Each year on the first weekend of April, Kofu holds the Shingen-ko Festival where actors re-enact various stages in the life of the greatest warlord, Takeda Shingen (different famous actor plays this role each year).
This is by far the most popular samurai festival in Japan. All of the participants have been practicing their part for the entire year that imitates the battle of Kawanakajima. The costumes that they wear, from the armour of the samurai to even the equipments that they carry, is magnificent and very accurate. What’s even better is that this is one of the few events where the city of Kofu is populated with people and it’s amazing to witness. NOTE: The festival last for three days, but the most popular is on the second day, when the parade happened along 平和通り(Heiwa-Dori).
As an exchange student, I really do appreciate the festivals that I’ve been to so far. I’ve never felt this amount of energy and effort from the participants before and that itself is exciting. The chant that the samurais do throughout the day is empowering, which shows that these people want to make the festival an enjoyable experience. That same energy also comes from the stalls, where every single person was energetic about what they sell.
Check out my Flickr album for photos on this amazing festival.