Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Himuro Festival

What more could you want in mid-summer than an ice-cold drink? Back before fridges were invented this was almost impossible. However, 18th century records show that ice was indeed available in Kochi in mid summer. Each winter, snow and ice was stored in an underground cavern on Mt Tebakoyama, in what is now Hongawa, Ino Town. This is said to be the coldest place in Kochi, and so ice can be stored for months.

The ice was finally removed in mid-July and carried to Kochi City as tribute for the Lords of Tosa. The Himuro Festival (literally Ice-Room Festival) commemorates this tradition, and is held in mid July. Not only can you view the stored ice, but there are performances of Kagura dancing and taiko drumming. So escape the heat, and head to the Himuro Festival!

Taken and modified from vol.31 (August & September 2009. Water in Kochi)

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