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【3-Day Event: Nov.1-3】Betcha Festival in Onomichi

【3-Day Event: Nov.1-3】Betcha Festival in Onomichi

Why not come and experience the ‘Betcha Festival’ in Onomichi, celebrated for over 200 years? The Betcha Festival is an unusual festival designated as a folk cultural asset by Onomichi City.

It takes place annually on November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. This unique festival, hosted at the Kibitsuhiko Shrine—affectionately known as ‘Ichikyu-san’ in Onomichi—originated as a prayer for healing during an epidemic in the late Edo period.

On the 3rd, shrine parishioners and individuals dressed as lions, wearing ‘Beta’, ‘Shoki’, and ‘Soba’ masks, parade through the city center with a portable shrine. When they spot children, they playfully chase them, gently hitting them on the head or poking them with a ‘sasara’ or ‘shuku-bo’. Legend has it that a child hit with a sasara will become smarter, while one hit with a shuku-bo will be blessed with fertility and enjoy safety and health for an entire year. While the festival has been canceled or scaled down over the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its origins date back to 1807 as a purifying festival for the city of Onomichi during an epidemic.

A ‘preservation society’, composed of local residents, ensures the continuity of the festival, complemented by an initiative known as ‘Betcha-daiko (drum)’, which presents a modern rendition of the musical accompaniment.

Date: November 1-3



Born in Yokohama, and spent most of my school days in Tokyo.
Exchange student experience in the USA (in high school) and Thailand (after graduating from university).
Speak English, Thai and Japanese (of course).
Living in a tranquil island of the Shimanami Kaido.
”I would love to show you around this beautiful area of Setouchi! ”