Narita information


PEOPLE OF NARITA - The Representative of Kanto Float Festival Exhibition Executive Committee Tomohiro Takada -

When you say Narita, many people probably think of Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, but it is not the only thing to see. In Narita, there are many people who provide hospitality to visitors, and I would like you to know about them. Here, we will introduce them to you as “People of Narita”!


Our guest this time is Tomohiro Takada, the representative of Kanto Float Festival Exhibition Executive Committee. He has been interested in festivals since his childhood when he was exposed to the Narita Gion Festival, and in 2022, while still a university student, he planned and held the "Kanto no Dashi Matsuri (float festival) Exhibition”. We spoke with him in detail about his past activities and future goals.

ーWhat kind of activities are you involved in?ー

I have launched something called the "Kanto Float Festival Exhibition Executive Committee". Our activities are all about preparing for the "Kanto Float Festival Exhibition," but the last one we held was very well received. Some people asked us to hold the festival outside of Narita, in Sawara, for example, but in the end, I also like Narita, so we decided to hold the exhibition in March again, hoping to have it in Narita.

*Click here for information on the "Kanto Float Festival Exhibition" to be held in March 2024.

ーPlease tell us about your background.ー

I was born in Inzai City, but I came to Narita before I was one year old, and I have lived in Narita for almost 20 years since then. My father and mother both participate in festivals, and they have been bringing me to Narita's festivals since I was 0 years old. They have taken me to festivals not only in Narita, but also to faraway places such as Ishioka in Ibaraki and festivals in Tokyo. I have been exposed to festivals since I was a child, growing up in a family of festivals, and have been exposed to many festivals in my life.

After entering junior high school, I started researching festivals. I liked Narita's festivals because it was my hometown, and I did a lot of research on Narita's festivals and made a book for myself, though I did not publish it. I wrote a book about the history of the festival, the history of each town, what kind of dolls have been used, what kind of festival musicians have ridden in the festival, and so on.

I started playing festival music just before entering high school and have continued to this day. Since then, I have developed relationships with many people.
Also, when I became a high school student, I started going to various festivals by myself. Recently, I have been going to festivals in faraway places, such as Aomori and Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture. I like festivals, but I especially like old festivals, including the one in Narita. I would go to the festival and watch the festivities, but we would go to the local library together and I would find out a lot about the festival. So the result, or rather the activity, leads to this exhibition.

ーWhat attracts you to the Narita Gion Festival?ー

There are several major characteristics of this festival compared to other festivals. First of all, there is usually one type of musical accompaniment for each festival, but in Narita, there are two types of musical accompaniment: Sawara-bayashi and Edo-bayashi. The fact that we can hear both is one of the main attractions of Narita.

ーHow will you act for the future?ー

I heard that the Narita festival is held for three days and attracts about 500,000 visitors. Although the festival is large in scale, I have noticed that not many people are interested in the actual festival or what it used to be like.

Before the Gion Festival in July, there is always an event called the "Gion Festival Exhibition" in front of the station, where posters and old photos of past festivals are displayed. I like the festival and go every year, but the visitors are not so much local people as people who come from far away to Narita, and there are almost no visitors of my generation.

Thankfully, there are many young people in the musical group that I am a member of. However, the young people's group that pulls the festival is short on staff, and there is a lack of young people. For example, in Hanazaki-cho, there are hardly any young people who live in Hanazaki-cho anymore, even if they are members of the youth group. I hope that Narita will become a place where more young people become interested in festivals.

ーThere seems to be a lot of overlap with the activities of the "Kanto Float Festival Exhibition Executive Committee.ー

Yes, I wanted to make the "Kanto Float Festival Exhibition" free of charge so that any visitor can easily come and enjoy the festival, and I thought it would be nice to have an opportunity to experience the festival in some small way.

One more thing: I live in Tamatsukuri, Narita, and there used to be the Newtown Festival in August. But in the end, there was a shortage of people to carry out the festival, or rather, there was no one left to carry out the festival. I used to like it because it was a local festival. Now it has been changed to an event called the Christmas Marche, but I hope that one day it will be held again on the same scale as the Newtown Festival.

ーDo you have a message for our readers?ー

I think the area along the approach to Naritasan is very interesting, and although it is called "Monzenmachi," I really like Monzenmachi and castle towns. I also go to Kawagoe in Saitama, which is similar, but Narita has a slope. You can see the tower of Naritasan in the distance after going down the slope of the approach to the shrine. That view is very Instagram-worthy these days, isn't it? I think there are quite a few interesting places around the approach, and I would like you to visit them.