If you enjoy your festivals with an element of danger to them then you should try going to the Kishiwada Danjiri festival in September, known as one the most dangerous festivals in Japan!
Danjiri festivals are always spectacular as teams of dozens of men laboriously pull huge, wooden portable shrines behind them while others are riding them playing drums, flutes and bells but the festival in Kishiwada takes it up a notch!
At the Kishiwada Danjiri festival. the Danjiri (portable shrines) are pulled along at a sprint instead of the usual slow procession! Over the years it’s earned its reputation as such a dangerous festival as there is always someone standing on top of each of the danjiri riding and they go around the corners so fast people have been known to fall off and get seriously injured or even die.
Thankfully though, such events are rare (although you’ll wonder how it doesn’t happen more often when you watch them whizzing around the corners and just about keeping their balance!). Certainly when we went last year it was a lovely day out. Each Danjiri follows the course around the town so there’s plenty of good viewing spots to catch the action from so make sure and to have a good explore and don’t be shy about saying hello to the Danjiri teams around their shrines.
One of the favourite spots to watch the festival is by the train station where they sweep out from the covered shopping street though there are also big spectator stands set up along part of the route to make sure people can see the action. We simply watched by the side of the street, though we made sure to get a spot near a corner to see them come sweeping around at full speed!
Kishiwada station Access