Around early July each year in Iwanai Town is when a 3day festival is held called the Iwanai Shrine Annual Festival; it’s a quaint festival with a history of 200 years. The 2 majestic mikoshi (portable shrine) are guided along by the traditional performing art of the town, Akasakayakko. This art entails a stunning dance that is presented using feathered keyari spears of 3 meters in length, which are thrown about back and forth together with high-spirited rallying calls. The climax of the festival is characterized by a bursting charge up the shrine hill together with the 2 mikoshi (portable shrine); it’s simply amazing.
At the oldest temple in Iwanai Town, Jodo-Shu Kikouin Temple, there is a great image of the Buddha fully coated with gold foil. This great image of the Buddha was completed around 100 years ago and boasts a height of 6.8 meters; it is said to be the largest great image of the Buddha made of wood found north of Tokyo. Visitors are free to take tours at their convenience. (Tours: 8:00-17:00)