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Yabusame Archery Festival


Horseback archery under the cherry blossoms


Yabusame is a traditional horseback archery festival that is held at Washibara-Hachimangu Shrine in Tsuwano. It is held annually on the first Sunday of April as two separate events, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The archers are dressed in hunting outfits from the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Taking turns, the archers yell “in!-yo!” as they approach each of the three square 50cm (20in) targets located on the 250m (820ft) course. Each year riders from the Ogasawara School in Kamakura compete against local riders to see who hits the most targets. After the festival, the horseback archers and other involved members visit the shrine to pay homage to deity.

While admission is free, there are reserved seats available. It is recommended that you show up early if you want a good spot in the free seating area. Bringing mats, chairs, and camera tripods are not encouraged as they do take up a lot of space.

*Group reservations can be made by contacting the Tsuwano Yabusame Preservation Committee (information below)

Words to Know
Yabusame (流鏑馬、やぶさめ): horseback archery
In!-yo!”: is a Japanese concept similar to yin-yang, light-dark
Baba (馬場、ばば): is what they call the riding course in Japanese.
Mato (的、まと): 50cm square target that the horseback archers aim to hit

Basic Information

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