May 28, 2023
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The Shibuya-Kagoshima Ohara Matsuri (おはら祭) is an annual event held in the center of Shibuya which has roots in Ohara-bushi (おはら節), a famous folk song from the early years of the Edo period that is representative of Kagoshima. The Ohara Festival is held on the 2nd and 3rd of autumn in Kagoshima, but the Tokyo version is held in mid-May and sees about 2,500 members participate in the parade.

Why Shibuya hosting a Kagoshima festival? There seems to be a number of historical links between Shibuya and Kagoshima including that the original sculptor of the Hachiko statue, Ando Teru, and Togo Heihachiro, who is revered from his role in Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905 and whose spirit is enshrined at Togo Shrine in Harajuku (Shibuya Ward), were born in Kagoshima. In any case, the festival is now in its 20th year and is an enjoyable parade in one of Tokyo’s busiest hubs.

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