Goldfish to parade through streets of Yanai, Yamaguchi Aug. 13

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan
Just 30-minutes from MCAS Iwakuni, Yanai Town will host Kingyo Chochin Matsuri (goldfish lantern festival) on Aug. 13.
During the festival, locals will parade through the streets in traditional festive attire while energetically shouting “rasseraa” and pushing large goldfish-figured lantern floats made of paper mache, beautifully painted and lit up from inside.
The paper mache floats are painted and lit up from the inside. The streets are also beautifully lit up with about 4,000 goldfish-figured lanterns until Sept. 2.
While the parade winds through the streets, you can enjoy traditional dancing, music and fireworks at the main festival site near JR Yanai Station. You will find lots of great Japanese food including yakisoba, yakitori, okonomiyaki, shaved ice, cold beer and soft drinks. People can also enjoy games, including kingyo-sukui (goldfish scooping) and shateki, a shooting game.
The goldfish lantern is known as one of the Yanai’s popular traditional crafts. It is local tradition for parents to make the bamboo and paper lanterns for their children to participate in the festival.
Goldfish Lantern Festival
- Date: Aug. 13
- Hours:  5:30 – 9 p.m.  
- Location:  Retro Street (in front of JR Yanai Station), Yanai City
- Admission: Free
- Tel: 0820-23-2614
Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival Events 
5:30 – 5:50 p.m.   Brass band performance
5:30 – 8:45 p.m.   Goldfish lantern floats parade
6 – 6:15 p.m. Opening ceremony
6:30 – 7 p.m.   Traditional dancing
8:45 – 9 p.m.   Fireworks display

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