Kiriko Festivals in Noto





Matsunami Doll Kiriko Festival

Energetic parade of kiriko floats carrying unique dolls

Doll workmanship contest

The summer festival held in the Matsunami area of Noto Town, on the inner coast of the Noto peninsula, is a unique festival with kiriko floats that are decorated at the front with original dolls. The themes of the dolls are diverse, and include historical characters, heroes of old tales, and people who have been talked about during the year in which the festival takes place. It takes about three weeks for a kiriko team to create their doll.
The festival starts at around noon, when kiriko gather at Matsunami Shrine. After completion of a ceremony in the shrine, the parade sets out. The portable shrine leads the way, and is followed by nine kiriko floats and children’s kiriko floats. The doll contest starts at two o’clock in the afternoon, when the workmanship of each doll is judged. The contest provides a good opportunity to see all of the dolls close up.

Nighttime kiriko with dolls: a different atmosphere from those seen in the daytime

Please pay attention to the festival music. The parade proceeds to the music of drums, gongs and bamboo flutes. The drums play four different types of rhythm: regular, quick, sambaso and resting. The shouts also change, and they differ according to the area the kiriko is from. It is interesting to compare them.
At 10 o’clock at night, illuminated kiriko floats gather at the intersection of the streets in the central area of the town. Kiroko floats dance wildly one by one to the music. The night dolls look different from daytime dolls. When all of the kiriko floats have finished performing, the festival reaches its finale, and sanbon-jime (hand-clapping in a 3-3-3-1 rhythm three times) concludes the festival.

Highlights of the festival

●Gorgeous lacquered kiroko floats decorated with dolls.
●Judging of handmade dolls for their workmanship.
●Variations in the drumming rhythm according to the parade speed.

Day: 4th Saturday of July
Location: Matsunami area of Noto Town
Google Map
Inquiries: Noto Town Furusato Promotion Section (Tel: 0768-62-8532)