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