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[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Girls' Mikoshi Parade Returns: Participants Wanted

Participants of the Girls' Mikoshi parade at the Tenjin Festival get to showcase their energy and even have a shot at becoming Ms Tenjinbashi.



Representatives came to the Sankei Shimbun headquarters in Osaka to promote the Gal Mikoshi festival. From the left: Hikaru Hamaguchi, Mayu Nishikawa, Shiomi Houei, and Yuri Oikawa. Photo taken on June 20 in Osaka's Naniwa Ward. (© Sankei by Miyako Nagumo)

Get ready for the Tenjin Festival, one of Japan's liveliest summer celebrations! It's happening on July 24 and 25 at Tenmangu Shrine in Osaka's Kita-ku. One of the highlights of the festival is the "Gal Mikoshi" parade, where a group of young women carries a mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) through the lively Tenjinbashi-Suji Shopping Street and other areas. After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the event is making a comeback on July 23, and they're looking for participants to join in the fun as they celebrate its 40th edition.

To spread the word, representatives of the Gal Mikoshi visited The Sankei Shimbun headquarters in Osaka's Naniwa Ward on June 20.

'An Absolute Blast'

During the event, they will select a Miss Tenjinbashi and a runner-up based on their enthusiasm, infectious smiles, and the effort they put into carrying the mikoshi. At the Sankei headquarters, the representatives proudly donned red and white happi coats while demonstrating their energy by hoisting a 60-kilogram carrying pole for rice and waving giant uchiwa fans.

Ms Tenjinbashi is chosen for her enthusiasm, smile, and energy. (© Sankei by Miyako Nagumo)

Former Miss Tenjinbashi, Shiomi Houei, knows the joy and excitement firsthand. She says, "Don't miss out on the chance to create lifelong memories at Gal Mikoshi. It's an absolute blast!"

On the big day, participants will take turns carrying the mikoshi, which weighs around 200 kg (440 lbs). They will parade it for about 4 km (2.5 mi) to spread the excitement. 

They are looking for 80 women between the ages of 15 and 33 to participate, excluding middle school students. In consideration of the event's hiatus caused by the pandemic, the organizers lowered the eligible age range by three years. Applications can be submitted until June 30 through the Tenjin Festival Gal Mikoshi website. After a review of the applications, a selection event will take place on July 8. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the festival office at 06-6358-0459.

What is your hidden wonder of Japan? Be sure to share with us in the comments section below.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun


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