(First Saturday of April)
The ‘Eleven-faced Kannon Bodhisattva’, locally referred to as ‘Sakura Kannon’, is counted as the first designated cultural asset of the town. Being able to behold the figure of Kannon and connect one’s fate only happens once per year on ‘go-kaicho no hi’ (lit: day of opening the curtain). On this thankful day the ‘Ceremony of Reading 600 Scrolls of Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra’ is carried out, and worshippers from surrounding areas come to pray for disaster relief and safety for their homes.
Yearly Festival of Saimyou Temple
On an area of level ground near the peak of Mt. Matsuda is Saimyo Temple Historical Park. Every year on April 10th the ‘Regular Festival of Saimyo Temple’ is held. In this secluded and quiet park you will find a pond surrounded by cherry trees. Buddhist ceremonies are held while the cherry blossoms are at their peak, and hikers stop by to feast their eyes. In the park there is a historic stone wall left at the ruins of Gomado, and at the ruins of the Kanetsukido is an enshrined stone monument. These show that the site has been entrenched with Buddha’s presence since ancient times. In the 3rd year of the Shokyu Era (1221) a high priest named Joren received a divine message in a dream and opened Saimyo Temple. Since then his doctrines have been handed down to the current caretakers in Matsuda Town’s Soshi district.
Spring Fishing Festival
Masu salmon and trout fishing competitions are held twice a year at fishing spots in the clear stream of Nakatsu River flowing through Western Tanzawa. Anyone can partake in mountain stream fishing while enjoying fresh greenery in spring or the autumn leaves in fall. This river is stocked with various rare types of trout and salmon.
Peony Festival of Emmei Temple
This temple has been chosen as one of the ‘100 Flower Temples of East-Japan’. Along the path and grounds running from the main gate to the Deva gate you will find about 800 peonies of 30 different types under paper umbrellas. The red, violet, and white flowers in full bloom fascinate those who visit.