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Come experience the real feeling of a Japanese Festival with Omikoshi! 


The mikoshi (Omikoshi) is a portable shrine for the gods, carried around the neighborhood of a regular shrine by local volunteer bearers dressed in festival costumes called Hanten. They carry the mikoshi on their shoulders, shouting, "Washoi, Washoi!". The purpose of this ceremony is to absorb and eliminate bad luck and impurities, pray for a bountiful harvest, and heed the people's wishes.


Thank you, Shimizu North America, for making this Omikoshi attraction possible! 

Shimizu North America
Pat Fahey, JapanFest- 17 Sep- 9.jpg

Experience Omikoshi

Children can sign up to be Mikoshi bearer​s, carry Mikoshi on their shoulders, and parade around the venue to show off their festival spirit. Omikoshi has been one of the most popular events in JapanFest for years. Free happi coats are available for children to wear.  


About the JapanFest Mikoshi 

Omikoshi is decorated with gorgeous carvings and strings with a golden phoenix placed on the roof.

Bearers shout "Wasshoi! Wasshoi!" in unison. The word 'Wasshoi' (和緒一) means harmony and peace together. 

Pat Fahey, JapanFest- 17 Sep- 10.jpg

What is "Wasshoi-wasshoi"?

JapanFest Mikoshi was built by a local Atlanta carpenter from Japan, Mr. Toshihiro Sahara. Mr. Sahara supported JapanFest for 30+ years until he passed away in 2019. Mr. Sahara owned a company specializing in Japanese woodwork. The scope of his business ranged from crafting small items such as Japanese lamps and tables to large projects such as building Japanese-style homes, interiors, restaurants, and gardens. He participated in JapanFest Atlanta yearly exhibiting his beautifully crafted wood works. There were core fans of his woodwork who visited JapanFest year after year. He built our Omikoshi, a portable shrine, and Yagura Stage for our Bonodori. We all miss him very much.  Now his son Tad Sahara has taken over and continues to make Omikoshi attraction possible along with Shimizu North America. 

Watch Omikoshi from Japan
and feel the real spirit of festivals

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