Wakaba Festival (Unagoji Festival) | Toyokawa City | Aichi Prefecture | Official Site | Sightseeing Information | Directions | Parking | Details | AichiNow-OFFICIAL SITE FOR TOURISM AICHI

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Toyokawa-City Wakaba Festival
(Unagoji Festival)

Date : 04/08/2023, 04/09/2023

  • Wakaba Festival (Unagoji Festival)
  • Wakaba Festival (Unagoji Festival)

This is a very unique, if not amusing, festival. Five exuberant floats are pushed from Tenno Shrine to Ushikubo Hachimansha Shrine, having as background the sound of flutes and drums, and escorted by "Sasa" dancers who, following certain patterns of the music, drop to the ground and stay motionless until the "Toshigyoji" helper wakes them up. The similarity of the lying dancers to a bunch of maggots on the street has earned the festival its nickname of "Unagoji Matsuri," literally "Maggots Festival"!

Records at the Toyokawa Central Library indicate that this unique festival is held annually at least since before 1701, in honor to Toyokawa's Patron "Kami," Ushikubo of Hachiman Shrine. The days for the festival are on the weekend closest to April 7th and 8th. This is due to the fact that in ancient times those days were religious holidays in the town: the "eve" on Saturday preceding the main event of Sunday.

It is believed that this festival has its origins as homage to the lords of Imahashi Castle, which existed in the current location of Yoshida Castle in Toyohashi-City, beginning with samurai Makino Kohaku and his successors, who preached that "the country owes its existence to the people who live in it." Once, the lord was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the hard work of his loyal retainers upon completion of a new fortification, that he decided to host a generous banquet with plenty of food and rice wine "sake," inviting all the populace. The guests became so inebriated that many were not even able to properly walk back home, stumbling and hanging onto each other's shoulders, while others would just pass out on the streets. Due to the sheer number of guests, people were spread everywhere around town. The memory of this happy event and the lord’s generosity was so well imprinted into the minds of the townsfolk that they decide to celebrate the event every year since then.

This peculiar and lively festival is designated by Aichi Prefecture as an Important Intangible Folk Culture Asset and is a must for tourists!


Date : April 8 (Saturday) and 9 (Sunday), 2023
*: Held even in the case of rain
Holding time : April 8th (Saturday) from 3:30 PM to 8:30 PM
April 9th (Sunday) from 12:10 PM to 9:00 PM
Place : Ushikubo Hachiman Shrine
Location : 〒442-0826
164 Tokiwa, Ushikubo-cho, Toyokawa-City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Phone number : 0533-89-2206 (Toyokawa City Tourism Association)

Note: This page may not be current due to update time differences between site databases.
Should accuracy be critical, please verify this information using a direct source, whenever possible.


  • Access by public transport
    Access by public transport
    5 min. (500m) northwards walk from Ushikubo Station of the JR Iida Line (board from JR/Meitetsu Toyohashi Station).
  • Access by car
    Access by car
    Approx. 15 min. from Toyokawa I.C. of the Tomei Expressway.

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