Summer (June to August)
Hyakumangoku Matsuri Festival : Three Days Centering on First Saturday of June
The basis of Kanazawa was built in 1583, when Lord Maeda Toshiie, founder of the Kaga Domain, moved to Kanazawa Castle.
The Hyakumangoku Matsuri is the greatest festival of Kanazawa in commemoration of Toshiie's entry into the castle.The highlight of the festival is the Hyakumangoku Parade, which begins on the Saturday afternoon.In the evening after the main parade, 12,000 people's dances start on the main street of the city, which everybody can join on the spot.
Traditional Takigi Noh dances are performed outdoors with lights supplied by bonfires in Kanazawa Castle Park and traditional tea ceremonies are held in a number of Japanese-style tearooms in the city.
Kaga Yuzen Toro Nagashi, the floating of lanterns lit with candles and decorated with Kaga Yuzen silk textiles, commences night before the main festival (the Friday night) down the Asanogawa River across the Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge. The entire city is in a festival mood.
Hyakumangoku Parade : First Saturday of June
The main event of the Hyakumangoku Matsuri is the Hyakumangoku Parade, a flamboyant procession of people in historical costumes performed on the first Saturday of June.
The parade participants leave the east gate of Kanazawa Station, parade the main street for 3.1 kilometers, and enter Kanazawa Castle. A prominent actor plays the role of the feudal lord Toshiie Maeda every year, followed by more than 2,000 residents including those in princesses and warriors' costumes, as well as teams who stage Kanazawa’s traditional performing arts, such as Kaga Tobi groups who reenact traditional firefighters working under the Kaga lords in Edo.
A magnificent departing ceremony is held in front of Kanazawa Station’s east exit’s huge glass dome and the wooden gate.
Hyakumangoku Parade (Celebration of Toshiie Maeda’s entry into Kanazawa Castle) : First Saturday of June
After having left Kanazawa Station, the parade procession walks around the city for about two hours, ending in a finale at the Kanazawa Castle Park.
At the Kanazawa Castle Park, the arrival of the procession is greeted with a celebration of Toshiie Maeda’s entry into the castle, with various reenactments performed by parade participants. After the parade finishes, a bonfire is lit with Kanazawa Castle as the backdrop, and noh by bonfire is performed, creating a truly fantastic atmosphere to be enjoyed.