otsu ofune

The Hitachi-Otsu Ofune Festival (常磐大津御船祭) is held only once every 5 years near the Sawawachigi Shrine in Otsu. The shrine, once mounted onto a wooden boat, is then hauled through the streets using ropes. There are no wheels involved, just wooden pegs, which it is pulled over. These large and heavy pegs are carried and redeployed in front of the boat for each length of street it is to travel. In between stretches, the boat is rocked from side to side by people hanging on the sides. It is a wildly impressive sight.

© Copyright 2015, Johan Brooks