Scenes of a Nara Period-Style Pilgrimage to Temple Reenacted in Iwata, Shizuoka Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People in Nara period clothing reenact a temple pilgrimage in Iwata, Shizuoka Pref., on Nov. 11.

IWATA, Shizuoka — An event reenacting a Nara period (710-784) pilgrimage in Totoumi Province, today’s western part of Shizuoka Prefecture, was held on Nov. 11 in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture.

A parade of people clad in Nara period clothing performed a scene of kokushi — provincial governors deployed from the central government — and their attendants paying a visit to Totoumi Kokubunji temple.

The parade is the highlight of Kokubunji-Matsuri-in-Totoumi, a festival celebrating the history and culture of the temple.

Sixty-eight people walked for 30 minutes on a 1.3-kilometer course from Iwata Station to a park where the temple once stood, and spectators took photos of the parade with their smartphones. Locals livened up the festival by performing traditional gagaku music and playing drums at the venue.

“I want people to learn about the temple that existed in Iwata that we are proud of,” said Yoshitaka Ohashi, 72, head of the festival committee. “We want to pass down its 1,300-year history to future generations.”

The temple ruins were designated as a special historic site by the government after traces of its tower, main hall and corridors were excavated from the ruins.