Matsudaira Spring Festival | VISIT TOYOTA CITY‐Toyota City Official Travel Site-

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. If you continue to browse, you accept the use of cookies on our site.


Halfway Between Tokyo and Kyoto

    1. HOME >
    3. Matsudaira-go Gongen Matsuri (Matsudaira Spring Festival)

    Matsudaira-go Gongen Matsuri (Matsudaira Spring Festival)


    Apr 13 and Apr 14, 2019

    • Matsudaira Spring Festival\r\nMatsudaira Spring Festival\r\nMatsudaira Spring Festival\r\nMatsudaira Spring Festival

    The annual Gongen Matsuri at Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine commemorates the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616), the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Ieyasu was descended from the Matsudaira family, whose ancestral home once stood where Matsudaira Toshogu is now. Matsudaira Toshogu enshrines Ieyasu as the Shinto deity Tosho Daigongen (“Great Gongen, Light of the East”). The Gongen Matsuri is the oldest festival in Matsudaira-go. It is known to have been celebrated since the Edo period (1603–1867), although its original format is not clear.

    The present-day festival is held on the weekend before April 17, the date of Ieyasu's death. On Saturday evening, the priests of Matsudaira Toshogu draw sacred water from the Ubuyu Well behind the shrine and dedicate it to the deities. This water is believed to have been used to give generations of Matsudaira newborns their first bath. Drumming and dance performances follow the ceremony, and handheld tezutsu fireworks light up the night. Tezutsu are bamboo tubes wrapped in rope and filled with gunpowder that can blast sparks up to 10 meters into the air, and they are a staple of many festivals in Aichi Prefecture. They are thought to have evolved from similar devices used as signals on the battlefield in the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

    On Sunday, a mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) believed to contain the spirit of Ieyasu is carried from Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine up the hill to Kogetsuin, the Matsudaira family temple where the shogun's ancestors are buried. Participants in the procession, all in period costume, enter the temple and say a prayer at the Matsudaira burial monument. The mikoshi is then carried back to Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine, concluding the festival.

    Basic Information


    Address 〒444-2202
    13 Akabara, Matsudaira-cho, Toyota-shi
    Location Matsudairagou
    Period First Saturday/Sunday before April 17
    Directions by public transportation From Nagoya Station on the subway, transfer to Tsurumai Line at Fushimi Station and disembark at Meitetsu Toyotashi Station. Disembark at the Matsudairagou bus stop on the Toyota Oiden Bus; five minutes’ walk from there.

    Recommended Spots