Tourist information

  • Photo

Shingen-ko Festival

Peerless Daimyo of the Warring States Period Reappear Right Before Your Eyes!

Lord Takeda Shingen was known by the nickname “The Tiger of Kai.” Today, 500 years later, he is still famous throughout the country for his bravery. His cavalry, which was the strongest in the Sengoku or Warring States period (c. 1467 – c. 1603), has been widely described through the ages as the symbol of the Takeda forces’ strength. Besides his prowess in military affairs, Lord Shingen also excelled in judicial and other administrative matters and is said to have laid the foundation of the capital of Kai Province (present day Kofu). That is why nowadays many residents of the city still have a feeling of respect for the former feudal lord.

The Shingen-ko Festival, or Lord Shingen Festival, is held every year on the weekend before April 12, the death anniversary of Lord Shingen, to honor his illustrious memory. The festival includes reenactments of the Prayer for Victory, which was a ritual held before going into battle, and a procession of troops clad in armor. During the Prayer for Victory, Lord Shingen with his headquarters guard and General Yamamoto Kansuke with his company of troops proceed to Takeda Shrine and pray for victory of the Koshu Battalion and the success of the festival.

The Shingen-ko Festival is full of highlights. These include a troop departure ceremony and a sake ritual called sankon no gi conducted by people dressed as Lord Shingen and his 24 generals as well as a parade of warriors. With around 1,500 people from across the prefecture marching in samurai costumes, this parade is a sight to see. Many of the participants carry banners reading Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan, referring to a passage in The Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise by Sun Tzu, meaning “as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain.” Furthermore, on the 12th, there is a procession of Takeda’s 24 generals on horseback, and a mikoshi or portable shire is paraded through the city streets.

The main parade was recognized by Guinness World Records as “the largest gathering of samurai” in the world. The season being what it is, cherry trees and azaleas are in bloom all around, and you might feel as if you have slipped back through time into the midst of many renowned personages who lived during the Sengoku period.

Back to list

Sightseeing

Kofu samurai Wi-Fi spot

Wi-Fi can be used free of charge near facilities in Kofu displaying a "KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi" logo sticker.

"KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi" logo sticker.

Usage Restrictions

  • 60 minutes/session (Number of times unlimited)
  • Available in five languages (connectional announcement displays)

See the Kofu Map for the locations of KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi Spots.

Details for using KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi