The Odawara Chochin matsuri is one the most lively matsuri you are likely to see. There are many taiko groups performing all day long both inside the Odawara castle compound and on the street in front of the Odawara castle entrance. If you like taiko, then there are many tiako groups performing. The main attraction is the 3,000 hand-made paper chochin (traditional lanterns) that are displayed around the outer moat of Odawara castle. Suspended by specially constructed frames the chochin are beautiful at night when they are lit up, giving the area a romantic atmosphere. There is a parade of around 40 omikoshi which is followed by a very exciting omikoshi race. The omikoshi are carried at great speed along a course at the end of which the omikoshi bearers have to suddenly stop without crashing! Very exciting to watch. Paper lanterns line the bridge to Odawara castle and the area takes on a very vibrant atmosphere. This is a must see matsuri!
(video report by Junpei Hayakawa)