Toyota City autumn festival – Koromo Matsuri

Last weekend was Koromo Matsuri, Toyota City’s autumn festival.

‘Another festival’, you say? Didn’t we just have one (see post about Oiden Festival in summer)? That’s right, but Japan is the land of festivals. October especially seems to be a popular month for festivals. Most of them are in honour of a good harvest, as is Koromo Matsuri.

Koromo is what Toyota City used to be called before it became Toyota City. During the festival, eight ‘dashi’ or floats (festival cars) are paraded around the city. Each float represents a neighbourhood of Toyota City.

koromo matsuri 8 floats
The floats are lined up before departure

Inside and on top of the floats are people making music, shouting and throwing coloured paper strips. As the float passes, you feel like you’re surrounded by falling leaves or flower petals.

The floats are pulled by dozens of people, young and old alike. At the beginning of the rope are ‘the regular people’, closer to the float are ‘the pro’s’ with a special uniform.

Toyota City Koromo Matsuri pulling the float

koromo matsuri preparations
Gathering their strength before pulling the float - mind the sake bottle

I was amazed by the speed at which some of these floats move.

After the floats have gone, children play with the paper strips on the ground. The playing children are surrounded by adults with photo camera’s – myself included – trying to capture this endearing scene.

koromo matsuri children and photographersThe child in the next picture is a little less active. While mommy tries to get a good look at what’s happening, this child is totally unimpressed by everything that’s going on and takes a little nap.

Toyota City Koromo Matsuri sleeping child
Child sleeping amidst the festival ruckus

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